New album by the Tommy Evans Orchestra

Tommy Evans is a young musician who trained in Leeds and whose teachers have included such esteemed musicians as Matthew Bourne. Mr Evans has already won attention from some of the higher echelons of music for his skills as a big band writer, and among the plaudits he has accumulated are the “British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Author’s Contemporary Composers award.

If that wasn’t enough, this talented young man also plays a key role in the innovative and inventive dub step group the Submotion Orchestra. This latest performance was a suite of music that was a chronological tribute to the life and work of his uncle and parish priest David Partridge, and was performed at the London Jazz Festival.

The subtleties of this are, however, better appreciated on this album, The Green Seagull, than live thanks to the wonders of the re-mixer. Evans take a trio of singers and uses them extremely effectively instrumentally, and this section will make some recall the directness and hard hitting riffs of the Mike Westbrook band in their early days as the rousing ensemble sections ably trigger a dynamic and somewhat unexpected, sax improv.

You get the lot here, from stomping military tattoos the poignant melding of the twangs associated with a pub piano. The horns pulse along slowly, building texture as they go, solemn and churchlike tomes from the low woodwind and the flutes, and some delicious mixing of the big band sound. Special mention has to go to Dave Kane, a formidable bassist whose free improv section is an absolute delight.