Winner of the Parliamentary Jazz Award for Best Media, 2019


by Ian Mann

April 20, 2006


Well crafted and well played. This is a highly promising debut with the potential of greater things to come.

This is the debut recording of the young London based saxophonist and his quartet. The album was recorded in a “live in the studio” situation which in Lavers’ own words “enabled us to converse freely, heightening interaction and dialogue.”

The recordings best moments come when the music does “exactly what it says on the tin.” For instance the title track starts quietly and promises to be just another ballad but soon shades off into a more “free” approach to improvisation with a genuine musical dialogue between the four players. However, they never lose sight of the overall framework of Lavers’ attractive composition and the track “Stretch” certainly lives up to its name.

“On Scene-Off Screen” with it’s beautiful arco bass introduction by Zoltan Dekeny follows a similar path and if anything is even more impressive, the use of the bow on the bass being quite inspired.

Dekeny studied bass in the US with the great Charlie Haden. He couldn’t have wished for a better tutor and Dekeny shines throughout the album both with and without the bow. He contributes excellent pizzicato solos on both “Ceremony” and “the Chan Clan” and comes close to stealing the show.

Lavers has written a well-programmed set of original compositions. However, nothing else quite matches the breadth of colour shown in “Stretch” and “On Scene-Off Screen”. The other tunes though well crafted and well played tend to be a little anonymous.

Nevertheless this is a highly promising debut with the potential of greater things to come. The band, completed by pianist Terry Collie and drummer John Perry play immaculately throughout. Engineer Dave Cook who co-produces with Lavers deserves credit for an excellent mix.

The album is released on Lavers’ own label (catalogue number RLM 1) and Anna Chan deserves praise for the professional artwork and packaging.

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