CD REVIEW: Freddie Gavita - Transient



Freddie Gavita - Transient
(Froggy Records Frog001. CD Review by Peter Jones)


British trumpet star Freddie Gavita is now a respectable married man in his thirties, and since this is his debut album, you might think the ‘transient’ quality of the title was about how the man himself feels as he enters his early maturity. In fact, as he explains in his LondonJazz News podcast interview (link below) it’s more to do with the way jazz dips into the moment, and tunes played one way on Monday might sound very different on Tuesday.

His career to date could hardly look more auspicious: he’s a member of and writer for Ronnie Scott's late-show fixture Fletch’s Brew, as well as a member of the Scott’s house band (currently led by James Pearson) and the Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Orchestra. This well-overdue album features his own quartet, which has been together for ten years – more than enough time to record an album and get it released. Gavita raised the cash (£5,429) from crowdfunding website Kickstarter – an increasingly popular method of getting music into the wider world. It’s just a shame no individual pledged £1,000, for which you could have got the whole band to come round and play a bespoke gig in your house.

Gavita is known as an exponent of the groove in jazz and an open, fluid Freddie Hubbard tone, both of these qualities exemplified by the album’s sandwich-oriented opener Strimming the Ham, a pleasantly lumbering waltz whose rhythmic figure is laid down by Tom Cawley on piano. Turneround, the tune that follows, is another groover, this one dedicated to Gavita’s trumpeter friend, the late Richard Turner. There’s warmth and variety here too, as on the ballad Beloved, originally written for trombonist Callum Au, or the coolly swinging Pull Your Socks.

Playing with this band Gavita describes as comfortable yet risky – like ‘being wrapped up in a nice warm sleeping bag and then being chucked off a cliff’. This inherent danger does not extend to the listener, thankfully. Instead we can indulge ourselves in some fine, relaxed playing and extended playing times: most tracks are around the six-minute mark, and one or two considerably longer.

Gavita doesn’t find it necessary to grandstand, either by brandishing his chops or by sidelining his fellow band-members, all of whom have ample space to solo: Lion-O, for example, is a showcase for James Maddren, beginning with his tinkling cymbal work, and pausing throughout for a number of mini drum solos. And on Iverson Oddity, Calum Gourlay is given a chance to stretch out on bass.

Transient is launched Upstairs at Ronnie Scott’s on 19th April, and there is a tour in the offing, following official release on the 28th. 

LINK: Podcast interview

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