Southwall (James Sherlock Quintet)
Southwallis a brilliant collection of new works and standards recorded by The James Sherlock Quintet.
The concept for Southwall came to James Sherlock whilst he and Mark Spencer were playing together in Sam Keevers’ 14-piece Los Cabrones. Sherlock wanted to put together a guitar / baritone / Hammond combo performing in the vein of the early George Benson recordings that retained its modern edge.
The line up and material Sherlock assembled ensured that Southwall is no revivalist recording. The foundation of the Quintet is the tight knit team of James Sherlock (guitar), Howard Cairns (bass) and Tony Floyd (drums) - The James Sherlock Trio. The Trio have played together since 1995 (CD debut for Jazzhead in 1999), and there is no substituting the high level of communication that they have developed over this time. On the Hammond is Ben Grayson who brings not only his great talent but a rare humility and wit. Finally add to this the fat, fat sounds of Spencer’s Baritone steeped in a legacy created by legends such as Ronnie Cuber and you have The James Sherlock Quintet.
Southwall cements its currency with the majority of the compositions
originating from within the Quintet. Standards such as Rogers and Hart’s
Bewitched, Bothered and Bewilderedand Kirk and Weston’s Berkshire Bluesare among the originals. These are t empered by new works from Sherlock, Spencer, Cairns and Grayson. Many of Sherlock’s pieces were composed whilst he, and wife Lee, were on an extended break from the Melbourne music scene
travelling Australia’s east coast in an old Bedford bus. This choice of material confirmed that whilst Southwallmay have its roots in Benson stylings, the CD is very much current and original.
Southwallis a quirky blend of bebop and groove contrasting with soulful and sensitive ballads.
‘Another mega-hip release...forever listenable. Meticulously crafted arrangements. Sherlock has an electrifying, Bensonish fluency... it's all fluid heat. He displays lightning speed and agility.’
The Age - Green Guide, Melbourne, 13 Sep 2001
‘Sherlock’s guitar swings and sizzles through the air. The CD informs and it also provides a hell of a lot of fun. One to check out, definitely’
Drum Media, Sydney, 24 Aug 2001
‘Sherlock’s guitar work is clean and fluent throughout, whether he is burning at breakneck speed, grooving in a soul-jazz bag or strolling through an old standard. Very easy to listen to and enjoy.’
The Bulletin, 25 Sep 2001
'Feel-good, smart and addictive... another great release for Jazzhead.’
Sunday Herald Sun, 5 Aug 2001
For more information about James Sherlock and releases, click here to go to the artist page