This brings together elements of the many bands that include young London drummer Corrie Dick in their personnel: it’s an expansion of his Little Lions trio with organist Joe Webb and pianist Matt Robinson; it has strong vocal influences from Blue-Eyed Hawk, the band which also features Laura Jurd, on trumpet here, and Lauren Kinsella, who is not the singer here – that honour goes to Alice Zawadzki – but does contribute to two tracks on Impossible Things; and then there is the general Chaos Collective character which Dick shares with Jurd and bassist Conor Chaplin.
The rhythms, as one would expect from a drummer leader, are varied and sophisticated, taking in North African influences on Annamarrakech (dedicated to Dick’s partner, Anna, and their visits to that intoxicating city), and Celtic ones on Farewell Modhachaidh (Dick is Scottish), among others.
But the harmony and melody on this album is equally subtle and varied. Six Impossible Things takes words from Alice In Wonderland, arranged by Kinsella, set to a tune that has the strength of a jazz standard. The horn harmonies are gently warm and full throughout, chords to snuggle down into on a piece like Soar, which also features expertly integrated poetry from Zawadksi, while … Modhachaidh pairs Zawadski’s vocal line with delicately phrased horn harmonies.
The band members get their opportunities to shine, too: Robinson on King William Walk, saxophonist Joe Wright on Lock Your Heart Up, Webb on What Has Become Of Albert? The last named has a chills-inducing upward release into the final verse; truly joyous.
The closer, Don’t Cry, is a real breath-holder.
We have heard so much of Corrie Dick in the past few years that it seems incredible this is his debut album as leader. “Debut” is a status that belies the wise judgments and generous nature of its creation, and the considerable stature of the result. Impossible Things maybe – substantial beauties, definitely.
Categories: CD review