The Turn by Jerome Sabbagh was recorded live by James Farber at Sear Sound, New York City on June 6th 2013 to analogue tape and on this Bee Jazz release from HIGHRESAUDIO it really shows. This is a really fantastic recording in the true tradition of jazz music. There is spontaneity and freedom within the constraints of the song structure and the musicians are laid bare.

Guitar duties are taken by Ben Monder, Bass by Joe Martin, Drums Ted Moor and Jerome Sabbagh plays Tenor Saxophone and is the composer on all the tunes herein other than Once Round The Park by Paul Motian.

Though my appreciation of jazz music is newly found this record had me enthralled by the first tune, The Turn, and the absolutely fantastic distorted guitar that comes in at around the half way point and finishes sounding like rock from the seventies….I couldn’t help but be reminded of Gong for some reason.

There are influences of rock and pop on this record and there other more traditionally jazz styles layered in there too.

The second track on the album, Long Gone is a laid back and cool affair and it is the inventiveness of the improvisation that really make this, and other songs really work. This quartet have been together for ten years and it really shows. The drumming of Ted Moor is solid and yet agile, the bass underpins the grooves brilliantly, the guitar of Ben Monder are at times delicate and at others more hard hitting and all this is topped of by Sabbagh’s tenor sax which adds dimension and a lyrical focal point on which to focus.

This is a Jazz record that will surely appeal to those who are relatively new to the genre…it’s not too challenging and there’s a real feeling of a more ‘rocky’ feel to some of the tunes.

The guitar is what makes this record for me and on The Turn, Cult and Banshee you’d be forgiven that you weren’t listening to one of the great rock guitarists helping the jazzsters out whilst his band were off the road. That said this is definitely jazz, very accomplished jazz, that has a somewhat broader appeal than it may well have had by the use of clever composition and instrumentation topped off by an absolutely wonderful recording.

I loved it!

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