Will Butterworth Quartet ‘The Nightingale and the Rose’ (Jellymould Jazz) 3/5

Autumn brings forth a whole slew of new musicians with new narratives, but in the case of pianist Will Butterworth this is now his fifth release since debuting almost a decade ago. His latest quartet has been touring since late August and will perform various dates during mid-late September, including one of the hottest new venues, Zeffirelli’s in Ambleside (well relatively speaking and one that welcomes major jazz musicians such as Dave Holland and associates recently).

As with many of the current generation of jazz musicians, they combine elements of classical and jazz phrasing by virtue of their musical education and this latest recording by Butterworth strives to find the right balance between the two. It is important to stress that they are not mutually exclusive genres, but having said that, the music on this album actually works best when the drums are dispensed with altogether. The combination of piano and cello offers a gentle, refined and refreshing reading on the opener, ‘No Red Rose In All My Garden’. Equally enticing is the conversation between piano on repeated riff and alto saxophonist Seb Pipe on the title track, where there is a sudden shift to solo piano and bass from Nick Pins.

Full marks for the inventive use of titles and for the wonderfully evocative black and white photos that captures the band members in both the studio and in more relaxed mode. Just a tinkering with the musical balance should ensure this quartet are one to watch, especially in a live context.

Tim Stenhouse

Remaining tour dates:

Sun 17 September
Llandudno, 3rd Space The Great Orme Brewery, Builder Street LL30 1DR

Weds 20 September
Sheffield, Jazz at the Lescar, Sharrowvale Road S11 8ZF

Fri 22 September
Brighton, Jazz at the Verdict 159 Edward Street BN2 0JB

Sat 23 September
Ambleside, Zeffirellis, Compston Road LA22 9DJ,

Sun 24 September
Ashburton St Lawrence Chapel, St Lawrence Ln, TQ13 7DD

Mon 25 September
Appledore, North Devon Jazz Club, The Beaver Inn, Irsha Street EX39 1RY

Tues 26 September
St Ives Jazz Club,The Western Hotel, Gabriel Street TR26 2LU,

Weds 27 September
Cardiff, Dempseys @ The Flute and Tankard, 4 Windsor Place

Thurs 28 September
Poole, Sound Cellar, The Blue Boar, 29 Market Close BH15 1NE

Sun 12 November
London Jazz Festival, Zedels 20 Sherwood Street W1F 7ED