Release Date: Jun 19, 2012
Record label: Edition
Dave Stapleton keeps quietly adding strings to his bow, such as his exciting quintet of fresh faces, his prolific composing, and the creation of a record label (Edition) that has enlisted one of Europe's great young sax discoveries in Marius Neset. Flight is an impressionistic venture for jazz group and strings on which the formidable Neset guests. Stapleton's string-quartet writing doesn't exactly push melodic envelopes here, but it links narratives to a subtle balance of forceful postbop and Jan Garbarek-like folk-jazz.
Combining the sounds and textures of jazz quartet and string quartet is a tricky business, and there are moments here when the two seem about to come unstuck. At least that's how it felt to me. But these are compensated by the many more moments of absolutely gorgeous togetherness, especially when Dave Stapleton's piano steals among the gentle murmurings of the Brodowski Quartet.
A departure for British jazz talent Stapleton, and a fine one indeed. Martin Longley 2012 Edition Records has rapidly established itself as one of the most vital UK jazz imprints. Co-owner, pianist and composer Dave Stapleton also happens to be one of its most dynamic signings. Working out of Cardiff, he’s paused his regular quintet line-up to initiate what's presumed to be a one-off project.