Ivo Neame: Glimpses Of Truth

Pianist leads set of originals that could have been further developed but some bubbling piano and trumpets with a Spanish feel are a delight


The music here was apparently performed and put together remotely, at the height of the first wave of the pandemic, and it must have been a steep learning curve for Ivo Neame. In the main, it’s an impressive achievement.

Rise Of The Lizard People, a possible reference to the conspiracy theorists, starts promisingly, piano-led with shimmering saxes, disparate elements that give way to well constructed solos. Perhaps this refers to the title and is a reflection of how rationality and thought can overcome forces of chaos.

Similarly, tempo and feeling are altered on Strega, which begins with hints of a speeded-up Train And The River (Jimmy Giuffre), gets into a groove but is then jettisoned and it goes off in a different direction, albeit one with a well-rounded trumpet solo. Phasing Song has some mesmeric repetition of phrase, but once again falls away. In this way, it is well titled as “Glimpses” as some sections could have been developed further.

Having said that, there are some excellent tracks – Broken Brains, with its bubbling piano and warm tenor solo; Persevere Part 1, a deep undercurrent of sound and full brass, shades of Gil Evans, paving the way for a piano trio section in which Neame and bassist Tom Farmer show great rapport. There’s something in Neame’s playing here that brings to mind the Hancock/Hill arrangements from classic Blue Note sessions, and this continues on Persevere Part 2, which is largely a feature for the vibes of Jim Hart, interacting with Neame and the rhythm section to great effect. The addition of the orchestra at the end is far more in keeping with the context of the track.

The aptly named Ghostly Figure brings the album to a close; atmospheric with an other-worldliness given by electric keyboard (not dissimilar to the spooky sound of a theremin) but, odd that it may sound, the slightly incongruous Spanish feel to the trumpets is a delight.

The Rise Of The Lizard People; Strega; Broken Brains; Phasing Song; Persevere Part 1; Persevere Part 2; Ghostly Figure (40.19)
Ivo Neame (p, s); Noel Langley, Ingrid Jensen (t); Trevor Mires (tb); Gareth Lockrane (f); Nathaniel Facey (as); George Crowley (ts); Jason Yarde (bar); Jim Hart (vib); Gilad Hekselman (g); Tom Farmer (b); James Maddren, Jon Scott (d). Musicians’ homes & studios, UK, June 2020.
Whirlwind Recordings WR472