Nick Costley-White ‘Detour Ahead’ CD (Ubuntu Music) 4/5

The current youthful London scene is at once eclectic and capable of taking in diverse stylistic influences. This is most certainly the case of a very promising debut recording by guitarist Nick Costley-White. It is the Great American songbook tradition that seems to have inspired the guitarist and Herb Ellis in particular has been a guiding light, though the acoustic and solo Pat Metheny and even the folk-jazz of Bill Frisell can also be heard in the mix. All but two pieces are originals and what comes across is an accomplished sound that is rooted in the 1950s and 1960s mainstream of the jazz tradition. A medium tempo take on Cole Porter’s ‘Just One of Those Things’ impresses with the subtle use of Latin inflections on the drums, while a tribute to Ellis is paid on that guitarist’s own, ‘Detour Ahead’, where the rapport between double bassist Conor Chaplin (who has performed with Laura Jurd and Dinosaur) and guitarist is continued throughout, and proves to be a major attraction to these ears. However, Costley-White is very much his own man and the standard of the compositions bodes well for the future, with a variety of moods captured. Thus, a more reflective guitar plus acoustic piano of Matt Robinson makes for a lovely slice of intimacy on ‘Lords of the Blues’, which contrasts with the uptempo ‘Swing State’, where fine interplay between piano and guitar is a feature, and some delightful and rapid guitar riffs. Definitely a musician to keep an ear and eye out for in the near future with plenty of live options around the country over the coming months.

Album Launch:
31st July – Pizza Express Jazz Club, Soho, London

Tour dates:
September
3rd – Peer Hat Jazz, Manchester
4th – The Spotted Dog, Birmingham
5th – The Lescar, Sheffield
7th – Hampstead Jazz Club, Hampstead
8th – The Bear Club, Luton
13th – Future Inns, Bristol
15th – Zeffirelli’s, Ambleside
20th – The SoundCellar, Poole
23rd – Southampton Modern Jazz Club
27th – Silvershine Jazz Club, Smethwick, West Midlands
29th – Jazz at Heart, Headingley

October
3rd – Jazzland, Swansea
4th – Café Jazz, Cardiff
5th – Con Cellar Bar, Camden
17th – House Concert, Edinburgh
18th – The Blue Lamp, Aberdeen
21st – Sela Bar, Leeds
23rd – The Mad Hatter, Oxford
24th – Mill Hill Jazz Club, Mill Hill
30th – St. Ives Jazz Club, St. Ives

November
8th – The Jazz Bar, Edinburgh
9th – The Blue Arrow, Glasgow

Tim Stenhouse