Kevin Brady Electric Quarter: Plan B – an engrossing new musical direction

Fri, Oct 22, 2021, 05:00

   
  

Album:
Plan B

Artist:
Kevin Brady Electric Quartet

Label:
Ubuntu Music

Genre:
Jazz

Drummer Kevin Brady has been leading his acoustic trio with renowned US pianist Bill Carrothers and long-time rhythm partner, bassist Dave Redmond, for more than a decade, and the trio’s deep connection and mutual understanding has developed over three excellent studio recordings, including 2016’s superb Ensam, which included a guest appearance by famed UK vocalist Norma Winstone.

Now Brady adds muscular New York saxophonist Seamus Blake to the mix and the mercurial Carrothers switches to Fender Rhodes for an electric – and electrifying – set of originals which traverse the still under-explored terrain mapped out by Miles Davis’s quintet in the late 1960s.

The Dublin drummer’s conversion to electricity couldn’t have come from a more impeccable source. In 2016, Brady and Redmond played on what was to be fusion pioneer Larry Coryell’s last studio album, and it was at the great guitarist’s suggestion that Brady began to think about a more electric sound for his group.

The result is Plan B, whose title references not only this new musical direction but also the strategies musicians have had to adopt to music making over the last year and half.

Creative and open-ended, Brady’s fourth release as a leader is an engrossing conversation between a rhythm section at the top of their game and two inventive, inquisitive, melodically generous soloists who respond to the open setting with timeless, joyous music that will further burnish the reputations of all concerned.