Featuring Steve Fishwick- Trumpet, Osian Roberts- Tenor Saxophone, Olivier Slama- Piano, Dave Chamberlain- Bass, Matt Fishwick & Matt Home- Drums.
On The Up And Up! CD
“The UK sax/trumpet partnership of Roberts and Fishwick keep the flame burning for classic bebop and inevitably their devotion to the runes of the idiom raises the question of why one wouldn't just go straight back to the landmark recordings? The answer is that Roberts and Fishwick have develepoed a loyal following in the UK that will surely want this coolly polished example of their skills. Perhaps more importantly, their work increasingly displays a special signiture, to which a raft of good originals here attests. Fishwick's composition 'The Hit' is a deliciously lissome, long lined mid tempo bop melody, elegantly expanded by his bright-toned trumpet solo and Roberts' drily Hank Mobley-like tenor break. Roberts also brings a reflectiveness and weight to his variations on 'I Loves You Porgy'. Fishwick's 'A Pocketful Of Grease', with its blues shape and funky piano vamp, could have come straght off a 1960s Lee Morgan Blue Note album, but the musicians develop it with canny deliberation - but oddly its the artless lyrical simplicity of 'Swanee River' that's one of the most affecting episodes on the set. This is music at the high end of a jazz persuasion that, although unfashionable, helps keep the scene nourished.” - John Fordham - The Guardian
“Fishwick and Roberts fell for the Blue Note hard bop style early on, and have never wavered. This is the music they want to play and their modest discography (this is their second CD) testifies to the increasing validity of this now antique genre. Fishwick's 'The Hit' sets the scene with its neat harmonised theme, promting its composer to set up an ambitious, free skating solo. Fishwick likes the long-lined style of Kenny Dorham or Lee Morgan, while tenor player Osian Roberts prefers early Sonny Rollins. French pianist Olivier Slama is a live wire too. Roberts' 'The Road To Philly' sums up their raison d'etre pretty well - this music is delivered with care and genuine passion.” - Peter Vacher - Jazz UK
“There is something a little discomforting about this record. Recorded in Pontypridd in 2006, it sounds for all the world like the first edition of the Jazz Messengers at the time of their now legendary 1955 engagement at the Cafe Bohemia. Hearing relatively young men tackling pre-modal fare is a little unusual today, but the degree of replication here is quite phenominal. Opening the disc we have 'The Hit', and with very few leaps of the imagination we could be listening to the soundtrack to an action sequence in a mid-50s film noir. I'm always partial to a bit of that, and as an opening statement, it leaves no doubt that Fishwick and Roberts have this era nailed. 'A Pocketful of Grease' is a tight funky 3/4 blues, Fishwick giving a sizable nod in his solo to Donald Byrd. His Flugelhorn feature on 'I Loves You Porgy' shows great maturity and poise, whilst Roberts' 'The Road To Philly' makes a sturdy vehicle for some elegant Mobley-esque tenor. Pianist Slama shows his appreciation of period chord voicings on a trio take of Harold Ousley's rarely played 'Now That I Am So In Love', whilst 'The Knife' is a dedication to Pepper Adams, another genre based original which openly references its source. I'm not sure how many would guess the year this disc was recorded in a blindfold test, so fastidious is the groups approach. Sound engineer Daniel Edwards can take lots of credit for his authentic recording techniques. Avoiding the dramatic studio seperation of instruments, a vintage character is particularly noticable in the ensemble passages. The Valleys are alive - with the sound of bebop anthems!” - Fred Grand - Jazz Review