Taking Flight

Sean Gibbs

EDINBURGH-born trumpeter Sean Gibbs is probably best known back home for his work with the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra but since going to study at Birmingham Conservatoire and gaining his BMus (hons) he’s made quite an impression as a player, composer and arranger in England.

Following his superb big band album, Burns, Fervour finds the twenty-five-year-old leading a quintet of conspicuous talents on nine original compositions that draw on a wide variety of influences from the New Orleans march-propelled, varied tempo riffing of opening track Go On Then to Spring at Last’s Brazilian flavoured groove and on to the slow, bluesy Adieu that closes the album and showcases both Gibbs’ wah-wah soloing and guitarist Ben Lee’s marvellous high tensile playing.

Gibbs’ music has bags of personality and his soloing is full of ideas, now cool and reflective, now fast and assertive, now downright mischievous. His band go with him all the way and add their own thoughts and commentaries, with pianist Andy Bunting making many telling contributions and Lee a consistently mature presence whose eager trading of phrases with Gibbs on the aptly named, smart, up-tempo Don’t Hold Back is a particular highlight.

Rob Adams