The debut ECM release from sax player Andy Sheppard, titled Movements in Colour, sees him pairing up with guitarists John Parricelli & Eivind Aarset, Arild Andersen on double bass & electronics, and tabla/percussionist Kuljit Bhamra, for an album of varied sounds, mixing jazz styles with Indian, African, and Latin flavors. The musicians are all veterans in their own right and well seasoned, having spent time with various notables in the jazz field such as Carla Bley, George Russell, Jan Garbarek, Lee Konitz, and Kenny Wheeler, among others.
The pairing of Sheppard's smoky sax with the gorgeous acoustic guitar tone of Parricelli on opening cut "La Tristesse Du Roi" is a work of beauty, as the duo (who have worked together extensively in the past) take the listener through intoxicating waves of sound while Bhamra's gentle percussion and Andersen's melodic bass lines hold down the tranquil rhythm. At nearly 15 minutes long, it's a real epic number to open up this album. "Bing" mixes upbeat jazz with African and Indian grooves, led by Sheppard's melodic & quirky sax lines and some nimble acoustic guitar picking from Parricelli. On "Nave Nave Moe", the tone becomes much darker, as subtle electronics from Aarset set the moody atmosphere over which Bhamra's tabla and Sheppard's sax can do their thing. While "Ballarina" and "May Song" lack a bit of spark and somewhat meander along, "We Shall Not Go To Market Today" is a fun track featuring catchy sax lines, sitar-ish guitar passages, loads of percussion and simmering electronics. The sultry "International Blues" closes things out on a delicate note, led by Sheppard and his lonely sax, as he slowly fades out of the mix bids you all a good night.
Movements in Colour might be a tad too meditative for some, but if you are in the mood for some somber and tranquil sounds, this one will push all the right buttons for you and deliver a pleasant listen.
1. La Tristesse Du Roi 14:47
2. Bing 6:01
3. Nave Nave Moe 12:15
4. Ballarina 3:43
5. May Song 6:47
6. We Shall Not Go To Market Today 8:05
7. International Blues 5:42