Trumpeter and composer Nick Walters returns to 22a with his second album for the label – a free and spiritual journey into avant-garde jazz!
‘Active Imagination’ is the result of the bringing together of musicians for a day in the studio, with minimal rehearsal, to collectively experiment and improvise in the moment – in contrast to the more composed and structured recordings of the Paradox Ensemble album ‘Awakening’ released on 22a back in January of this year. All musicians contributed their distinctive and individual voices, creating a united force of spiritual, free-form jazz. Each composition is based on a different mode, all with their own unique flavour:
‘So Long Chef’ is a nod to jazz legend John Coltrane, with its chords jumping by major thirds, before a more static middle section, offering a chance for Walters and Jeff Guntren (tenor sax) to explore its Lydian mode.
‘Ahimsa’ is a meditative reflection and group improvisation, based around a simple theme in the Mixolydian mode, resulting in a spiritual journey steered by Rebecca Nash’s hypnotic piano solo.
‘Gordian Knot’ was conceived as a vehicle for Ed Cawthorne (aka Tenderlonious) to cut loose on soprano sax in the Phrygian mode, which he achieves with devastating effect, backed up by Nim Sadot’s infectious bass hook and complimented by an equally striking trumpet solo from the band leader.
Finally ‘Dansoman Last Stop’ uses the Dorian mode to channel the spirit of a bustling travel interchange in southern Accra, Ghana. Inspired by Walters journey through West Africa several years ago it features another exquisite trumpet solo from the leading man.
This one off session perfectly captures the essence of Walters’ experiences and influences in life. In his first album, ‘Awakening,’ and with this new record, you can hear this is a man at the top of his game, inspired by his life experiences. His playing with West African fusion bands and travelling the world can be felt in each of
these compositions. He is arguably one of the most sought after and respected musicians in the UK Jazz scene, ‘Active Imagination’ will further enhance those claims!