In Deep

Artist: Mark Lockheart

Date of Release: 26/05/2009

Catalogue no: EDN1013

Label: Edition Records

Price: £12

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Track Listing















Golden People




Long Way Gone








Believe It Or Not




Not In My Name








Sand Into Gold












Sunday Soon






Appearances by

Jasper Hoiby, Liam Noble

Mark Lockheart - Sax
Dave Priseman - Trumpet
Liam Noble - Piano
Jasper Hoiby - Bass
Dave Smith – Drums
In Deep is a record of great originality and integrity. Its the command and authority of Lockhearts saxophone that first strikes home on In Deep - magisterial, confident with maybe just hints of those two great tenor titans - Michael Brecker and Joe Henderson. Then the sheer quality of the writing hits you these are tunes once heard not forgotten. And then the power, confidence and commitment of his group grabs you by the coat and you know theyve got you. In Deep may be the finest realisation yet of Mark Lockhearts talents. Given his undoubted pedigree that is high praise indeed. Rarely in jazz do music and performance combine to such flawless effect.




23/07/2009 Yorkshire Post

“The ensembles often have a furious power, and the solos reflect that with their urgency. Lockheart’s work nods to Coltrane and Michael Brecker, but he’s firmly his own man”. Yorkshire Post


18/07/2009 Observer

“affecting melodies, endlessly inventive”. Observer


16/07/2009 Jazzwise ****

“One of the most glorious bits of writing and playing you’ll hear this year”. Jazzwise ****


16/07/2009 The Jazz Mann ****

“The album maintains the consistently high standards we have come to expect from one of the UK’s most talented musicians and is a strong candidate for his best work to date”.


12/07/2009 Independent On Sunday

“Saxophonist Lockheart (Loose Tubes, Polar Bear) has been an excellent player in an over crowded sector for ages, but this new quintet’s gimmick-free collection of 12 strong originals moves him close to the top of the class”. Independent on Sunday


11/07/2009 Manchester Evening News *****

“Posterity may come to regard In Deep as the key record of the second golden age of British jazz”. Manchester Evening News ***** (Five Stars)“


10/07/2009 Irish Times ****

Lockheart, formerly of Loose Tubes, is a superb tenor and a composer with a rare gift for writing themes that develop organically and at their own pace. Often long-lined, with some deftly managed counterpoint, they have a character all their own. They, along with his quintet with Dave Priseman (trumpet), Liam Noble (piano), Jasper Hoiby (bass) and Dave Smith (drums), determine the personality of this lovely album. Lockheart’s voicings (using some brass overdubbing) have a fine appreciation of the tonal qualities the players bring to the table, but his skill in using their solo talents – he and Noble, particularly, are outstanding in a band with strong improvisers, at ease inside or outside the changes – is equally impressive. Standouts include Surfacing, Golden People, Long Way Gone, Undercovers, Believe It or Not and Sand Into Gold, each a capsule summary of the album’s virtues.


03/07/2009 Scotsman

“if you don’t know his work, this is as good a place as any to start the investigation”. Scotsman


27/06/2009 The Times ****

“It’s the strength of the melodies that marks this out from the mass of Brit jazz releases as his quintet skilfully mix catchy hooks with improvisation”. The Times ****


24/06/2009 Chris Parker, Vortex

“A rich and varied album, warmly recommended”. Vortex CD Reviews


19/06/2009 The Guardian ****

Tenor saxist Mark Lockheart, a former Loose Tubes member, is a familiar presence from the Polar Bear front line. But though this session reflects some aspects of that quartet's offbeat, lugubrious lyricism and rhythmic ingenuity, In Deep is Lockheart's own show. Gil Evans would have liked the slow theme developments of tracks such as Undercovers and Believe It Or Not, with their intensifying brass voicings rubbing at purring tenor-sax motifs. Long Way Gone is like an African jazz theme played in a sleepwalk, Not in My Name is a free-jazz tussle that falls back to a wistful piano interlude (the great Liam Noble at his most haunting) and then swells to a collective clamour, Snakeout and Nutter are rhythm jigsaws leaning on Dave Smith's excellent drumming, and Jasper Hoiby's bass is a decisive solo voice whenever he has the spotlight to himself. Lockheart picked the right title: that's exactly where it takes you. Guardian ****


14/06/2009 About Jazz , John Kelman

It's been four years since saxophonist Mark Lockheart's best-of-year Moving Air (Basho, 2005). Contrasting Moving Air's organic multi-tracking, In Deep goes for purer in-the-moment territory, with a traditional trumpet/sax/piano/bass/drums quintet that's anything but conventional.
Lockheart's ability to evoke a multiplicity of images with his music has been a marker with groups including his 11-piece Scratch Band and the Big Idea sextet that he formed to perform the more complex layering of Moving Air. On In Deep he proves that he is still a compelling composer, but the emphasis here is on playing, and he couldn't have chosen better partners, especially pianist Liam Noble. Whether in duet with drummer Dave Smith on the miniature, form-driven but free-blowing opener, "Stairway," or with the entire quintet on the expansive 10-minute workout of "Surfacing," there's an energy to the group and writing that may avoid harsh extremes, but remains exciting and filled with unpredictability.

The line-up may suggest mainstream, but this is no straight-ahead session. Smith's relentless pulse on "Surfacing," which bolsters Noble's arpeggio-driven backdrop for Lockheart and trumpeter Dave Priseman's unforgettable theme, is as modern as it comes, with its hint of e.s.t.-style backbeat. But when the song's serpentine theme has finished, the quintet dissolves into unexpected freedom that gradually reassumes time while Noble delivers an early solo highlight, brimming with energy that's driven by Jasper Holby's pulsing bass. As impressive as Lockheart was on Moving Air, his playing has become even more muscular, combining the late Michael Brecker's visceral power with his own kind of tension-and-release.

The group doesn't entirely eschew tradition; Lockheart's "Golden People" swings along amiably but in start-and-stop fashion, and again dissolves into open-ended free play as Noble sets a brooding foundation for Lockheart's brief but implication-filled solo. Episodic, with a new, balladic feel and haunting melody, it's a lead-in to a plunger-assisted solo from Priseman that's vocal in timbre but, with the rhythm section telepathically intertwined, impressive in long-form construction.

Noble is featured alone on the dark-hued "Falling," a collaborative composition with Lockheart, while the quirkily funky "Snakeout" is a spontaneous composition by Lockheart, Noble, Holby and Smith. The balance of In Deep focuses on Lockheart's writing; never one to overstay his welcome, "Snakeout" is followed by the more persistently propulsive and through-composed "Nutter," with a complex bass line and staggered theme that leads to some brief but energizing in tandem soloing from Priseman and Lockheart. As rich as the writing, the sequencing is also perfect, as "Nutter" leads to the somewhat more subdued closer, "Sunday soon," where Lockheart's ability to create an almost woody sound from his metal horn sets up his more sinewy solo, lithely navigating a series of changes that in other hands might lose the lyrical potential that this saxophonist always succeeds in finding.

In Deep is a welcome return from a saxophonist who continues to make great music that's as distinctly written as it is performed. A larger audience wouldn't be out of order for an album that possesses a different focus than the superb Moving Air, but is equally impressive.


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