CD: Trish Clowes - And in the night-time she is there | New music reviews, news & interviews
CD: Trish Clowes - And in the night-time she is there
Tenor saxist impresses with distinctive melodic fingerprint and ear for textural detail
Enthusiasts of the tenor sax will find it impossible not to be swayed by this terrific follow-up to Trish Clowes' impressive 2010 debut, Tangent. Apart from her highly distinctive melodic fingerprint, it's the composer's terrific ear for textural detail that really draws you into this 10-track collection: the ever-so-subtle cello harmonics that underpin the intro to album opener “Atlas”, the constant ticking of “On/Off”, the ghostly violin figurations enfolding the bass solo in “Animator”.
The album's sole song is typically individual and about as far from the Great American Songbook as you can get. Clowes sets eight couplets from Oscar Wilde’s fin-de-siècle symbolist poem, “The Sphinx”, capturing the almost dream-like nature of the speaker's monologue in a challenging melodic line - vertiginous leaps here, tricky rhythmic details there – that's navigated with some style by vocalist Kathleen Willison. The concluding phrase of the third couplet provides the album's title.
Dedicated to her grandmother, the three-movement "Iris Nonet" sees Clowes exploring the larger textural palette offered when her own quartet - drummer James Maddren, Troyka guitarist Chris Montague and bassist Calum Gourlay - is joined by star pianist Gwilym Simcock and an improvising string quartet led by violinist (and leader of the Aurora Orchestra and Britten Sinfonia), Thomas Gould. Powerful, lyrical and with a sound-world that ranges from the austere to the ecstatic, this proves to be incredibly fertile ground for the composer.
With just Montague's deft guitar chording as a backdrop, the saxophonist seems to channel something of Lester Young's melodic sensibility in the concluding “Little Tune”. It's utterly lovely and, little or not, something that I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot more of in the future.
And in the night-time she is there is officially launched at Kings Place on Saturday 29 September.
Watch Trish Clowes perform "On/Off" at the 2011 Cheltenham Jazz Festival:
Share this article
Subscribe to theartsdesk.com
Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.
To take an annual subscription now simply click here.
And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?
more New music
Chas & Dave, Duran Duran, Cuban Brothers and the blazing sun make this festival fizz
Full-on electropop magnificence from Canadian sister duo
Live charisma adds human depth to the perfect sheen of her new record
The Swedish band’s back catalogue is made widely available for the first time
Kevin Rowland's wilful otherness makes a potentially very bad idea much more interesting
Not so crazy after all these years
From Afrobeat to psychedelia, from electronica to guitar pop, it's all here on plastic
As grime enters its mature phase, what contribution can Manchester make?
Literate Canadians bond with the audience to inspire a sing-along
After seven years away, the synth-pop return of a great Scottish songwriter
Despite an ill-balanced sound, the Mancunian orchestral/house music mash-up kicks off
The ABC mastermind on how he got his mojo back and finally made 'The Lexicon of Love II'