On The Walk
The Scottish jazz scene may be suffering currently from a shortage of playing opportunities, but this hasn’t prevented classy new bands emerging, none classier than the organ/guitar/drums trio Breach, whose first album achieves a level of collective understanding that normally comes some way down the line. It helps, perhaps, that organist Paul Harrison, guitarist Graeme Stephen and drummer Chris Wallace have considerable previous experience in various trios and know how to support and inspire without treading on colleagues’ toes. All three also compose for Breach, evoking references to this popular jazz format from the swinging Blue Note style to the harmonic adventure, if not the ferociousness, of Tony Williams’s original Lifetime, while creating a singular group identity that embraces spacious atmosphere building, teethy improvisation, precise punctuation and unashamed tunefulness. Harrison’s development of his own The City From The Window is especially gorgeous and Wallace’s summery title track is a beguiling introduction, but there’s enough superior stuff here to make the trio’s imminent Glasgow Jazz Festival appearance unmissable.