1 October 2019

Album Review: Leo Richardson – Move


Leo Richardson


(Ubuntu UBU0026)

Richardson turned heads with his debut release The Chase, also on Ubuntu – little more than a year later he’s back with the follow up, with Tim Thornton replacing the NYC-bound Mark Lewandowski. Alan Skidmore guested on the latter release – here he contributes fulsome praise via the liner notes, and his role as guest elder statesman is taken by Alex Garnett. Everything about this release suggests a career set to full steam ahead: Richardson has wasted no time in creating a set of eight originals, all carefully crafted explorations of swinging modern post-bop, and the band tear into them with tremendous gusto that doesn’t preclude a fine ear for dynamics and lightness of touch when required – hear how they drop the dynamic for Klammer frontman Simpson’s typically adventurous solo on Effin & Jeffin or how sensitively the band as a whole handle the intricately constructed ballad feature Peace. Thornton is a worthy replacement for Lewandowski: his awesomely fleet-fingered unison work on Mr Tim sets up a stunningly virtuosic solo, and he’s admirably solid in support. Drummer Ed Richardson (apparently no relation) is a powerhouse performer, his fireworks on The Demise driving the band on with the power and precision of a fusion player, and giving a very contemporary feel to what is ostensibly a very traditional outing. Richardson amazes again and again with his accuracy, command of language and sheer chutzpah. The mainstream doesn’t get any more exhilarating than this.


Eddie Myer

Leo Richardson, tenor sax; Rick Simpson, piano; Tim Thornton, bass; Ed Richardson, drums. Guest: Alex Garnett, tenor sax.

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