Despite 2020 bringing unheard of issues for music and musicians around the world, thankfully, there have been some outstanding releases of work recorded in 2019. One such collection is the new release from Rob Luft on Edition Records. His second album, Life is The Dancer exudes joy and creativity in equal measure and demonstrates how this talented guitarist has developed since his debut - Riser in 2017.
Luft is joined by the same musicians on this second album, and there is a real quality of these musicians understanding how to play together to interpret these ten original tracks. Luft’s guitar interplays beautifully with the tenor sax of Joe Wright. Meanwhile the rhythm section of Joe Webb on Hammond organ and piano, Tom McRedie on bass and the drums of Corrie Dick does more than accompany, weaving in and out of every track and never over-playing.
Adding the trumpet of Byron Wallen and voice of Luna Cohen on two tracks changes the colour of the outfit. On both the title track and Expect the Unexpected, the two add new lines and enhance Luft’s compositions.
Listen to Life Is The Dancer here:
Life is The Dancer is a reference to Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now and the album allows Luft to bring a sense of dance and positivity that runs through all the tracks. He explains that Tolle’s idea that ‘Life is the dancer and you are the dance’ means that you don’t live your life, but life lives you: ‘That idea is a beautiful sentiment and I think the album title suits my record. The new compositions have something very bright, positive and dance-like in them. This warmth and energy is what I want people to feel when they listen to my music. The message is, essentially, the past is in your head and the present is in your hands.’
On stage and on record Luft comes across as a generous musician. He shares the spotlight - whether literally or metaphorically - with his fellow band-members. On Life is The Dancer, he also shares the composition, with the driving Berlin from Anders Christensen and the fabulous, frenetic Synesthesia co-composed by Lift and Enzo Zirilli.
There is a joyous modernity about both the creativity and the playing on Life is The Dancer and perhaps it gives us all permission to get up and dance once more to jazz.