Head First by John Turville
This debut quintet release, Head First, includes such esteemed names as saxophonist Julian Argüelles, double bassist Dave Whitford, drummer James Maddren; and, perhaps a new name to some, versatile trumpeter Robbie Robson.
Inspired greatly by the music of mentor John Taylor, as well as Kenny Wheeler, Turville was one of many artists who came together for the Jazz Piano Summit concert of 2015 dedicated to Taylor’s immeasurable musical legacy. There, Turville presented his own homage, ‘A Perfect Foil’, igniting a desire to realize originals and interpretations for an expanded line-up. The resulting collaboration, featuring Julian Argüelles, is a radiant celebration of British jazz creativity, which also confirms the pianist’s mastery of composition and performance.
Brisk samba, ‘Head First’, characterised by bass and piano features, leads to ‘Ennerdale’, whose yearning horns and lush pianism evoke the serenity of The Lake District (listen out for the quotation of Taylor’s ‘Ambleside’); and a gossamer trumpet-and-piano arrangement of Diego Schissi’s ‘Cancion 4’ echoes a certain Wheeler melancholy. Turville’s championing of favorite artists continues with a blithe piano trio take on Brazilian jazz guitarist Toninho Horta’s ‘Francisca’, while the tenor fluidity of Julian Argüelles’ ‘A Month in Tunisia’ is buoyed by Whitford’s and Maddren’s West African-pulsed precision. Lisztian mystery threads through ‘Cyclic Chorale’s tentative trio openness before the set closes with a luxuriously swinging interpretation of Michel Petrucciani’s ‘Beautiful But Why’.
Head First is available to download on BandCamp.