A pulsing, busily rhythmic opening kicks off Klammer, new this week from pianist Rick Simpson here with a lively band featuring saxophonists Michael Chillingworth and George Crowley, vibist Ralph Wyld, Empirical bassist Tom Farmer, and drummer Dave Hamblett.
Playing Simpson’s own highly intricate tunes there’s a quizzical and playful almost funky side to second tune ‘Beware of Gabriel Garrick Imitators,’ and overall a serious, mathematical method in the way the band operates.
London-based Simpson graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2008 and likes to mix things up here whether on piano, Fender Rhodes or Wurlitzer, and there’s an open eared sense of mischief at play and plenty of energy and power in the band’s attitude, a focus on through-composition and complexity.
I don’t think you’ll emerge from listening to the record whistling any of Simpson’s tunes, it’s not that kind of material, but you’ll probably appreciate the sense of craft and skill at play from all concerned. A new name to me, it will be interesting to see how his writing develops in the years to come after this promising release.