Simon Spillett’s Square One, from vinyl specialist Gearbox Records, is a fine recording, full of superbly played modern jazz that leaps out of the speakers with a welcome warmth and clarity of sound. Tenor saxophonist Spillett is probably best known as a Tubby Hayes aficionado but Square One shows that he’s got his own sound. Accompanied by pianist John Critchinson, bassist Alec Dankworth and drummer Clark Tracey, Spillett crafts six superb tunes which grab the attention from the first beat.
Every tune offers its own delights...above all, there’s Spillett’s tenor. On the minor blues title-tune, his own composition, his sound has a slinky, early-hours feel; on Dizzy Reece’s bop-meets-funk “Shepherds Serenade” he adopts a warmer, fuller tone and for the bands high-velocity versions of “A Night In Tunisia” and “In The Still Of The Night” he shows an impressive ability to match precision and passion...
Square One is limited to 500 copies on 180gm vinyl. Each copy comes with a code for a free downloadable version of the album.
Bruce Lindsay, Jazz UK