Kairos 4tet ‘Statement of Intent’ (Edition) 4/5

This new set from the Kairos builds on the debut ‘Kairos Moment’ of two years ago and once again is an all-acoustic album that is very much in the melodic vein of the 1970s ECM recordings by Jan Garbarek and latterly by Charles Lloyd from the late 1980s to the present. Multi-reedist and leader Adam Waldmann has welded a tightly knit group sound, which has benefited greatly from extensive touring during 2010. The new album has something of a political bent to it, but is ultimately enjoyable on a solely musical level. It certainly has all the feel of a musical formation that is on an urgent mission and this makes the intensity of the music all the more enjoyable. Accomplished individual and ensemble playing predominates here with the engaging ‘Box set anti-hero’ being the pick of the compositions on offer while there is terrific work from the rhythm section on ‘Hicks’ with melodic saxophone from Waldmann. Special mention should be made throughout of the piano playing of Ivo Neame. Indeed he has the opportunity to take off on an extended solo on the incendiary trio outing entitled ‘Philosophy of futility’. Vocalist Emilia Martensson provides some refreshing to proceedings on the romantic sounding ‘Maybe next year’ and impresses in particular on the lovely waltz that is ‘The calling’. With beautiful clarity of sound to this recording session, Kairos 4tet belong very much in the pantheon of the new jazz scene that is emerging in the UK. With such a classic sound to them, they should expect to attract an audience way beyond these shores. A lengthy UK tour begins in April and continues through May and into early June.

Tim Stenhouse