review

Four Views: Hainault Records HNT0014 price not quoted

This review was published on: November 22nd 2013
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Mick Foster (baritone/C-melody sax), Dominic Ashworth (guitars), Tom Farmer (double bass) and Tristan Mailliot (drums)
This is the third CD Mick has released through Hainault Records and is available from Amazon or from Mick's web site www.mickfoster.org.uk in conventional format or from Amazon/iTunes/7digital in digital format. Around 58 minutes in length it covers 10 'standards' and one Gerry Mulligan composition.
There is a nice selection of tempi, a nice relaxed backing from the rhythm players, a very nice variety of quality tunes and all involved provide solos which are “carefully paced and crafted” (I quote here an earlier reviewer, Chris Parker of the London Jazz Blog Spot). However when I reached the very last track, Mulligan's “Reunion” I concluded that four extremely competent musicians had been holding back a little too much – there had been too few stimulatingly creative chord substitutions, too little 'groove' and not enough (apart, perhaps, from the two latin-American numbers Recado Bossa Nova and Samba d'Orpheu) spirited delivery.
For those readers intrigued by the extremely rare appearance of the C-melody instrument (I could only detect its use in I can't give you anything but love and Alone together) I can't honestly say that the rather strange timbre this instrument emits adds anything to the pieces involved.
But after the second and third auditions of the entire CD I realised that what essentially this 'mainstream' style jazz quartet contributes to the library of recorded saxophone music is not only a relaxing hour of 'easy listening' but, more importantly for our student readers, a splendid opportunity to dissect, sing along with, transcribe, copy or emulate Mick's improvisations on the 'standards': Broadway, Sunny side of the street, Moonlight in Vermont, Emily, I'm old fashioned, and But beautiful.
In summary: a gently swinging and melodic set of jazz standards from a fine baritone sax player well supported by his associates and totally accessible to all.


Kenneth Morris

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The Clarinet and Saxophone Society of Great Britain is a company limited by guarantee registered in England No. 3010228, whose registered office is at 48 Henniker Point, Leytonstone Road, London, E15 1LQ. Email: finance (@) cassgb.org. Tel: 0845 644 0187

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