Dinosaur: To The Earth

In brief:
"...a stripped-back return to jazz’s acoustic roots ... a fresh contemporary take on traditional styles ... early jazz and rag motifs of stop-time and trumpet wah-wahs find a place"

The third album by British jazz quartet Dinosaur feels a bit like a change in direction for the group; in contrast to the turbulent synth-driven grooves of Wonder Trail (2018), To The Earth is a stripped-back return to jazz’s acoustic roots, proving that the group are not be pigeon-holed in their musical output.

The group present a fresh contemporary take on traditional styles. The early jazz and rag motifs of stop-time and trumpet wah-wahs find a place in the lazy and brooding Slow Loris, while Billy Strayhorn’s Absinthe is adorned with percussive rattles and the occasional bit of synth (an otherwise sparse inclusion on the album).

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These tunes, adorned with crafty improvisations, demonstrate a tight and satisfying interplay, particularly between trumpeter and bandleader Laura Jurd and pianist Elliot Galvin. The pair often share, in unison, quirky little melody lines – such as on the fun and upbeat Banning Street Blues – or bounce off one another with eclectic solo passages, as in the album’s opening title track. 

These seven “joyfully crafted melodies” – as Jurd herself has described them – are equally joyful to listen to; Dinosaur approach composition and improvisation with a dynamism that is wholly enjoyable to hear.

Discography
To The Earth; Slow Loris; Mosking; Held By Water; Absinthe; Banning Street Blues; For One (41.18)
Laura Jurd (t, flh); Elliot Galvin (p, syn); Connor Chaplin (b); Corrie Dick (d). Livingston Studios, London, 22-23 October 2019.
Edition EDN1154

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