Rob Hall & Chick Lyall
Pianist Chick Lyall and multi-reeds specialist Rob Hall form one of the most intriguing partnerships on the Scottish, and indeed the European, jazz scene. Their improvisations fall not a million miles from either the great Devonian John Surman's blurring of the folk-jazz fault lines or the kind of musical conversations Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter used to have in Weather Report, and yet they have also created a sound and style very much of their own. This latest collection has been in danger of disappearing amid the continuing splurge of new jazz releases but it deserves to be heard for its wit as well as the duo's ability to conjure strong images in the shortest time. Only two of these 24 quietly masterful musical studies exceed three minutes and their titles (such as the Languido opening movement of their five-part Atina Suite) often set the scene very aptly for Lyall's piano and electric keys to prowl and strut under Hall's lugubrious bass clarinet or playful soprano saxophone.