Mick Coady’s Synergy ‘Nine tales of the pendulum’ (Jellymould) 4/5

Mick_Coadys_SynergyHere is one of the most intriguing new releases of the year and a major new talent on the London jazz scene. Born on the south-east coast of Ireland in picturesque Waterford, nothing predestined bassist Mick Coady towards jazz. Rather he performed in local R & B and rock bands before a chance encounter led to a Damscus-style conversion to the preaching of the jazz gospel and a period of study at the prestigious Berklee music college. In fact Coady has been performing on the London jazz scene for the last ten years and has worked under the likes of Ronnie Cuber, Scott Hamilton and Mark Murphy to name but a few as well as being a member of Loop Collective. His debut as a leader is a delight from start to finish and deserves to be placed among the finest new recordings of the year. The tightly bound rhythm section comprises pianist Ivo Neame who will be a familiar name to fans of Phronesis, tenor saxophonist Michael Buckley, drummer Sean Carpio and a guest appearance by US alto saxophonist David Binney. It has to be stated form the outset that this is challenging music with the musicians themselves pushing themselves to the limit and this makes for a thrilling listening experience. The all original set is marked by a maturity of writing that only comes from having spent so much time observing and participating with some of the contemporary greats, and is perfectly illustrated by the near thirteen minute composition ‘Abyss’ which begins with a reflective opening, but then develops into a expansive trio-led piece with an alto solo that recalls Wayne Shorter’s tenor in the degree of intensity expended. Likewise the gentle number ’64 Claudio Coelho’ is a deceptive piece that builds up a head of steam with a lengthy tenor solo on this occasion from Michael Buckley and some piano excursions from Neame that remind one of mid-1960s Herbie Hancock. Indeed the fluidity of performance here harks back to the 1960s era and on ‘Autumn’ the fiery alto of Binney conjures up Eric Dolphy while Buckley’s more laid back approach hints at Joe Lovano and Hank Mobley. A fine ensemble number is ‘Beginning’ with an intensely passionate rhythm section in full flow reaching ever higher climbs and mid-1960s Miles has surely been an inspiration for this formation. The indefinable quality to this album that lifts it above the rest is the subtle use of world music elements that add just an extra touch of variety to proceedings. In future albums perhaps this ingredient may become more pronounced and should be explored further. For the time being this wonderful recording will do just nicely. Tim Stenhouse