Album Review: Best Buddies from Troy Roberts & Tim Jago
Album: Best Buddies
Artists: Troy Roberts & Tim Jago
Label: Toy Robot Music
Post bop, swing, cool jazz, and jazz improvisation are all elements which can each be found in the recording Best Buddies from saxophonist Troy Roberts and guitarist Tim Jago. Supported by Karl Florisson on acoustic bass and Ben Vanderwal on drums, Roberts and Jago flex their creative instincts, articulating a call and response banter that embodies the phrase freedom of expression.
The quartet’s symbiotic repartee demonstrates their best friends relationship as each acts like a catalyst for the others, building on one another’s statements and moving the course of the melodic progressions forward. Jago’s original composition, “A New Porpoise,” is an energetic interaction among the band members. Based on Bronisław Kaper’s iconic “On Green Dolphin Street,” Vanderwal slings a playful rhythmic patter as Roberts sax whips up a cool froth and Jago’s guitar strings brandish a glinting spark.
The smooth lilt in Roberts sax permeates a blissful warmth through “Pho Twenny” while blanketed by the lounging atmosphere of Jago’s wispy guitar riffs and the gentle pluckings of Florisson’s bass. A collaborative conversation, each member is provided room to express their own individual sensitivity. The result is a ruminating ballad that inspires the listener to delve into a meditative trance.
Traversing into post bop terrain, “King of Hearts” demonstrates the dynamic movements of Roberts playing paired with the seamless scrolls of Jago’s guitar chords, supported by the nimble beats of Florrisson and Vanderwal. The swinging vibe stoking “Overlook” really brings out each band member’s enthusiasm, showing a passion that stirs positive sensations.
The prevailing theme throughout the recording is the impetus to create new compositions based on existing harmonic structures of various well-know jazz standards, translated in a post bop tradition. The quartet’s passion drives their freedom of expression, flexing their creative instincts and articulating a dynamic banter.
Troy Roberts – saxophone
Tim Jago – guitar
Karl Florisson – acoustic bass
Ben Vanderwal – drums