Kevin MacKenzie - Chiasmus (4 stars)


(Laundry Room Music)


Guitarist Kevin MacKenzie’s first set of original compositions since he recorded his nine-piece Creative Scotland Award project in 2004 features a fine quartet with saxophonist Julian Argüelles, bassist Aidan O’Donnell and drummer Alyn Cosker. MacKenzie has been a conspicuous presence in Scottish folk music in recent years, but this disc focuses squarely on his jazz credentials, not only as a conspicuously inventive soloist, but also as a composer.

The guitarist weaves his characteristically fluent melodic lines through the spacious textures of the music in intricate and imaginative fashion, while Argüelles is an ideal foil on both tenor and soprano saxophones, underpinned by Cosker’s supple, propulsive drumming. The elegant contemporaniety and oblique twists and turns of MacKenzie’s tunes (supplied with equally quirky titles) finds a visual analogue in artist Toby Paterson’s coolly abstract artwork on the CD sleeve, created in direct response to the music.

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