“Get it!” – the new CD from the Clive Fenner Quartet released on the Jazzizit label.
**** Derek Ansell, Jazz Journal
With a great sound from experienced engineer Dil Katz and deft performances from Martin Hathaway—alto sax, Mark Ridout—electric guitar, Geoff Gascoyne—acoustic and electric bass, and Clive Fenner –drums, it is hard to believe that this CD was recorded in concert.
This is an exciting and unusual selection of numbers that keeps the band from fitting into any easy jazz classification. Instead what we have is a group of excellent improvisers interracting together and stretching out in a variety of different moods and feels.
There are swingers including “ Midnight Voyage” and “ Topsy”, an all out rock blast on the funky “ Green Chimney” ( with a nod in the direction of Miles’” Right Off “) a melodic bossa take on “ The Shadow of your Smile” , Ornettes “ Ramblin” and a beautiful version of the Beach Boys classic “God Only Knows.”
With a great choice of material, the strength and interest here is in the individual and group performances. Martin Hathaway ( Michael Garrick Qt. and Big Band) has a deceptively simple and direct style which gets to the heart of melodies like “ Shadow of you Smile” and “ God Only Knows” but has an edge of “playing out” which always gives bite and surprise .
Mark Ridout on electric guitar rips it up on the rocky “ Green Chimneys” and “ I’ll take Les” but shows the depth of his abilities and experience with the beautiful supporting chord work and solos on the gentler numbers.
Electric and acoustic bassist Geoff Gascoyne demonstrates just why he has been a first call player with the like of Jamie Cullum, Peter king and Georgie Fame. From his walking bass lines on the swingers to his funky interplay with the guitar on the classic “ Take Les” and his improvisations on the outro of “ God Only Knows” he is full of ideas throughout.
Drummer and Band Leader Clive Fenner never takes a drum-led spotlight but always plays a full part in the band interplay, always swinging, listening and supporting and prepared to step-up and have a bash when needed.
A great listening CD—“ Get It! “