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Gemini

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02/04/2007 Brian Priestley - Jazzwise

The first recorded product of the Loop Collective is a no-nonsense quartet that might be described as straight-ahead, if that didn't appear to downplay the creativity and the chance-taking on offer.
Unlike some debut albums, it doesn't waste time on mere versatility, so there's no evidence of Hart playing piano or drums, on both of which he's more than competent. There is, though, a lot of his writing ability and featuring all-original material seems to be no problem, given the variety of the feels invoked - including passages of 7/4 on both 'Checkout' and the title-track that are so convincing you don't stop even stop to count. Other compostional bonuses are the near calypso 'No Noodle', the Ornettish 'Liner Notes' and a couple of Vibes ballads that actually translate the influence of Bill Evans rather than just approximating it.
The unconventional Neame, who also dosen't double on other instruments, is a considerable asset as are Coady and Skinner - though all three suffer from a rather dry mix. But the music triumphs, and its attractions grow on repeated hearings.

 

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