Mr Hipster

Artist: Paul Edis

Date of Release: 29/09/2014

Catalogue no: EM1

Label: Paul Edis Music

Price: £10

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Track Listing







The Timothys



Mr Hipster






Serial For Breakfast



Knight Errant



Ah Um



Dorian Grey



Missing You



Better Than A Punch In The Face



Lost In Translation











10/09/2014 Russell Corbett

Mr Hipster is the second CD release from the Paul Edis Sextet. Recorded in October 2013, the album comprises eleven tracks composed and arranged by pianist Paul Edis. The bandleader’s pen ranges from township jazz to the modern jazz of a small combo, hinting at the prospect of a future larger ensemble project.
The Timothys opens the recording with a graceful brass band statement concealing the township jazz groove to follow, on which trumpeter Graham Hardy lays down the first of several top flight solos from a band replete with soloists. Chris Hibbard (trombone) proves the point with his own solo opportunity and Edis serves to reinforce it.
Mr Hipster, the title track, attempts to gain entry to the local juke joint. A playful intro suggests Mr Hipster doesn’t take himself too seriously (more Inspector Clouseau than Philip Marlowe). Once inside the joint the music does the talking; Hibbard’s trombone, the band’s casually ferocious swing, Adam Sinclair’s Clouseau hi-hat.

Eastern features Graeme Wilson’s haunting tenor solo framed by Edis’ voicings of the horns and Wilson again delivers a mature contribution on Serial for Breakfast as does Hibbard backed by a swinging rhythm section. The baroque Knight Errant is, perhaps, the atypical contribution to the CD. Edis’ piano arranges a trip to the local fleapit for a low-budget, no name, popcorn treat with Hardy sweeping across the silver screen.

Ah Um tells you all you need to know – superb small group jazz, the man Mingus the guiding light with Hibbard reaching for the stars. Dorian Grey confirms the sextet as a match for any contemporary outfit doing the rounds; Wilson’s tenor, Mick Shoulder’s bass playing, two-handed piano playing. Edis’ personal ballad Missing You opens with the trio – piano, bass and drums – in late-night mode, inviting Hardy’s flugelhorn to say something sensitive. From ballad to swing time with the wonderfully titled Better Than a Punch in the Face. Hardy switches to trumpet, has a blow, then steps aside for the boss to play some, then Shoulder, the ensemble playing exemplary. The penultimate track – Lost in Translation – hits a groove with the versatile Wilson flying on baritone, propelled by Shoulder and Sinclair. Mr Hipster winds down with the familiar sounding Vignette. Who wrote it? Paul Edis, that’s who. Mr Hipster is sure to feature in 2014’s ‘best of’ lists. It may well take no.1 spot.


08/09/2014 John Toolan

Twelve months ago “Jazz Goes To Leeds” favourably discussed the Paul Edis “Not Like Me” and “There Will Be Time” album releases, and now, his latest release “Mr Hipster” is by no means a disappointing follow up. With a front line armoury of trumpet, tenor saxophone and trombone, the sound may be bigger and bolder, but the compositions and improvisations still hold that characteristic trademark of crispness and flair that we would come to expect from him. “The Timothys” and “Mr Hipster” are perky compositions that illustrate what this sextet is capable of. On first hearing these opening tracks one is drawn to make comparisons with the soundtrack music of Henry Mancini (even before the liner notes make reference to the Pink Panther). “Eastern” holds many of the tender qualities that we have seen from previous releases, but bolsters those romantic elements with a larger, more robust sound. The sentiment is still present, but the voice has become somehow richer. “Serial for Breakfast” has quirkiness reminiscent of some of the luscious Mingus big band arrangements. A number of these pieces would not look too out of place as film soundtracks, as can be evidenced on “Knight Errant” for example. Imagine a heat hazed desert panorama through which the man with no name rides enigmatically, and you get some idea of the images evoked. Imagine a 1970’s American police drama or Blaxploitation film and you get a feeling for “Lost In Translation”. Only the addition of wah wah guitar could complete the picture. The nod to the work of Charlie Mingus becomes more recognisable on “Ah Um” and “Better Than A Punch In The Face” with their strident motifs supported by flurries of brass. “Dorian Grey” has an almost sacred romanticism, which provides the perfect vehicle for some devotional brass and piano soloing. That romantic thread continues through the delicate, gossamer thin lines of “Missing You”. These pages have likened Paul Edis’ playing to that of Keith Jarrett, and here again we hear his playing rich with melancholy and sensitivity. The gracefulness continues with the albums closing “Vignette”. There is a desperate ache here; a sultry ache that comes from hours spent drinking alone in sleazy bars. Here really is the wonder of the music of Paul Edis, in that each piece is so utterly suggestive of mood and experience, and for many of us, that is the essence of why we seek out and engulf music.

Mention should also be made of the Alistair Graham cover caricature of Paul on the album cover. In an age when album artwork is a dying form, cheeky imagery such as this should be encouraged and congratulated.


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