Tommy Andrews Quintet ‘The Crux’ (Jellymould) 3/5

tommy-andrews-quintetA graduate of the Guildhall School of Music, alto saxophonist and clarinettist, Tommy Andrews leads a young quintet on seven original compositions that are generally mournful in tone and reflective in an ECM fashion. If the influences that this group of musicians have taken in has not thus far been sufficiently digested to achieve their own voice, that will surely come in time and this is by no means clichéd music, quite the opposite in fact. Andrews’ own CV is impressive and he has significant orchestral experience with the London Jazz Orchestra, the NYJO as well as stints with both the late Johnny Dankworth and Cleo Laine. The melancholy works best on numbers such as the opener ‘Sirens’ with a repetitive riff that lingers, or on the achingly slow beat ballad, ‘Crystal Car’ with some neat bass work from Dave Mannington. On the lyrical title track, the feel is very much that of a post-bop fusion band with the guitarist Nick Costley-White undertaking a solo in the vein of John Scofield. Drummer Dave Hamblett excels on the polyrhythmic tones of ‘Mr. Shiney Legs’. A group well worth watching the progress of in the years to come.

Tim Stenhouse