by Ian Mann
August 21, 2020
An impressive opening statement. There is much joy and energy in these effervescent and vivacious performances, but this is not just ‘party’ music, there is a high level of musical sophistication too.
(Ubuntu Music UBU0063)
Trevor Mires – trombone, Ryan Quigley – trumpet, Paul Booth – saxes, flute, bass clarinet
with; Alex Wilson – piano, Dimitris Christopoulos – bass, Edwin Sanz – percussion,
Tristan Banks / Davide Giovanni – drums
Trypl is a new band co-founded by trombonist Trevor Mires, trumpeter Ryan Quigley and saxophonist Paul Booth. The band name is one of those composite affairs, sourced from the letters of their first names – Trevor, Ryan and Paul.
The majority of the compositions also come from the pens of three, but Trypl is emphatically a band, with its other members, pianist Alex Wilson, bassist Dimitris Christopoulos and percussionist Edwin Sanz also making substantial contributions to the overall sound. Drumming duties are divided pretty much equally between Tristan Banks and Davide Giovanni, suggesting that the album was documented at two separate recording sessions.
The three co-founders have often worked together and describe the inspiration behind the band thus;
“Having had the immense pleasure of doing many gigs and recordings together as a horn section it soon transpired that we had all spent many of our formative years as professional musicians touring and recording with many great salsa, boogaloo and merengue bands, both in the UK and around the world. From this, combined with our love for the latin-jazz idiom, the fast paced, high impact and groovy seed for TRYPL was born”.
Not surprisingly the focus of the album is exclusively on Latin jazz styles. Trumpeter Quigley takes up the story;
“Jazz music and Latin influenced music are definitely natural bedfellows and the influence of Latin rhythms in jazz of course has been constant, right back, most famously perhaps, to Dizzy Gillespie with Chano Pozo. This Latin influence has always been there since my early days in Scotland when I literally knew nothing, but felt the exotic grooves and infectious harmonies.”
The album was recorded at Wincraft Studios, Steve Winwood’s private studio in the Cotswolds. Booth has worked extensively with Winwood, hence the invitation.
“It’s a beautiful location”, explains Mires, “set in the picturesque countryside of the Cotswolds, and it provided the perfect, inspirational setting to make and record music along with some of our favourite musician friends”.
As individuals the three founding members of Trypl boast a dazzling string of credits for their work as session musicians, too numerous to list in full here but including some of the biggest names in the music business.
But away from the ‘money gigs’ all retain a commitment to jazz. Booth has released a number of solo jazz recordings, the most recent of these being “Travel Sketches”, released in 2019 and reviewed here; https://www.thejazzmann.com/reviews/review/paul-booth-travel-sketches
In recent years his growing interest in world music styles has led to him forming two different ensembles, the Patchwork Project and the Bansangu Orchestra. The début releases from both bands are reviewed elsewhere on the Jazzmann. Booth also runs his own Pathway record label. I’m also particularly partial to his work with bassist, composer and Whirlwind record label owner Michael Janisch.
Quigley is perhaps best known to jazz listeners as a member of the long running Scottish reeds and brass quartet Brass Jaw, but he has also worked with many other prominent Scottish jazz musicians including saxophonist Tommy Smith, bassist Euan Burton and drummer Alyn Cosker. Quigley is a member of the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, the acclaimed national institution directed by Tommy Smith. He has also released two solo albums, the latest of which, 2016’s “What Doesn’t Kill You”, is reviewed here;
The quintet that toured the UK in support of the album included the American jazz pianist Geoffrey Keezer. A frequent award winner Quigley is also an acclaimed educator and holds a teaching post at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Mires is perhaps the least well known of the three and I know his playing best from a variety of London based large ensembles such as the Gareth Lockrane Big Band, Julian Siegel Big Band and the Sam Leak Big Band. Like Quigley he is also a member of Booth’s Bansangu Orchestra. He has also worked with American trumpeter Randy Brecker, has been a member of the funk outfits Jamiroquai and Incognito, and is currently trombonist / arranger for Sir Tom Jones.
Turning now to the album itself, which kicks off with Booth’s composition “BoJo”, apparently dedicated to two members of the Winwood road crew rather than the buffoon at No. 10. Subtly powered by Christopoulos’ slinky electric bass line and the patter of drums and percussion it owes something to Horace Silver’s Latin jazz stylings, albeit with a bit more of a Cuban twist. The three co-leaders combine on the introduction, but eventually strike out on their own, Quigley going first with a highly articulate trumpet solo that combines a brassy stridency with great fluency and technique. He’s followed by Booth on the tenor, who plays with a gritty but lucid authority. Sanz, a distinctive and impressive presence throughout the album then dazzles with his percussion solo, demonstrating his skills as a conganista. There’s still time for some exuberant interplay between the horns towards the close, with Quigley’s trumpet again soaring into the upper registers.
