Alex Hitchcock Quintet ‘All Good Things’ CD (Fresh Sound New Talent) 4/5

‘All Good Things’ is the latest project from the Alex Hitchcock Quintet which finds its home on the Spanish label Fresh Sound New Talent.

Released in 2019 to nothing short of a rapturous reception, tenor saxophonist Alex Hitchcock heads up a fantastic line-up of musicians who build upon the strong 2018 introduction of their unit through their ‘Live at the London and Cambridge Jazz Festivals’ EP. With live recordings included from their performances at the London Jazz Festival from 2016 and the Cambridge Jazz Festival in 2017, expectations were certainly high for the release of ‘All Good Things’, and frankly almost everything Hitchcock has added his name to in the interim…

Last year saw the release of the third album by Resolution 88 – of which Hitchcock is a member – and saw the jazz-funk, Herbie Hancock-inspired quartet sign with German label Légère Recordings to release their magnificent ‘Revolutions’ album; last year also saw the release of the Alex Hitchcock Quartet’s debut EP, ‘Outside In’, which featured the added luxury of Trope vocalist, Cherise Adams-Burnett, guesting on two of the project’s four songs. And then there’s the upcoming AuB collaborative project pairing Hitchcock with fellow saxophonist Tom Barford for their soon to be released, more experimental, album on Edition Records.

But for now, all eyes (and ears) are firmly fixed on the Quintet release of ‘All Good Things’ which is comprised of an inspiring cast list of diverse UK talent. With Hitchcock on tenor saxophone, he is joined by bassist Joe Downard (Waaju, Jessica Radcliffe), pianist Will Barry (Madison McFerrin, Fellow Creatures), drummer Jay Davis (Daisy George Trio, Big Bad Wolf) and trumpeter James Copus (Ashley Henry, Tony Momrelle).

Serving as champions to new, innovative and undiscovered artists within jazz from all parts of the world, ‘All Good Things’ makes such a worthy contribution to the catalogue of Fresh Sound New Talent [who themselves have very few UK artists on their label]. Hitchcock’s compositions are exquisite and multi-layered – almost as if they contain several stories within their own respective narratives. The virtuosic performances on the opening number, ‘Hamburg 2010’, for example, seem to traverse numerous twists and turns throughout its eight minutes but ‘Sorry Not Sorry’ may be the star among them all that shines the brightest – with its almost trippy introduction it effortlessly flows into the smoothest of pieces concluding with an excellent solo from Will Barry.

The performances throughout are really stunning and it’s a project that is brought to incredible life by the next crop of scene-stealing UK talent.

Imran Mirza