January/February 2009

The Terry Disley Experience
London Underground

Pianist Terry Disley, an integral member of Acoustic Alchemy in the 1990s, is a U.K. expat who now gigs around the San Francisco Bay Area. London Underground, his followup to Across the Pond, is an acoustic workout that struts around with the percussive talents of Marquinho Brasil and Valentino Pellizzer. Adding bulk are the buff sounds of guitarist Lorn Leber, trumpeter Erik Jekabson and saxophonists Charles McNeal and Alex Murzyn.

Disley and mates stretch on numerous variations of the contemporary jazz genre, delivering a superlative effort. “Old & Funky” tells you all you need to know, with Disley’s bouncy touch on the keys reminiscent of David Benoit’s Peanuts vibe. “Miramar” is close-your-eyes cool and sophisticated, while “Mind the Gap,” a colloquialism that serves as a warning to train passengers on the space between the door and platform, captures the frantic and rushed scene on London’s Tube. Other standouts are “Suite 920” and “Out to Sea,” more contemplative pieces given Sunday-afternoon dream appeal with Patrick Bettison’s understated harmonica playing.

Originally published in January/February 2009
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