Now’s The Time – Tom Lindsay with Tom Moore, Ric Yarborough and Guests (2020)

Tom Lindsay – vocals, piano and keyboards

Tom Moore – upright and electric bass

Ric Yarborough – drums

Elliot Drew – alto and tenor sax

Nick Dewhurst – trumpet and flugelhorn

Joris Bolhaar – trombone

Coming from the Midlands, this is Tom’s first solo release and as a result features the full gamut of his stylistic output.

Opening with a Cullum-esque groove for the head of If I Were A Bell, things relax into a swinging solo section with Elliot channeling some Phil Woods and Tom’s piano solo follows nicely. The spare left hand and gaps have a Keith Jarrett insouciance. I greatly enjoy the change of vibe again for the ending.

The verse for Surrey With The Fringe On Top is redolent of the Bill Evans/Tony Bennett sessions and is something I hope to hear for his next album. That Tom uses his English accent works is a strength and judges perfectly that difference between musical theatre and trite English song. Again the piano solo shows that Tom is equally at home playing a modern jazz piano trio as well as starring as the vocalist.

Belongs To You is an original that Tom penned for his Wedding day and featured a big band of friends. This recording sits well in the album selection and swings really nicely. I have to declare an interest here as I played bass trombone on the track. This has instant classic swing through it like a stick of Blackpool rock.

Now’s The Time is again by Tom and carries on the vibe where the vocals perform like a horn and the rhythm section supports appropriately. It is a testament to his skills that he can write a melody and lyrics of this standard and then deliver the vocal and piano performance to match their quality.

Just marks a departure stylistically to a funky shuffle with keys and bass guitar but the linchpin again is Tom’s vocal. It’s great to hear a proper trombone solo and a bass guitar solo where the band doesn’t cut out and supports with a full texture.

You Might Be The One is one of those songs that has an intimacy that speaks to your heart and head, raises a smile (albeit a wistful one) and leaves you moved. This has a measured perfection.

Last July reminds me of the trio vibe of Brazilian singer/pianist Eliane Elias and the vocal risks he takes are always pulled off leaving you enjoying the delicious danger of jazz improvising.

Brick By Boring Brick is a meditative reworking of American rockers Paramore’s original. The introspection of the melody and lyrics is admirably suited to this reinterpretation. The quiet building of power is wonderful.

Revolution is Tom’s final original offering is a combination of Latin and Pop sounds that owes a lot to Jamiroquai in it’s vocal vibe. Nick Dewhurst shines on flugelhorn. The production here, as elsewhere on the album, is tremendous with layering of keyboards, diving between trio and full band and multitrack vocals.

Take The ‘A’ Train has a feet moving New Orleans shuffle with sumptuous snare work and piano figures that stay out of the way. The fade out with band chorus goes to show how close and fun a band this is.

Overall, this doesn’t sound like a first album. The changes of pace but overall homogeneity of the vocals create a sound world that is entirely that of Tom and his band. Great swing, groove, beautiful singing, surprising changes of mood all go to produce an album of work which everyone can really enjoy.

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©2020 Andy Derrick

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