CD review: Jim Blomfield Trio

wave formsWave Forms and Sea Changes
(Pig 05)

Bristol-based pianist Jim Blomfield has played with Andy Hague and Ben Waghorn and is most often heard with Kevin Figes. Indeed his debut album, released 15 years ago now, featured all three musicians. His current project is a trio with Roshan ‘Tosh’ Wijetunge on bass and Mark Whitlam on drums. This recording exhibits Blomfield’s penchant for Latin-hued jazz and McCoy Tyner’s blues-based piano style. The trio shares some similarities with other contemporary rock/jazz piano trios such as The Bad Plus, but with a modern classical influence.

The Latin side of Blomfield’s compositions is best heard on the funky, swinging Rum Thing and the jaunty Return of the Easton Walk. Now and Zen is an intricate, quickly evolving piece with a yearning quality. The McCoy Tyner influence comes to the fore on N Trance, and the vibrant Pier Pressure, propelled by Whitlam’s inventive rock drums, is another highlight.

The album was recorded in the Victorian chapel of The Royal High School in Bath and this definitely adds an extra dimension to the spacious, bright sound on this CD.

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