Greg Foat Group ‘Girl and Robot with flowers’ CD/LP + separate 10″ EP (Jazzman) 3/5

London’s Jazzman label is best known for its unearthing of hitherto obscure deep jazz recordings, but on this occasion, a new band has been recorded and the album is indeed a follow up to the 2011 release ‘Dark is the sun’. Recorded in Gothenburg, Sweden, leader Greg Foat is a composer and arranger who also performs as a multi-keyboardist and even plays vibraphone and harmonium. The compositions have been inspired by the sci-fi writing of Brian Aldiss and this is definitely mood music with some tasty grooves laid down in the process, and therefore likely to appeal to an audience beyond the confines of jazz. The title track is divided up into no less than six parts and as such has something of a film soundtrack feel to it. Part two impresses with its use of Hammond organ licks and brass while parts four and five are more psychedelic in approach with spaced out saxophone and a larger jazz component with Foat leading on vibes. Mancunian trumpeter Matthew Halsall guests on one track, the co-composed ‘For a breath I tarry’ which is a pared down piece with just piano and trumpet while minimalist keyboards are also a feature of the two-part ‘Have spacesuit will travel’ which has the contrasting layers of synths with acoustic bass and drums and electric piano. Extra tracks contained on the CD, not available on the vinyl LP, are featured on the EP.

Tim Stenhouse

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