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Recorded live at Newcastle’s Jazz Cafe, Nostalgia Revisited is the debut album from Not Now Charlie. This quintet of young Sage graduates have compiled an album of original compositions which incorporates elements of funk, rock and traditional swinging jazz.
Not Now Charlie know how to write an intoxicating melody line. This is clear from the opener M.C.T which has a laid back groove in the style made popular by Janek Gwizdala. The sax and guitar of Jamie Toms & Pavel Jedrzejewski weave aound each other while occasionally meeting on the melody line. Toms takes a stirring solo over the 6/8 groove with bassist Liam Gaughan filling the spaces. Gaughan then takes a solo which is packed full of thematic development and displays a freedom across the fretless bass. As the bassist begins to play a chordal motif, he pushes the band in to a bouncing reggae feel. Jedrzejewski’s solo ouses rock n roll swagger. Distorted bends, trills and screams bring on an emphatic climax.
Dave McKeague opens Hadath with an energetic drum solo. The track is built on a lurching piano and bass unison line which is embellished with clean, tremolo guitar. This gives the piece a 70’s cop show mood which has a nostalgic charm. Jedrzejewski uses a cleaner Scofield-esque sound for his solo and a Cuban feel is introduced under the sax solo.
Quizzical has a very apt name as the melody certainly sounds inquisitive. It is delivered over an angular backdrop which eases in to the solo section. The drums hold down the groove while Gaughan plays across the bar lines, creating tension before resolving to a solid line. The band move in a Neo-Soul direction for the wah wah guitar solo.
The curiously titled Russian Girl (Who Speaks No English) is a ballad with an unusual meter. Harmonically static, emphasis is put on the melody. Mckeague drives the piece along with subtle brushwork. This is a stand out number for Gaughan who creates a varied set of grooves which sit right in the pocket.
The hard driving rock groove of It’s Not Me, It’s You features some tightly executed ensemble passages. An unexpected drop to a repetitive bass figure forms the basis for an explosive drum solo.
The Cuban drum groove of Mythos underpins a melody which is more in the contemporary jazz vein. The groove is forceful yet spacious and calming, building to some hard driving swing for a more traditional guitar solo.
The guitar and sax resume conversation over the broken groove of Potters Wheel. The piece has a feel of late era Miles Davis with Marcus Miller inspired slap lines. One of the sections of the composition can only be described as Dave Brubeck’s Take Five on steroids.
The album draws to a close with the dramatic harmony of the title track, where tension is built with spacious solo lines over repetitive figures.
Where Do You Go To? is an uplifting composition which climaxes to a stomping fusion groove.
Nostalgia Revisited is an impressive debut which is full of promise. Hopefully a studio album will follow and will capture the energy that the band display in a live setting.