House of Leaves
Label: Just East of Jazz
Don't flex with me; Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves; House of leaves; Cadenza for Serafina; Mbira mbump; Dropping like skies; Fault lines; Saraweto; Inchyra
Rick Finlay: drums, percussion; Jeremy Shoham: reeds; Phil Scragg: bass; Neil Angilley: keys, accordion; Oren Marshall (guest): tuba; Hilary Cameron (guest): vocals
Written and arranged in their secret underground laboratory by the long-standing line-up of Jeremy Shoham (sax/clarinet), Neil Angilley (keys/accordion), Phil Scragg (basses) and Rick Finlay (drums/percussion/vocal), House of Leaves paints a strong visual image through 9 tracks of enormous variety, in the great Just East tradition. Once again the band journey out from their recording base in North London to take on the world, from the exotic Middle- East-meets-dancefloor ‘Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves’ to the African colours of ‘Saraweto’ and ‘Mbira Mbump’, via the arthouse-filmscore ‘House of leaves’ and the hard-edged fusion of ‘Don’t flex with me’ (a nod to banjo pioneer Bela Fleck). The extraordinary empathy between the band is evident not just in the finesse of the performances but also in the soundscape behind the idiosyncratic improvisations…be it the lyrical lines of Shoham’s soprano sax, the latin & blues-rooted voice of Neil Angilley, or the wonderfully unpredictable noises emanating from Scragg’s bass. The album includes guest artist Oren Marshall playing his unique adapted tuba, the Orenophone, on the New Orleans- flavoured ‘Fault lines’, and also a welcome appearance by former band-member Hilary Cameron on ‘Inchyra’, a sweet closer to another odyssey of delight from this extraordinary and long-lived quartet of musicians.
Album uploaded by Rick Finlay