Scott Kemp Introductions

Bassist Kemp and drummer Colin Kingsmore are better known as two-thirds of the Elizabeth Shepherd Trio. The classy swing and funk that characterize Shepherd's music is well in evidence here, but with a few more compositional twists and turns. The band are a quintet that feature the aforementioned rhythm section, alongside Michael Occhipinti's guitar, Scott Metcalfe's organ and Bobby Hsu's alto-sax. This is tuneful music through and through; it's soul jazz relatively free of honking and bleating from the instrumentalists. Kemp largely stays in the background of his debut, but his understated solos more than prove his great feeling for his instrument. He leaves melodies and principal solos to the three other tonal instruments. Keyboardist Metcalfe does nice work, but Hsu's sax tends toward big, romantic statements that drag on the music. However, the dexterity of the grooves keeps things perking all the way through, especially during slower numbers like "Winter Seas" and "Suspect," which have lovely, sensitive dynamics. Kemp's writing is the real star here, and makes this disc a winner. (Independent)