The Birmingham Post – Peter Bacon
Jazz CD of the week
The second disc from acoustic guitarist Jonny Phillips and his band Oriole is a lovely development of the first and he is so sure of himself in this territory that it leaves the listener feeling thoroughly at home, as if we have been listening to it for ages.
This is partly due to very strong melodies and rhythmic hooks, but it is also due to how “right” this particular, if unusual, combination of instruments sounds in the way Phillips uses it.
His guitar style gives a strong Spanish feel, the percussion bed of Seb Rochford on kit and Adriano Adawale Itauna on the interesting bits and pieces adds an Afro/Latin feel, and the harmony lines of Ben Davis’s cello and Ingrid Laubrock’s tenor or soprano saxophone have not only a graceful lyricism but an intriguing textural quality too.
Try track 6, We’re All Angels, first and I’ll be surprised if it’s not love at first listen. Proof that jazz in the 21st century can be pretty and have street cred too.