Corrie Dick: Sun Swells

Like many in recent years, the Scottish drummer and Trinity Laban grad overlays indie rock and folk structures with jazzy solos

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South-east London resident and alumnus of Trinity Laban’s jazz degree course (where he won a gold medal), Scottish drummer and composer Corrie Dick has been highly visible on the UK jazz scene for several years now. In addition to leading his own group, he’s a member of Blue-Eyed Hawk, Chaos Orchestra, the Elliot Galvin Trio and Laura Jurd’s Dinosaur and has also recorded with guitarist Rob Luft on Riser (Edition, 2017) and on Danish bass virtuoso Jasper Høiby’s Fellow Creatures (Edition, 2016).

Incidentally, this record reunites the same quintet found on Riser (Luft, Dick, Joe Wright, Joe Webb and Tom McCredie) and Luft’s Life Is The Dancer (Edition, 2020).

This long-overdue follow-up to Dick’s debut album Impossible Things (Chaos Collective, 2015) is populated by some of the UK’s most prominent young jazz musicians. The overall vibe is nearer to indie rock than jazz, but it’s classy, often gripping stuff and replete with jazzy interspersions as evidenced for example by Joe Wright’s stentorian tenor solo on Fingers Full Of Meaning and Laura Jurd’s elegant trumpet flourishes on Everything The Light Touches. The folky ballad Golden Flowers is gorgeously rendered by Alice Zawadzki’s sumptuous voice.

Aside from the occasional folkish vibe there’s also something of a poetry meets jazz element, heard in Marianna Sangita’s spoken intro to Sinking and more conclusively on We Were Green, where Dave Malkin recites rather than sings. Malkin and Sangita wrote all the lyrics to the six vocal tracks and very affecting they are; the album’s title is derived from a line in the opening track Warehouse.

In addition to the lyrics there’s some instrumental intrigue here, such as in Says Who? which includes uncredited, wordless high-pitched vocals (or maybe vocal sampling) alternating between dramatic ensemble lines that add heft to the quirkiness of a short but memorable track. 

Discography
Warehouse; Fingers Full Of Meaning; Sinking; She Speaks; Says Who?; Everything The Light Touches; Golden Flowers; We Were Green; Light Blue Igloo; The River (40.54)
Dick (d, pc); Rob Luft (elg); Joe Wright (ts); Laura Jurd (t); Matt Robinson (p, syn); Joe Webb (org); Tom McCredie (b, elb); Tom Moore (vla); Dave Malkin, Marianna Sangita, Alice Zawadzki (v). No location or date given, but likely UK, c. 2022.
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