1:3:5:7 by Dominic Murcott
Music’s a source of comfort and inspiration at the best of times. At times like this, with the country in the grip of Covid-19, it comes close to being a lifesaver.
Fortunately, there’s a phenomenal choice of new home-grown music to choose from if you’re looking for something to ease the pressure of lockdown, from classical to pop via folk, jazz and any number of variations in between.
If you have a taste for jazz, I heartily recommend a stunning new digital album called 1:3:5:7 by Trinity Laban’s head of composition Dominic Murcott, who has masterminded a series of improvised duets with four of his uber-talented conservatoire colleagues.
Composer and trumpeter Laura Jurd, saxophonist Tom Challenger, pianist Hans Koller and violinist Joe Townsend each contribute four improvs lasting exactly one, three, five or seven minutes. Murcott himself provides the percussion for all 16 tracks.
The result is amazing – 64 minutes of sublime jazz to suit every mood, from the opening 60-second track with Townsend creating a mesmerising central Asian vibe to the finale which Koller closes by repeating a single high note that acts a kind of musical ellipse suggesting the infinite.
Both are album highlights. But there are so many more, too, including some drowsily beautiful sax by Challenger with a fabulous gong accompaniment by Murcott on 3’ With TC, a funky range-stretching extemporisation by Jurd on 7’ With LJ and a glorious piece of Celtic-infused virtuosity with Townsend on the penultimate track, 5’ With JT.
This is a seriously great album by Murcott, who also recorded, mixed and mastered it for the ever-fascinating label Nonclassical. You can download it at https://dominicmurcott.bandcamp.com/