Mires counts in his own “Nodge”, a steamy slice of pure salsa featuring infectious, bubbling rhythms and more dazzling high register trumpet from Quigley. There’s also a rumbustious piano solo from Wilson, a musician with a CV at least on a par with those of the co-leaders and a pianist with an encyclopaedic knowledge of Latin rhythms and piano styles. Wilson remains a vital and distinctive presence throughout the album. Mires also weighs in with a rousing trombone solo and there’s also something of a ‘percussion battle’ between Sanz and Giovanni. Exciting stuff.
Quigley’s first offering with the pen is “Bailar Toda La Noche”, a title translating as “Dance All Night Long”. The three horns combine effectively as they bring a jazz flavour to the Latin rhythms fermenting beneath. Booth’s solo offers another example of his gritty tenor playing as he digs in powerfully. He’s followed, almost seamlessly by the fruity sounds of Mires on trombone and the burnished tones of Quigley on trumpet, again reaching up into the higher registers. Wilson then takes over, combining well with Sanz, who also enjoys an extended solo percussion break at the close.
There’s no letting up with regards to the energy levels as Booth picks up the pen again for “El Viaje Al Sur” (translating as “the voyage, or journey, to the South”). Intricate horn arrangements combine with percolating Afro-Cuban rhythms, with Wilson’s piano again a vital component of the music. The first ‘solo’ here is a virtuoso percussion feature for Sanz, who is followed by Mires’ agile trombone. Booth takes over with an incisive tenor solo, scything his way through the busy rhythms bubbling beneath. Wilson then provides the link into a feature for Giovanni at the drum kit, before Booth doubles on flute as he combines with Mires and Quigley in the tune’s closing stages.
I’ve already mentioned Wilson’s importance to the group and he takes up the compositional reins for “Scallywag”, a tune apparently inspired by the antics of Mires’ two young sons. Their youthful vitality is captured by surging rhythms and the dizzying complexity of the interlocking horn lines in the opening section. The band ease back on the throttle prior to Mires’ more languid trombone solo, this followed by the treated, vocalised sounds of Christopoulos’ electric bass. Booth then takes over on soprano sax as the energy levels begin to increase once more, culminating in an extended drum and percussion battle featuring Banks and Sanz. This intriguing piece concludes with something of a reprise of the opening section, as the horns again exchange complexities above the seething rhythms.
Quigley’s “Pasado Olvidado” introduces itself with a rousing horn driven theme before handing over to the individual soloists, with the composer going first. Quigley soars above the vibrant rhythms, as does Mires on trombone and Booth on tenor. Wilson then takes over at the piano, again impressing with his knowledge and inventiveness, as he again combines well with Sanz and Giovanni, who also feature towards the close.
The only cover is an arrangement of the ballad “Tres Palabras” (translating as “Three Words”), written by Osvaldo Farres. Of this Booth remarks;
“This song was first introduced to me in my teens when I started to play with many of the London salsa and Latin jazz groups that were around in that 90’s boom. Its beauty and delicate nature was always welcomed by the musicians in contrast to the general pace of those high energy gigs. With this album we all felt that it would serve the same purpose”.
And, of course, after six high octane absolute barnstormers it does just that, ushered in by just Wilson’s piano and Booth’s smoky tenor sax. Here the rhythms are more languid and gentle, with Booth on tenor, Quigley on trumpet and Mires on trombone taking the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities as skilled, fluent, lyrical interpreters of ballad material.
Booth’s own “Sacudido No Revuelto” retains something of the relaxed mood, its gently percolating mid-tempo rhythms providing the stimulus for assured solos from Booth on tenor, and Wilson on piano as the members of Trypl exude a Bond like cool, only starting to getting hot under the collar with a Sanz percussion feature towards the close. From this emerges a scorching, high register trumpet solo from Quigley as the energy levels finally begin to build once more.
The album concludes with Mires’ “Here We Go”, which brings things full circle as jazz harmonies combine with Latin rhythms as the band gradually increase the energy levels. The impressive Wilson leads off the solos from the piano, really stretching out before handing over to the composer on trombone. Mires’ rousing solo is followed by a brief feature for Sanz, the percussionist representing another important factor in the album’s success. Lastly the three co-founders unite for a final statement of the theme as Trypl sign off, almost literally, on a high note.
This eponymous début recording represents an impressive opening statement from Trypl. There is much joy and energy in these effervescent and vivacious performances, but this is not just ‘party’ music, there is a high level of musical sophistication too.
The three co-founders all play brilliantly, with Quigley’s dynamic, high register trumpeting threatening to steal the show. Wilson and Sanz also make hugely significant contributions and feature frequently as soloists. Meanwhile Christopoulos and either Banks or Giovanni ensure that the grooves are suitably propulsive and infectious. The sound quality is excellent throughout with the engineering team of James Towler and Louis Dowdeswell, the latter well known as a trumpeter of some repute, also deserving a share of the credit.
With the exception of the Farres ballad it’s high energy stuff pretty much all the way and the album might have benefited from a little more light and shade. But this is a minor quibble in the context of what is overall a very good album, and in any case the Latin-Jazz genre is generally categorised by its energy and vivacity, and there’s plenty of that to be found here. One suspects that this septet would also be a thrilling and dynamic live prospect.
blog comments powered by Disqus