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SHaK

Artist: George Haslam

Date of Release: 01/06/2007

Catalogue no: SLAMCD 321

Label: SLAM

Price: £9.99

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George Haslam bari sax, Esmond Selwyn guitar, Steve Kershaw double bass.
Selwyn, Haslam and Kershaw (SHaK) a great new jazz trio playing standards and originals, in fresh imaginative arrangements. The track titles are: Big noise from Winnetka, My Romance, El Manicero, Yardbird Suite, Over the Rainbow, Alfie, Can't help loving that man, Morning After, Stella by Starlight, I guess I'll have to change my plan, Polka Dots and Moonbeams, Blue Monk.

 

Reviews

 

01/08/2007 Barry Witherden

Jazz Review September 2007
Usually SLAM and label-owner Haslam are associated with broadly left-field projects, like CD 322 September Spring. SHaK, however, presents modern-mainstream interpretations of standards and jazz classics, with an original thrown in. The trio romps its way through a programme drawn from three sessions over a 13-month period: with this music the real-time order is less important and tracks from each date are interleaved.

I said “romps”, but sometimes “smooches” or “ambles insouciantly” is more accurate. To pick out a few plums: “Winetka” and “El Manicero”, aka “The Peanut Vendor”, are great fun, it’s interesting to hear Charlie Parker’s “Yardbird Suite” on the big sax. Haslam’s hop-skip-and-stagger tune, “Morning After”, is a nice piece of neo-bop, and “Blue Monk” prompts a succulent sax solo. You’ll be glad to know that “Alfie” is not the well-worn Bacharach song tacked on over the closing credits of the celebrated Britflick, but the suitably swaggering “Alfie’s Theme” from Sonny Rollins’s excellent score, sounding as good on baritone as it did from the composer’s rich tenor. On the tracks from January 2006 it sounds as if Selwyn was late and was made to sit out in the corridor, but it doesn’t prevent you enjoying the elegance of his playing.

Few records that come my way are likely to appeal to all our readers but I doubt you’d find anything to complain about on SHaK

 

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