Arnie Somogyi's Ambulance - Accident and Insurgency (4 stars)

Arnie Somogyi's Ambulance - Accident and Insurgency

(Linn Records)

Bassist Arnie Somogyi’s regular line-up is augmented by American trumpet star Eddie Henderson on this new recording for Linn, but he fits right into the carefully cultivated group feel of their music.

Somogyi’s declared aim was to sound like a band rather than a group of musicians playing his (and Tim Lapthorn’s) compositions, and that is fully achieved in both the composed material and the four group improvisations that make up the ‘Orford Ness Suite’.

This is intelligent and exploratory contemporary jazz, bristling with inventive manipulations of instrumental sonority and timbre, surprising chordal developments and effective shifts in tempo. Henderson’s sound and sensibility complements the bassist’s regular line-up, spearheaded by saxophonists Paul Booth and Rob Townsend, with Tim Lapthorn on piano and Dave Smith on drums. Much of the music was inspired by a residency at Snape Maltings near Aldeburgh in Suffolk, and draws on local subject matter.

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