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MUSIC Binker Golding, Ronnie Scott’s London

Exhilarating fusion of hard bop and contemporary soul from Golding's new quintet

NONE of the compositions in this fantastic set by saxophonist Binker Golding have a name. But they certainly have a bright future.

All are being test-run for a forthcoming album, which means titles have yet to be added. As a consequence, Golding has to cue in his band members by humming a quick snippet of each.  

His gumbo of classic hard bop and contemporary soul is delicious — it’s technically mind-blowing and fascinatingly complex, yet melodic enough to ensure it’s far more than just an exhibition of supreme musicianship.  

Enthusiastically received by an attentive full house, his new instrumentals have the potential to appeal to all tastes and —  that dread phrase in some jazz circles — to generate mainstream interest.

That’s not just down to the songwriting itself, with its clear melodies and hooks, but to Golding’s accessible sax style, which is both angular and mellifluous.

It has about it the feel of Raphael Ravenscroft, the man who supplied the famous riff on Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street.  

What’s more, each member of his new quintet is more than capable of matching Golding’s heights, both with their fills and solos.

Billy Adamson is beautifully understated and inventive on guitar, Dan Casimir provides a powerfully soulful underpinning on bass, Sam Jones is supremely tuned-in on drums and barefooted Sarah Tandy produces some heart-stopping moments on piano.

While a date for the album’s release has yet to be scheduled, and there may be some tinkering to come, the contents are already fully formed and magnificent. When it does hit the streets we’re in for a treat.

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