Print this Page

World Music CD Reviews Jazz

JUST EAST OF JAZZ

By Phil Meadley
Published February 17, 2006

Feast
Just East of Jazz Records

The third album from this experimental U.K.-based jazz quartet features a diverse range of influences from the Middle East and Asia via klezmer and Eastern Europe. Ostensibly the influences appear as jazz improvisations, so although a track such as “Mud Pie” features strong klezmer influences and stabs of rhythmic accordion playing from Neil Angilley, the omnipresent jazz structure remains. The album suffers from a rather two-dimensional instrumental direction, which although dynamic in places, never fully involves the listener. Although impressive in the virtuoso department, a greater reliance on global influences and the introduction of vocal textures would have made for a stronger recording. Still, bandleader Jeremy Shoham, bassist Phil Scragg, percussionist Rick Finlay and pianist Neil Angilley have produced a worthy hybrid of Eastern jazz flavors.