(4 / 5)
The title as it is written on the CD cover is a tad misleading. It says III after the band’s name, and then “Moment Gone In The Clouds”. Makes it look like the band is called Indigo Kid III. It’s not!
Clear as mud, eh? The III is supposed to tell us this is their third album. Now you know. Shall we move on?
This is a lovely album. Some beautiful compositions, beautifully played too. The main man Dan Messore on guitar, writes it all, joined here by his gifted mates Gareth Lockrane on flute, Calum Gourlay on bass and Tim Giles on drums. Produced by Dan, eight tracks on the band’s third album. Oh, I’ve said that already. Well just to make sure I get it right…III = Three, OK?
Still a quartet as on the other two previous records, but a new lineup for this one. The styles of jazz here is a mixed bag: Latin rhythms, songbook ballads, post-bop, funk, jazz-rock, exploratory stuff…it’s all here. No vocals to be found; all instrumental.
You may also pick out wee traces of English folk, Americana, rock, pop and soul…African And South American traditions for sure. Previous music writers have made comparisons with the likes of Frisell, Metheny, Scofield, Rosenwinkel and jazz guitar guys from earlier eras. Fair enough. I get it.
Me; I hear Messore and no one else. He’s got his own style to my ears. That said; I did also cast my mind back to the likes of the wonderful Jim Mullen and even Jeff Beck at times. Oh, and Charlie Byrd and Joe Pass too.
So, in hindsight, maybe those guys have this cool cat nailed and I need to listen again a few more times. But it matters not; Messore deserves to have his name mentioned in the same breath of those guitar legends. He is that good here. He also shares the same trait as the greats; he never over plays. It’s all about FEEL.
Some of the material here nodded towards the likes of modern day masters Snarky Puppy and then just as quickly, veered away from that, to more traditional jazz fare. Whatever the style, it all sits snugly next to each other in the running order here.
No one player or instrument outshines the others here. Very much an ensemble sound and the chemistry between all four is everything. I thought the bass and drums added HUGE value, but then again; the flute is world class and Messore’s guitar playing is Premier Divison.
Re: the flute; Gareth turns in a blinding solo on track seven: “Monsoon”. Stunning. But the drums, bass and guitar on that cut provide him with the ultimate backdrop to shine. The final cut, “Mr Burton”, is perhaps the slickest and most infectious composition of the set.
Previous Indigo Kid albums featured Messore with Iain Ballamy, Tim Harries and Gethin Jones on the debut album in 2012, and with Ballamy, Trish Clowes, Tim Harries and Martin France on the second record in 2015.
I love the space they leave across these compositions and the ethereal and unobtrusive nature of the flute instead of the saxophone. It gives a totally different sonic vibe to the whole thing, and a gorgeously chilled ambience.
Messore also gets stuck into other projects away from Indigo Kid. Lacuna, the quintet with trumpeter Steve Waterman, Sky Barkers; a vocal trio with his wife, The Trust Trio with bassist Adrian Thorne and drummer Mark O’Connor, and as a member of the grunge-folk Welsh band Little Arrow and the Bristol-based Michelson Morley.
He has coordinated an Edinburgh fringe show, curated a music festival and played two residencies at London’s Vortex club. He gained an MA in jazz at the Royal Welsh Music College of Music and Drama in Cardiff in 2006.
This is an essential listen if you look to discover exciting, breath-of-fresh-air jazz from four exceptionally talented master craftsmen who have dropped a very accomplished piece of work that deserves much praise and attention. Finally, in case you missed it, this is their third album! Bring on number four PDQ, please guys…
By Simon Redley
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’