Jul 5 2016
There’s a powerful allure to Ensam that isn’t immediately apparent, but it’s the kind of thing that pulls you across the bar to buy the album a drink in something of a disembodied trance. The trio of drummer Kevin Brady, bassist Dave Redmond and pianist Bill Carrothers keep to a straight-ahead sound, but phrase things in a way that maximizes the tonal effect to a very slow hypnosis. Opening track “How the Other Half Lives” and title-track “Ensam” slide past at an unhurried pace, like the image of stars imperceptibly moving across the nighttime horizon.
Thankfully, they do kick the tempo up a notch on “Yoopers,” and the intentional messiness of the melody is a needed contrast to the elegance that defines this recording. “Checkpoint Charlie” does the same, but it’s the song’s lurching cadence juxtaposed against a thick blues that sets it apart. Vocalist Norma Winstone sits in for a few tracks. Her voice is a nice fit for the trio’s smoky presence, but the best of her contributions comes up on the cheerful “Southern Smiles,” a tuneful piece that emits a warmth reminiscent of Vince Guaraldi.
This is an album likely to make an immediate impression, but it will come with time to reveal the nuance and details that earns it appreciation.
Your album personnel: Kevin Brady (drums, percussion), Bill Carrothers (piano), Dave Redmond (double bass) and guest: Norma Winstone (vocals).
The album is Self-Produced.
Listen to more album tracks on the artist’s Bandcamp page.
Jazz from the Dublin, Ireland scene.