Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Jon Thorne Danny Thompson – Watching The Well (Naim Edge)

It’s not very often that you hear of musicians or composers writing albums as a dedication to their musical mentors, but this is one case. Jon Thorne (previously known as bassist of trip-hop act Lamb) has indeed composed this album for - and as a celebration of - his mentor Danny Thompson. Composed initially to be a live performance piece, Thorne decided to produce a recorded version of ‘Watching The Well’ featuring Thompson on bass. Alongside Thompson, the album features the likes of award winning jazz saxophonist Gilad Atzmon and Cinematic Orchestra guitarist Stuart McCallum.

The album itself is extremely calm right from the start; gently played strings, haunting choral melodies and saxophones set the tone for what is to follow. It is quite slow moving, with each track being long and drawn out with very little variety from minute to minute. The overall sound is almost a nu-jazz style, but with a slight classical edge; as if Cinematic Orchestra and Craig Armstrong worked together to make a chill out album. It is a beautiful listen, and very relaxing as a background album. But that’s all it really is; there are no moments in the album that lift it away to a more energetic vibrant sound. There are a couple of points where some percussion starts coming through, but it never kicks in enough to make an obvious change in mood.

The musicianship on ‘Watching The Well’ really is truly amazing, especially the bass work of Danny Thompson and Gilad Atzmon’s exquisite saxophone solos. It is a great way to recognise the importance of Danny Thompson’s career and an extremely generous thing for Jon Thorne to have done. I personally would have liked to have more variety between songs, but I do think that is mainly down to taste. However this doesn’t take away from the fact that it is a very well written and interesting album. 7/10

No comments:

Post a Comment