‘Days of Blue’ – Patrick Naylor


THE FIRST album under his own name for a decade, guitarist/composer Patrick Naylor presents Days of Blue – a bright and breezy collection of original music which, in collaboration with favourite instrumentalists and vocalists, comprises easy-flowing contemporary jazz imbued with soundtrack, folk and world music.

As an experienced session musician, band leader, educator, and also writer for film, television and BBC Radio, Naylor is adept at distilling these influences into an accessible sequence of ten numbers which gleam with a variety of hues and atmospheres. And whilst he is clearly an accomplished soloist and leader, this is far from an out-and-out ‘guitarist’s album’, but rather a varied, balanced and articulate jazz experience.

Opening with a lively raga feel, Baba flutters to Naylor’s rapid sitar-like guitar phrases, shared with alto sax – a TV theme soundworld full of mystery and conundrum (reminiscent of Christopher Gunning or George Fenton); and Naggar, the first of two vocal numbers, relaxes into Carpenters-style mellowness, Stephanie O’Brien’s clear, genial delivery enriched by atmospheric cello and accordion. The tenor-and-guitar impudence of Rifferama rolls to peppy drums and percussion, revealing both Patrick Naylor’s and Ian East’s improvisational composure – a tidy, chirpy outing; and warm, Jobimesque title track Days of Blue eases along to Sara Mitra’s dreamy vocals, blithe cello and ornamented feel-good acoustic guitar.

Initially dark and inquiring, the nine-minute major/minor expanse of Blue Morning opens out to showcase Patrick Naylor’s electric guitar prowess, his infectious bluesy groove sitting somewhere Mark Knopfler and BB King – and, along with David Beebee’s deliciously sleek Rhodes and Ian East’s cool, mode-exploring tenor, this becomes an irresistible standout. Waiting again displays that signature penchant for soundtrack, East’s soprano sax creating a deliciously wistful yet subtly tensile mood; and the edgy Latin pulse of Restless features deft, animated piano and beautifully-toned, Frisellian guitar soloing.

The prominent tenor assurance in Lost Song and After Dark is reminiscent of British saxophonist Tim Garland, as Naylor’s precise, softly-resonant guitar in the latter evokes the late, hazy afterglow of Summer evenings; and Vamp hints at late ’70s prog as grittier, sustained electric guitar (with echoes of Steve Hackett) weaves its way through Milo Fell’s colourful, open percussion.

An enjoyable album of measured congeniality rather than groundbreaking revelation – recorded and mixed by the renowned Derek Nash – Days of Blue is now available to purchase at Bandcamp.


Patrick Naylor guitars
Ian East saxes
David Beebee piano, double bass
Milo Fell drums, percussion
Alex Keen double bass
Natalie Rozario cello
Sophie Alloway drums
Daniel Teper accordion
Sara Mitra vocals
Stephanie O’Brien vocals


Beeboss – PNDOB01 (2015)


‘Dreamland’ – Elliot Galvin Trio


THE JANGLING TOY PIANO offers a clue. From its impudent, clumsy, pealing intro to this Elliot Galvin Trio debut release, gradually disintegrating into an outrageous, messy sprawl before first track, Ism, finds its rhythmic feet, it becomes clear that this is no ordinary piano trio. In fact, the players – Elliot Galvin (piano), Tom McCredie (bass) and Simon Roth (drums) – appear to be redefining the genre.

Read the full review at LondonJazz News…

Elliot Galvin
piano, toy piano
Tom McCredie double bass
Simon Roth drum kit

Chaos Collective – CC003 (2014)


‘Infinite Blue’ – Patrick Cornelius


I THINK I love this album (there… I’ve said it!). What began as a cursory listen – never a good idea – is already blossoming, after the much longer and closer inspection due, into an exciting and absorbing programme by Patrick Cornelius and a clutch of august, experienced musicians.

‘Infinite Blue’ is a quartet recording, or so it would seem – for when the already sturdy alto sax, piano, bass and drums combo is augmented on a good number of the nine tracks by trombone and/or trumpet, it grows legs and becomes an even more highly charged powerhouse of equally tightly-arranged and creatively-improvised original pieces. The strength of this new album by New York-based saxophonist and composer Cornelius lies in the very apparent display of confidence and intuition which all contributors share and radiate from beginning to end. Respected pianist Frank Kimborough, Whirlwind’s virtuosic Michael Janisch on bass and no-need-for-introductions Jeff Ballard on drums are joined by trombonist Nick Vayenas for five numbers, Michael Rodriguez on trumpet for three.

So what is it that entices so? Well, take a listen to ‘Puzzler’, with the sextet cramming so much into its four minutes. From the off, the pacey tempo and precision arrest the ears with an unbridled, thrilling display of unison writing, launching off into consummate, flighty improvisation from Rodriguez and Cornelius, with Ballard clattering hard on snare and toms (call it hard-bop, post-bop, whatever… but it’s almost worth the price tag alone!). Opening number ‘Regent Street’ shows similar pizazz with Vayenas’ slick, clean trombone soloing and Kimborough’s high flying piano above the secure, swinging rhythm section. ‘Waiting’ – a spacious, mellow offering – finds the close-knit horns suggesting a Big Apple cityscape, Janisch laying down flexing bass both for Cornelius’s yearning alto and a gently caressing high piano line.

The leader’s instrumental delivery is as strong on captivating improvisation as it is for his carefully-scored melodies, an ethic shared by his colleagues. Vayenas’ agile, lustrous trombone adds much to the big ensemble sound (check out his commanding solo on ‘Unfinished Business’); Kimborough and Cornelius communicate restrained, late-night melancholy on ‘In the Quiet Moment’ (one of two numbers as quartet alone); and Rodriguez’s adept brassiness shines throughout.

Photographically, the album sleeve alludes to Patrick Cornelius’s inspiration for his title – a family holiday flight through clear azure skies and a noted-down melody, followed later by his young daughter offering her crayons (and colouring book) to him, one labelled Cielo Infinito; indeed, the title track itself does seem to represent a calm, fresh and easy-going journey. To conclude, the attractive ‘Projection’, written by guest pianist for this track, John Chin, has a relaxed bossa feel (and, to my ears, a particular progression fleetingly reminiscent of McCartney’s ‘Blackbird’!), gliding along to produce uplifting displays from all three frontmen.

Recorded and engineered with great clarity in Brooklyn last October – and releasing on Michael Janisch’s own flourishing Whirlwind Recordings label on 30 July 2013 – further information, sound clips and purchasing options can be found at: http://www.whirlwindrecordings.com/infinite-blue/

I shall keep on listening… and cranking it up loud!

Patrick Cornelius
 alto saxophone
Frank Kimbrough  piano
Michael Janisch  bass
Jeff Ballard  drums
Nick Vayenas  trombone
Michael Rodriguez  trumpet
John Chin  piano


Whirlwind Recordings – WR4637 (2013)