Tom Vincent Septet
Tasmanian pianist Tom Vincent has an impressive track record before this, his seventh recording, having toured widely throughout Australia, Asia, Europe, South America, Canada and the US, where he studied and performed for three years in New York.
Widely known in his home city, Hobart, mostly for his composition and performance with his trio, he also has headed numerous larger groups, including on this new release where his trio grows to a septet with four of Melbourne’s leading jazz players. It’s a tribute to Vincent’s ability that as this album was released, he was in New York recording with tenor giant Branford Marsalis.
The seven tracks are Vincent’s compositions and arrangements and three have references to members of the group in the titles. Jules Thief refers to saxophonist Julian Wilson, and its bouncy ensemble theme soon makes room for a Wilson tenor sax solo containing some hyper-fast runs and astute melodic improvisation. The opener, Blues F’Yous, is a quick tempo blues with some nimble alto sax by Phil Noy, smartly darting piano from the leader, speedy trombone from Ben Gillespie, a rapid trumpet sequence by Steve Grant, an effective drum break by Alf Jackson and a further tenor flare-up before a well-scored group conclusion.
It’s not hard to guess that Noysie Oyster is an attribution to the altoist and he pours out breathless passages encompassing the instrument’s entire range, interspersed by trumpet and piano plus the whole septet effect of Vincent’s stylish arrangement.
In addition to the never-failing ability of these top soloists, the arrangements combine dynamically to produce a hard-swinging collection for a notable album.
John McBeath - The Australian, 7th November 2015