Monday 30 October 2023

Posted by Gerry Hectic | File under : , , ,

As regular readers know, we love our jazz (in many forms) so when we get a quartet album led by a jazz guitarist that's celebrates the source of a river in Wales, let's dive in.

Will Barnes, he of said electric guitar and the rest of Will Barnes Quartet; James Batten (drums), Jack Gonsalez (piano) and Clovis Phillips (bass), have found their own swing on this nine track album that has it's own jazz bubbling spring vibe that's reflected in the titles, 'The Mad March Hare', 'Lie Mae Trefaldwyn' (that echoes a little of 'Greensleeves' in an upbeat Coltrane Quartet way) and the title track of course.

When you say "jazz guitar", if you don't get a blank look, there's usually just a handfull of "known" names such as Wes Montgomery, Pat Metheny, George Benson, Gábor Szabó and if you're really old, Charlie Christian, Jim Hall and Kenny Burrell.  But there's loads more from the more rock orientated John McLaughlin to Philip Catherine to Larry Coryell and the classical Paco de Lucía.

What's so cool about this album is that the band can cut a jazz-blues like 'The Dragon's Tail' (Ed. how Welsh) and the listener can almost touch the fun that band are having playing this (they must be great live - see gig dates below).  The same can be said of 'Passing Time' (at some speed) and, best of all, is their near stripped down Mulau Astatke-esque 'Marchia Wallia'.

Tom Misch (popular with the kids these days) is a fan (he of 'What Kinda Music', the album released on Blue Note with the equally fantastic Yussef Dayes a couple of years ago) and if you liked the album's by other axe exponents, Enrico Bracco (see review HERE) and Enrico Le Noci (see review HERE) you'll love this even more!

PS. the great cover artwork is by landscape artist Erin Hughes. 

Artist: Will Barnes Quartet

Title: Source Of The Severn

Release date: 3rd November, 2023

Label : AAB Records

Catalog Number : AAB-232-LP / Digital / Bandcamp

LIVE DATES 2023/24



06 & 07.10 Oriel Davies, Newtown

03.11 SpArC Theatre, Bishops Castle

04.11 Hermon Arts, Oswestry

18.11 Clarence Hall, Crickhowell

24.11 Aberystwyth Arts Centre

25.11 Hanging Gardens, Llanidloes

12.01 STOP Café Bar, Shrewsbury

13.01 Mid Border Arts, Presteigne

26.01 Elysium Gallery, Swansea


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