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Album: Sam Crowe Group, Synaesthesia (F-ire)

Coolly assured debut from pianist/composer Crowe and his outstanding quintet.

A reliance on repeated patterns coupled with the relentless chirpiness of saxophonist Adam Waldman (of Kairos Quartet) could prove irritating, but Crowe has a real rhythmic edge to his playing, helped by drummer Dave Smith and bassist Jasper Hoiby. The best of the eight tracks are the Shorteresque "Willow the Wisp", with Crowe on Rhodes, and "Fall from Grace", featuring Will Davies' beautifully dry guitar solo.