Amazing talent and incredible skills - I say this with confidence to my friends, followers and readers.
I am surprised this young virtuoso had not pushed his way to the front of my music queue earlier. Now I am asking myself where did Rob Luft come from? Who is he? What's his pedigree?
After some research, I was dazzled to learn this 23-year-old professional was born and jazzed in London (like most of our great musicians). Luft has a pedigree many Berkeley jazz greats would be proud of.
In 2016 Luft was the recipient of the Kenny Wheeler Jazz prize in association with Edition Records. He competed and came second in the 2016 Montreux Jazz Guitar competition; played with the National Jazz Youth Orchestra of GB at the age of 15, then went on to study at the Royal Academy of Music.
That is his pedigree at the age of 23.
Luft is in constant demand appearing on numerous recordings, and this is his opportunity to showcase his inaugural album Riser. He plays with the maturity of a musician twice his age.
The overall sound of the album is clean and crisp. A testament to the production and engineering that took place behind the scenes. Many of the songs recreate that rejoicing feeling often associated with South African folk music.
Luft's intro in Night Songs cleverly combines afro-jazz signatures featuring the skilled Glaswegian drummer Corrie Dick. This short sharp syncopated tune metaphorically announces "I'm here, let’s do this".
As the title track infers, Riser leads with a Joe Wright's smooth saxophone intro before the short crescendo. I am happy tapping my feet and nodding my head as I write. This song is edgy and catchy. Perhaps it's the guitar effects, the rhythm or general overall production. Beware has all the imaginative characteristics of South African folk music fused with prog-jazz. Original and exciting.
An original composition written by Luft, Slow Portion is a meditative track full of zen. The mellifluous timbres transport the listener to a paradise of their choosing. Whilst Different Colours of Silence is a compelling performance leaving you lost in a wall of sound. This should be a Ronnie Scotts’ moment in the making.
Like the dust that settles and drifts, Dust Settles with a calm and soothing tones. A magical journey.
Corrie Dick chaperones Wright with a steady 4-bar signature for the intro to Shorty. That is until Wright executes intense rasping tones from the saxophone; like a sea liner coming into harbour guided by a small yet powerful tugboat; possibly 6-octaves below middle C. Is that possible? Answers on a postcard please.
The interesting use of digital effects creates the setting for Blue, White and Dreaming. Webb delivers a compelling euphonic performance.
I could feel the confidence in Luft's guitar skills during St.Brian I; A staccato master. Punchy and powerful.
The band transcends through a veil of polyphonic voices before dissolving into a wall of chimes. We Are All Slowly Leaving is an exciting composition.
Rob Luft is a sincere and dedicated artist representing world music.
I cannot wait for the next album.
Rob Luft - Guitar
Joe Wright - Tenor Saxophone,
Joe Webb - Hammond Organ, Piano and Harmonium
Tom McCredie - Bass
Corrie Dick - Drums
Label: Edition Records