Thursday, June 20, 2024

Summer Lullaby By Paul Higgs and Pavane


Summer Lullaby


Paul Higgs and Pavane

Written by

Steve Sheppard


I must admit it was a wonderful moment to be had when I discovered that an old presenter of ours in Paul Higgs, was about to release his latest album with his band Pavane, the name of his last release back in 2014, I just knew this was going to be a sublime twinkling of musical brilliance, and I was not to be disappointed as Summer Lullaby is by far one of the most explorative and charming Jazz albums I have had the pleasure this year to listen to.

The multi-instrumental flavours contained here are simply wonderful, they manifest a tone and vibrancy that will allow us to cross a multiple of musical borderlands, for instance take the very first track, the scene setting Lights of Canary Wharf, here lays a moody and reflective piece, so smooth and transient that one could transpose the title to the lights of any favoured city, this was indeed a classy start.

Paul has really allowed his muse free reign and brings into our reality some very interesting compositions, such as the classical and global vibe of pieces like Samba Baroque,  the classic Herb Alpert song This Guy's In Love With You, and the symbiotic presentation of Berceuse d'été with the guitar of Andy Watson reigning supreme.

Interestingly enough one of my personal favourites from the album would be the track nestled in the middle of the release called Icicles. The mournful qualities of this arrangement were simply idyllic and peacefully charming; this for me was one of the most ambient moments from this compilation of classy creations, Pauls trumpet was indeed the creator of a mindful instant of total peace.

Summer Lullaby is an 11 track album packed with all manner of flavours and is the perfect summer release; already here in the early June heat of Cyprus the tones of tracks like Seville, with its Latin vibe, or the heat of the night expressed for me in the piece Nocturne In Blue, were so redolent of the subject matter.

The concluding composition sealed the deal for me, Higgs is an outstanding brass performer, and the trumpet is his magical wand of pure beauty and magnificence, so for me Reflections of You was the perfect master stroke with which to conclude this superb new release, by the final boss Paul Higgs.

We must also pay our tributes to Pavane with quality performances all coming from one of the finest group presentations I have heard of some time, so its hats off to Natalie Rozario on Cello, Chris Ingham at the Piano, George Double in the engine room on Drums, the sublime fluency of Andy Watson on Guitar, and of course the very smooth tone and timbre from Jerome Davies with his Double Bass.

This is an album that Paul should be proud of, it may have been 10 years since his last release, but Summer Lullaby is a truly superb album that will enhance your summer and give you those easy vibrations to take you through any hot evening in August. Higgs has really created something here that should be recognised as a timeless collection of exquisiteness, and as such I can see this album becoming a real fan favourite across the globe with consummate ease.  

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