UK jazz outfit Resolution 88 release their latest studio album, Revolutions, combining a passion for the classic jazz-funk of the 70s with the ultra modern. Having supported the likes of Snarky Puppy and Roy Ayers, their presence on the UK jazz scene is increasing rapidly, and with good reason.
Keys player Tom O’Grady composed and arranged the entire album, apart from the lyrics on the sixth track Dig Deep, which are written and performed by vocalist Marcus Tenney. O’Grady uses a host of classic instruments such as Rhodes, Wurlitzer, and Clavinet D6, which adds the classic, vintage warmth that came to define jazz funk through the work of musicians like George Duke and Herbie Hancock, and the band even thank the latter in the liner notes. Alex Hitchcock’s woodwind playing brings a great melodic element, particularly to the opener, Pitching Up, and the winding, bebop inspired riff on the title track.
The rhythm section is exceptionally tight, with Tiago Coimbra on bass, Ric Elsworth on drums, and percussionist Oli Blake in grooving synchronicity throughout, with Blake also adding samples and effects. The five piece enlist a number of musicians through the album, including a string section that features intermittently. Horns are used on the fourth track Runout Groove, contributing bright, funky stabs. The production is excellent, and throughout Revolutions luscious electronic effects are blended with crisp, warm acoustics. Matrix is a personal highlight, with a thundering bass underpinning shimmering synths.
Revolutions is fantastic, setting a high standard for current UK jazz. Resolution 88 are playing a selection of dates in Europe over February, and the album is available on CD, digital download, and vinyl.
Pitching Up; Out Of Sync; Revolutions; Runout Groove; Sample Hunter; Dig Deep; Matrix; Tracking Force; Warped Memories (45.46)
Tom O’Grady (p, kyb, elp, syn, tb); Alex Hitchcock (ts, f, bcl); Marcus Tenney (v); Tiago Coimbra (b); Ric Elsworth (d); Oli Blake (pc), and others. London, no date.
Légère Recordings, no number