John Lowrie Quartet
Glasgow Art Club, Glasgow
Drummer John Lowrie is one of a number of young musicians now pursuing careers having studied on the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland's jazz course and on the evidence of this final night of a short UK tour he has a sound future. Lowrie has chosen well for this new group, bringing in two of the Scottish jazz scene's young stalwarts in pianist Tom Gibbs and bassist Euan Burton and the impressive London-based saxophonist George Crowley.
All four musicians contribute compositions and this involvement in the repertoire extends to the overall group approach. There's a thoughtful dynamism at work and pieces are allowed to develop organically as well as being arranged to make the most of the variety of instrumentation available.
On Crowley's opening Paper Universe, the saxophonist began his improvisation with just Lowrie's accompaniment and as Gibbs and Burton joined in he developed his melodic discourse with imagination before arriving at a satisfying, bluesy resolution.
Lowrie clearly thinks about sound as much as rhythm and uses brushes, beaters and tambourine jingles as well as sticks in creating both a pulse and a range of percussive colours that support the others without dominating the picture.
He's also writing well, with a piece for fellow drummer Dan Weiss showing a talent for drama that Crowley picked up on with a solo that reached a fevered by still measured intensity.
What impressed most of all was the way each musician clearly listened and responded to what was happening onstage, giving the music a freshness and well-judged balance.