TG Collective – Release the Penguins (2012)
When I first listened to Release the Penguins, I was envisaging a group of haggard, wrinkled Eastern Europeans, who had been playing together for decades, instead, I find out that TG Collective are a young, fresh faced Jazz band from Birmingham, UK. They an expanded form of Jazz guitar group Trio Gitano (the nominal “TG”), incorporating violin, flute, bass, and percussion.
The overall feel is Jazz stooped in European folk tradition, Gypsy Jazz mostly, but there is even a nod to Flamenco and Klezmer coming through. The melodies are blisteringly fast at times, and the harmonies incredibly tight. The flute adds to the intrigue and, at times, gives a soundtrack quality.
At heart, TG Collective play Jazz centred around the duelling guitars of Jamie Fekete and Sam Slater and, to begin with, it seems that the other instruments are there to provide support across the changes or to echo the melodies. But they come into their own on later tracks. Flautist Holly Jones has an outstanding appearance on their version of Horace Silver’s Song for my Father, and bassist Percy Pursglove plays the trumpet in a nice turn on jazz standard, The Sheik of Araby.
Overall, a great uplifting Jazz album, with plenty of interesting support to a couple of great guitars!
Favourite tracks: Release the Penguins, Not a Waltz, Homage.