Jazz guitarist and composer Patrick Naylor has a new one out, called ‘Winter Dream’. The album contains nine varied tracks, each with singable tunes, comparatively simple chords and emotional light and shade from all the participants.
‘Where Are My Glasses’ starts the ball rolling. The feel is based on a three beat phrase followed by a five beat phrase, with ample space between the melodic statements.
‘Satori’ begins with engineer/producer David Beebee on piano playing a guitar-like figure in a jazz waltz that sounds a little influenced by Egberto Gismonti.
The title track comes next, and deserves its status. The tune starts with primary chord tones played over harmony which toggles between the major and augmented tonic chord. This evokes a romantic, dreamy scene, well described by Ian East on tenor sax.
A mysterious groove, aptly called ‘Do I Know You?’, follows, commencing with the familiar sound of Milo Fell’s brushes, which switches to sticks when the solos come around. Patrick starts out with deadened strings, progresses to a clean electric sound, then to distortion without breaking a sweat.
‘Almost Through’ provides a pleasing contrast to what came before. It’s as if you’ve just been chasing someone and you’ve cornered them in an alley and are suddenly completely exhausted. In musical terms, this translates as having a virtually non-existent rhythm section.
Julian Costello, in whose quartet Patrick has been playing for decades, adds a different character to ‘Tory Drug Off’. On top of the jazz grunge interplay between Patrick and Milo Fell which was heard two tracks previously, there is now the David Liebman-like extemporization of another comrade, on soprano.
That was as raw as it gets musically for this outing, so it’s fitting that afterwards there is something spacey, with soft attacks and electric piano clusters: ‘Winter Space’.
A little bit of Wayne Shorter, perhaps, can be heard, in ‘B for Blues’, which isn’t blues, but has a B section which swings.
On bass, Jakub Cywinski, who hasn’t recorded with Patrick before to my knowledge, plays a short solo intro to ‘Rugby Street’, the album’s final selection. This tune acts as a musical summing up. Not an especially happy ending, but then, the album was recorded ‘shortly before the pandemic’.
The sonic brilliance brought about by David Beebee and the relaxed, friendly character of the compositions and performances will probably bring enjoyment to those who liked Patrick’s last album, ‘Days of Blue’. This effort is different from that trailblazer, but every bit as good.