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Andrew McCormack First Light (Edition)

Pianist Andrew McCormack's first album since moving from London to New York brings into sharp relief all the qualities that made him such a promising force on the UK jazz scene when he released his debut album, Telescope, in 2007 and have continued to present him as an individual voice on subsequent work.

The striking thing about First Light is its compositional variety, from the smartly turned logic of opening track Prospect Park, through Gotham Soul's elegiac wistfulness and on to The River's loose limbed boogaloo. There's no style that's typical of his trio and yet every track has a personality that has McCormack's name running through it by virtue of writing and improvising that are inventive, attractively melodic and fresh while clearly drawing on the jazz tradition. The one cover here is Thelonious Monk's Pannonica and if McCormack doesn't make it his own (Monk's tunes being too idiosyncratic for that), he does add his own steps to its dancing gait.

Rob Adams

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