Tom Rainey ‘Obbligato’ (Intakt) 3/5

Tom-Rainey-obbligatoThis is drummer Tom Rainey’s third album to date as leader, although you will find another fifteen or so releases with him featured on, most notably on Tom Varner’s 1992 Don Cherry influenced release ‘The Mystery of Compassion’.

‘Obbligato’ features Ingrid Laubrock on soprano and tenor sax, whilst Ralph Alessio (tp), Kris Davis (piano) and Drew Gress (b) all bring a special something to the ten contemporary jazz compositions. Although Dave Brubeck’s ‘In Your Own Sweet Way’, Thelonious Monk’s ‘Reflections’, and Duke Ellington’s ‘Prelude to a Kiss’ are each given the Rainey touch, it is the energetic opener, ‘Just In Time’, and the short but powerful avant-garde closing piece, ‘Just in Time Again’, which is sure to alert the hardened listener to the talent displayed on this Brooklyn recorded, London mastered, and German released album. Let us then keep a watchful eye, and intuitive ear, on Tom Rainey as he develops his music as a leader.

Steve Williams