Album: Issie Barratt, Astral Pleasures, (Fuzzy Moon)

Reviewed,Phil Johnson
Sunday 30 November 2008 01:00

In contrast to the big band orthodoxy of Maria Schneider and Vince Mendoza – all woodwind sighs and whispers – composer Barratt has a refreshingly heavy touch.

Her Mingus-like density of swing makes even Turnage's 'Blood on the Floor' look sedate, with the axe-heroics of Mike Outram and drummer Simon Pearson rendering Scofield and Erskine almost wussy by comparison. Recorded brilliantly (at Angel Studios), not all the six longish tracks are of equal interest, but it's powerful stuff.

Pick of the Album: 'Eva Naim, Mega Supreme': smack, bang, pow

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