CHRIS BISCOE/ALLISON NEALE QUARTET with JEREMY BROWN and STU BUTTERFIELD AND GUEST COLIN OXLEY

THEN AND NOW - TR597

Chris Biscoe, Allison Neale - THEN AND NOW - TR597

 

01 Then and Now (Biscoe) 7.11


02 Easy Living (Rainger/Robin) 7.16


03 Rest Easy (Biscoe) 4.18


04 How Deep is The Ocean (Berlin arr. Neale) 4.29


05 Lover (Rodgers/Hart) 5.50
06 Indian (Summer Herbert) 6.56


07 The Way You Look Tonight (Kern/Fields) 7.11

Total playing time 43.29

Chris Biscoe baritone sax Allison Neale alto sax
Jeremy Brown double bass Stu Butterfield drums
Colin Oxley guitar (tracks 1, 2, 6, 7)

 

 

"…. the approach is deceptively relaxed: this music may not bear the burden of innovation but it demands high standards of execution and integrity. The intricate improvised counterpoint on “The Way You Look Tonight” refracts Mulligan/Desmond through the Tristano prism."

Richard Williams - The Blue Moment, June 2017


THEN AND NOW is the fourth release on Trio Records for Chris Biscoe and is the second for Allison Neale; two highly distinguished saxophonists collaborating on a project around the music of two jazz legends.

Exploring afresh the freewheeling, wonderfully melodic interpretations of standard material recorded 50 years ago by Gerry Mulligan and Paul Desmond on Blues in Time and Two of a Mind, this new band promises to evoke the spirit of these classic recordings while giving free reign to the personalities of the musicians. The Mulligan and Desmond recordings were by a quartet of baritone and alto sax, bass and drums. CD re-releases included some tracks with guitar added. The first CD by the band, Then and Now (Trio TR597), is due for release in 2017 and includes three performances by the quartet (two saxes, bass and drums) and four on which guitarist Colin Oxley joins us. Colin’s playing is an object lesson in how to enrich the harmonies and add to the rhythmic drive without detracting from the interplay between the saxes which is the hallmark of this band. Easy Living, Lover and The Way You Look Tonight include parts of the arrangements featured on the recordings made together by Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan. Arrangements transcribed by Allison Neale. How Deep Is The Ocean is a new arrangement by Allison Neale. Rest Easy (based on the chords of Star Eyes) and Then and Now , which reconstructs the chord sequence of What’s New, were composed for the band by Chris Biscoe.

 

REVIEWS:

Richard Williams - The Blue Moment, June 2017

Chris Biscoe / Allison Neale: Then and Now (Trio). One of the unsung heroes of British jazz since his arrival as a promising saxophonist with NYJO in the early ’70s, Biscoe sticks to the baritone instrument on this release, joined by Neale’s alto saxophone as they explore the mood of the albums Gerry Mulligan made with Paul Desmond in the late ’50s and early ’60s. With Colin Oxley’s guitar, Jeremy Brown’s bass and Stu Butterfield’s drums in support, the approach is deceptively relaxed: this music may not bear the burden of innovation but it demands high standards of execution and integrity. The intricate improvised counterpoint on “The Way You Look Tonight” refracts Mulligan/Desmond through the Tristano prism.

Dave Gelly, The Observer, Sunday 19 March 2017/The Guardian ****

Two saxophonists, Chris Biscoe and Allison Neale, revisit the music of Gerry Mulligan and Paul Desmond. The baritone-and-alto interplay of this classic late 50s-early 60s partnership had the rare distinction of being both clever and tuneful, with touches of wit. The trouble was, they only made two albums together. Now, with perfect rapport, and a positively uncanny grasp of this elusive idiom, Biscoe and Neale have come up with more, including two Biscoe originals. The playing is immaculate, with the beautifully light but firm support by bassist Jeremy Brown and drummer Stu Butterfield. Colin Oxley adds subtle guitar on four tracks. It all sounds bright, sharp and, well, modern.

 

Jazzwise June 2017 – review by Peter Vacher Recommended ****

…small in scale perhaps, theirs is music that reaches the parts that other forms, more brash perhaps, simply don't. Patrick Hadfield for London Jazz News .. it is the interaction between Biscoe and Neale that make this recording so pleasurable. At times they seem to gently circle each other, at others one will speed off on a solo. They playfully nudge each other along, as if playing a game of catch.

 

Jazz Journal June 2017 Brian Robinson

The interplay between the two saxophonists is confident and engaging and they are joined on four numbers by Colin Oxley whose guitar contributions are subtle and satisfying

 

By DUNCAN HEINING, All About Jazz ****

There is a light, airy feel to these seven tracks. Backed by the gently shifting, swinging rhythms of Stu Butterfield and Jeremy Brown, Chris Biscoe and Allison Neale are free to solo, play unison lines or trade phrases in a way that is quietly emotionally affecting. ...one of the best aspects of "Then and Now" is the way that Biscoe and Neale eschew the usual head-solo-head-solo approach of much jazz with standards. In the spirit of the original Mulligan-Desmond model, they really spin out the themes, exploring their melodic potential to the full.

 

The Musician – Summer 2017

Allison Neale, alto saxophone, and Chris Biscoe, baritone saxophone, have all the makings of a classic duo.

Amazon Customer

This will probably be my CD of the year! This album has two of the greats of British mainstream jazz playing at the very top of their game…..The sublime rhythm section provides elegant support throughout but it is the contrast between the two horns and the inspired interplay between the two leads that really makes this lovely disc stand out from the crowd.