Quentin Collins and Brandon Allen bring a sense of completeness in their quite brilliant album Beauty in Quiet Places.
Whether this is bop, post-bop or post-post-bop, there’s a clear bop going on, with a fluidity to the arrangements and an energy that’s tightly controlled.
Ross Stanley’s Hammond opening stabs on Fuerteventura set the tone for the whole album, creating a precise and solid backdrop for Collins and Allen to soar above. Enzo Zirilli achieves the jazz drummer’s goal of both establishing a groove and at times breaking out of that groove to show a soloist’s dexterity.
Trumpet and sax share themes and solos effortlessly across the whole album with both leaders sharing their own compositions as well as the limelight. A musical democracy.
If I had to pick a favourite track from this album, it would be Handshake. Somehow, the physical opposition of beginning with hand claps establishes an irony with the name. But this is an album that demands listening to from end to end – arrangements and production create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.
Beauty in Quiet Places takes the dexterity of Coltrane and Davis, or perhaps Getz and Gillespie, and plays with it. This is a modern album with a British twist, so when Collins and Allen take the sax player’s Modal Tranesition, it’s a blazing take on the work of their heroes.
QCBA work hard throughout the year, both together, separately and with some big musical names, including Kyle Eastwood, Cleveland Watkiss and Liane Carroll. Beauty in Quiet Places shows both Collins and Allen as fine composers, arrangers and instrumentalists. There is much more beauty to come.
Trumpet & Flugelhorn: Quentin Collins
Tenor & Soprano Saxophones: Brandon Allen
Hammond Organ: Ross Stanley
Drums: Enzo Zirilli