Pianist/composer Gwilym Simcock previewed the second of these two suites – Simple Tales, for a quintet featuring violin, cello and jazz trio – in London in January, and its intricate classical contrapuntalisms and diverse themes delivered with a punchy jazz freedom were impressive then, and are all the more so here. Thomas Gould is once again the violinist, joining cellist Will Schofield, bassist Yuri Goloubev and drummer Martin France on themes that join romantic yearnings, percussive twisters reminiscent of Chick Corea's Spain, and joyous barn-dancing knees-ups. The suite Move! (for jazz quartet and chamber orchestra) sounds more like jazz-inflected classical music. But if its tight structure, melodic latticework and elegantly harmonised orchestration might appear to evict jazz, the chords and brass parts sometimes suggest Kenny Wheeler, while Simcock's solo-piano interludes are contrastingly loose and abstract, and the stridently marching Industrial, with its clamouring horns and funky-Jarrett piano break, bustles with spontaneous life.
Gwilym Simcock: Instrumation review – two intricate, impressive new jazz suites
John Fordham is the Guardian's main jazz critic. He has written several books on the subject, reported on it for publications including Time Out, Sounds, Wire and Word, and contributed to documentaries for radio and TV. He is a former editor of Time Out, City Limits and Jazz UK, and regularly contributes to BBC Radio 3's Jazz on 3