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CD REVIEW: Paul Jordanous Ensemble - Kenny Quirky (2011)

By: Cyrus Rhodes


"world class grooves"










Artist: Paul Jordanous Ensemble
Album: Kenny Quirky
Label: Unsigned

Genre: Jazz
Sounds Like: Miles Davis, Chris Botti, George Duke, Herbie Hancock
Technical Grade: 10/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 10/10
Commercial Value: 10/10
Overall Talent Level: 10/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 10/10
Best Songs: “Strong: The Reaction”, Passing Through, Rushing the Wait
Weakness: None




UK based trumpet player Paul Jordanous and his Ensemble release their self-titled release in 2011. Jordanous is no stranger to the music business. He’s been performing for about a decade and has toured throughout Germany, Italy, Austria, Holland, Spain and even the Czech Republic. He has played with the likes of Mo Nazam, Mike Bradley, Mornington Lockett, Lauerence Cottle, Ian Thomas, Guy Barker, Pete Churchill, Steve Waterman, Henry Lowther, Tina May, Nikki Illes, Julian Siegl and Ben Castle and Lead trumpet at Kingston Youth Big Band just to name a few. Ensemble line-up includes Paul Jordanous (Trumpet), Piers Green (Alto Sax), Paul Booth (Tenor Sax), Tom White (Trombone), Bill Mudge (Piano/Rhodes Organ), Kit Downes (Piano/Rhodes Organ), Lewis Wright (Vibraphone), Mark Rose (Bass), Chris Nickolls (Drums) and Ted Carrasco (Drums on Phone One).


The CD gently takes to flight with “Kenny Quirky Suite Part I (Here Comes Kenny) an intoxicating intro piece that flows and ebbs its way through to musical fruition. As expected this first piece serves up impressive groove against dynamic Jazz soundscapes with impressive piano and trumpet tandems and solid low-end section. The CD makes a great first impression and literally grabs your attention with its smooth musical flow. Track 2 “Passing Through” keeps things moving in the same smooth direction with more full tilt Piano, Trumpet, infections organ chops, well placed drums, and amazing vibraphone. Track 3 “Strong: The Reaction”: a more marketable piece that serves up impressive Organ intro that methodically evolves into  a slamming piece with mesmerizing trumpet, full tilt rhythm section and infectious melodies. The CD makes a great first impression providing 3 solid musical experiences in a row. Musical textures reminiscent of classic Herbie Hancock, Chris Botti, Miles Davis, George Duke and even classic Tony Williams. As the CD slowly unfolds you will notice most of the pieces fill the sonic space with all the attributes of classic free form jazz with amazing Alto and tenor Saxophone, solid rhythm section, well placed Vibraphone, Trombone, Piano and Rhodes Organs and of course Jordanous on the Trumpet. This Ensemble is spot on and provides everything you would expect in the way of musical peak and valley with music that is extremely dynamic and entertaining. All in all the CD has some truly impressive moments showcasing Gold Standard playing, performing, songwriting, rhythm section, chops, dynamic grooves - all rich in melody and flavor. What’s even more impressive is how well all these players share the sonic space with each other yet allowing for much in the way of musical freedom. As a listener I was entertained the entire time. Apart: this Ensemble clearly knows how to play their instruments. Together: they are a well-oiled jazz-machine. From dynamic “Strong: In Hindsight” to slamming “The Squeeze Driver” to passionate “Scotty to Hotty” to rocking “Rushing the Wait” this CD pretty much has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with “Kenny Quirky Suite (Part I) the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.


I normally dedicated this paragraph to weaknesses found. As you can see I have nothing worthwhile to report.


After spending some time with Paul Jordanous Ensemble it's hard to find any solid weaknesses worth mentioning. Instead as the CD progressed I became more and impressed with the production as a whole. Make no bones about it these are world class grooves and these cats can play Jazz the way it was meant to be played. Most people will agree live performances pack a powerful punch and are quite dynamic and spontaneous. Paul Jordanous Ensemble is an impressive musical production from start to finish. There’s not really a weak song on this entire catalog period! The musicianship is first-rate, the songs are dynamic and passionate. Each one possessing a unique personality, flair and signature groove. Lastly - the playing, writing abilities of Paul Jordanous and his Ensemble are altogether tantalizing and amazing. Sure to keep you fully entertained well into and enchanted evening.


Cyrus Rhodes