Dave Storey Trio
(Impossible Ark Records 025)
Dave Storey has emerged from the same London scene based around the RAM post-graduate study program that has incubated so much cutting-edge young talent; his associates on this record are deeply involved with such cross-genre ventures and Golden Age Of Steam (Allsopp) and Laura Jurd’s Dinosaur (Chaplin); so you might expect a similarly forward-looking, boundary- smashing exercise from this debut trio release, featuring a programme of original compositions by Storey with a lone obscure standard. Instead the trio have created an accessibly direct offering, very definitely to be filed under ‘jazz’, that attempts to embrace the legacy of the music without being in thrall to it. So everything was recorded direct to tape under the direction of Ben Lamdin in the Fish Market Studio’s legendary live room, the focus is very much on swing and melody, and the players delight in exploring the traditional roles laid out in the famous sides by Rollins, Henderson and Warne Marsh. So Big Chicken is a Rollins-style exercise in uptempo bop with some niftily arranged shout chorus breaks that suggest a larger ensemble thanks to Chaplin’s superbly supportive bass – The Sun Is Big has an afro- flavoured 6/8 reminiscent of Blakey; Allsopp’s compositional contribution Cautious Tortoise has twisty breaks that are tied together by a sure sense of swing; Bosco uses a bass quote from Bolivia to build a very different, subtly grooving vehicle for Allsopp’s clear toned, accurate but free-ranging blowing; and Yo-Yo has a bit of Ornette-ish quirkyness to set Chaplin up for some fleet-fingered soloing. The empathetic interplay between the trio is in evidence throughout, and as players they all share a similarly considered, simpatico ethos that precludes showboating without sacrificing excitement. Like Helena Kay’s KIM Trio, who also released a debut this year, this album revisits the tradition and adds a very welcome injection of freshness and vigour – not by pursuing any particular stylistic innovation, but by the sheer gusto and affection for the music that shines through. The live shows should be a joy to witness.
James Allsopp, saxophone; Conor Chaplin, double bass; Dave Storey, drums.