Just one question, punk: have you ever heard a bad Greg Foat record? The answer, of course, is no. For although the talented pianist knocks stuff out at a rate that the term ‘prodigious’ doesn’t really cover, his quality control levels are always super high. Ensuring that anything featuring Foat’s name is going to be worth checking out and then some. And so it proves to be again as Mr. Foat teams up with drummer, Aleksi Heinola, and bassist, Teemu Akerblom, for an eight track paean to the power of the feline persuasion. Recorded in Norway last year, the threesome sound comfortable, relaxed and laid back as they conjure up themes such as Catnip Dreams, with Foat tumbling chords and runs over a locked-in rhythmical framework that entices the listener, before twisting off on various detours, crafting aural byways to explore.
Valley Of The Black Cats traverses a more sinister soundscape, with hints of exotica turned to the darkside, as synth lines twirl themselves around a pugnacious bass riff that sounds like it’s come for your dinner money and won’t take no for an answer. Filmic, and moodier than you’d expect, its lightened by a playfulness in the vocal umms and ahhs that ping the groove along: lovely stuff.
Yim & Yohn also takes its lead from a bass intro before Foat flexes his fingers again with arcing synthesized lines giving off cosmic souljazz vibes: returning forever to return to forever, if you like. This one sounds like a jam rather than a written theme but who knows: either way it’s a chilled slice of goodness, perfect for summer melting into autumn.
You can pretty much take your pick of the tracks on offer: its all worth a listen – the sound of musicians having fun, creating, gelling together and getting down to the good groove. There’s lots to like, plenty to keep the ears engaged, and a sense of humour: this shit might just catch on! Expect to hear this blasting from an audiophile café near you sometime soon. Purr-fect, in fact.
Greg Foat, Aleksi Heinola, & Teemu Akerblom`s Gone To The Cats is out now on Norway`s Jazzaggression.