Stu Brown Sextet

Twisted Toons, Volume 2


CLEARLY Stu Brown’s previous album of cartoon music wasn’t a case of "that’s all folks", and thank heavens too, because this second volume, in which the drummer and his merry band reproduce entire scores from Tom & Jerry, Roadrunner, Droopy and Porky Pig adventures, as well as covering Bill Frisell’s work for Gary Larsen’s Tales from the Far Side, is a belter. Resist smiling if you can as Brown’s meticulous arrangements merge menace with carefree jollity and mix seriously detailed precision with spontaneous creativity and downright brilliant impudence. Every track is a gem of painstaking orchestration but the slaloming Powerhouse is frankly exhilarating, Goblins in the Steeple a marvellous collision of society ball breeziness and measured spookiness and the jazz-reggae treatment of Carl Stalling’s Screwball Wabbit Theme an absolute delight. What’s especially pleasing is having players including trumpeter Tom MacNiven, keyboardist Paul Harrison and saxophonist Brian Molley both carry out minute instructions and express themselves so openly. They launched the album at this year's Glasgow Jazz Festival.

Rob Adams