Bob Brough Quartet Time Away Independent

Time Away, the latest offering from The Bob Brough Quartet is essentially a mainstream, instrumental jazz CD which showcases the talents of the entire quartet. Bob Brough is the leader and main composer, but Time Away is not all about Bob. His compositions are meticulous as usual and he gives free rein to all his band members, so they can take extended solos which show off their talents. Why not? When you assemble a group of first class musicians such as this, it would be silly to have them play in the background. The CD may not be all about

Bob’s sax, but thankfully it does play a big part. He may be one of the most under-rated sax players around. Then again maybe he isn’t. Year after year Brough appears on some really good albums. A few years ago it was on Lara Skye’s The World Disappears and last year he was on Carol McCartney’s fine CD A Night in Tunisia. This year it’s his turn with Time Away and he doesn’t disappoint. It contains eight tracks and Brough has composed seven of these. On the opening track, "Traneian Blue," he reminds us of John Coltrane and shows how much range a tenor sax can actually have. On the second track, "Entity," Brough’s early sax passage sets up Artie Roth’s bass line and melds with young Adrean Farrugia’s piano which is being used as a rhythm instrument, then Farrugia takes the lead and tune fades into a flourish of notes. Farrugia contributes the only non-Brough composition "Light Chasers" and the piano intro has a slow, dark, classical feel to it, but Brough’s sax kicks in and the bass/drum rhythm section catches on fire culminating in Terry Clarke’s kick-ass drum solo. The playing doesn’t get up to the speed of light, but close enough for me! This may be a mainstream CD, but don’t expect a bunch of boring ballads. Even "Winter Waltz" moves along at a quick pace. The one real ballad is the title track "Time Away." It gives the listeners a chance to catch their breaths. Here, Clarke shows he can also have a light touch on the cymbals and Brough and Farrugia’s extended solos elicit pictures of couples in formal gowns and tuxes waltzing the night away. The CD ends with a pretty blues, "Blue Pickup." This brought to mind the last couple waltzing in a dimly lit bar. It really has that 40’s film noir feel about it. As in the first track, Brough gets the most out of the upper range of his instrument and Roth’s steady bass line shines through. Whether you want to kick back on the sofa and enjoy some jazz or you want to ‘cut a rug’ with your favourite dance partner, you can’t go wrong with Time Away by The Bob Brough Quartet. By Jim Dupuis Oct 21, 2008