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- Flight is without doubt Dave Stapleton’s finest record to date. Many artists have their ambitions but rarely are these fulfilled with such artistry and beauty. Already recognised as a writer of beautiful, lyrical tunes, Flight, Stapleton’s eighth release as a leader, marks a giant leap forward and establishes him as one of the most ambitious composers in jazz.
Flight is much, much more than just jazz with strings. It is a work that combines its different elements both seamlessly and gracefully. The jazz quartet here features saxophonist Marius Neset and bassist Dave Kane, both Edition recording artists in their own right, as well as the remarkable talents of drummer Olavi Louhivuori. This is a new group brought together for this album, yet these musicians sound like they’ve worked together for years, such is the empathy and sensitivity of their playing and interaction. But more than that there is a subtlety and poise in the way that these performers combine with the forward looking, London based Brodowski String Quartet.
Everything is in balance, in harmony. Listen to how Neset’s tenor emerges against a backcloth of strings and piano on Henryk Part II – authoritative but not grandstanding. And hear how beautifully both quartets negotiate the suite-like changing moods of closer North Wind. With fine judgement, Stapleton leaves the final moments of this piece and the record to just strings and piano. It is quite perfect.
There are 74 minutes of music on Flight and not one single second is wasted. Opening with just the string quartet on Before, it then allows the jazz group their head on Polaroid before bringing both together on the gorgeous, limpid Henryk Part 1. Whether it’s the sombre, courtly elegance of Unity or Whisper or the exquisite lightness of touch of Running East, the sheer range of music here is breathtaking. With Flight, Dave Stapleton’s emergence as a major figure in British and European jazz is complete.
- Dave Stapleton
Dave Stapleton - piano
Marius Neset - tenor saxophone
Dave Kane - double bass
Olavi Louhivuori - drums
Brodowski String Quartet:
David Brodowski 1st violin, Catrin Win Morgan 2nd violin, Felix Tanner viola, Reinoud Ford cello
- 1 CD - 1h 14mn 22s
release date. 2012-05-07