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John Goldsby / Billy Test – ‘Swim for Your Life’

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    Posted: 12 Feb 2024 at 8:27am
John Goldsby / Billy Test – Swim for Your Life

(Bass Lion Records BLM018-4. Album review by Frank Griffith) 

JOHN GOLDSBY - John Goldsby / Billy Test : Swim for Your Life cover

American bassist John Goldsby, resident in Cologne since 1994, has just released, Swim for Your Life, his fourth duo album with pianist Billy Test. Both current members of the WDR Big Band they explore an intimate shared single voice on this warm and introspective CD.

The opening track, Harold Arlen’s 1924 classic, Ill Wind get matters off in grand fashion with a laid back yet poignant bathos saluting this classic era of American song.

Two original pieces composed by John’s wife, pianist/singer Robin Meloy Goldsby add to the overall mood wonderfully. Otono emanates a sweeping and unfettered sonic presence while April Tango offers a playful dance between the two conspirators upholding the vivacity of the tango tradition.

Goldsby originals, Fall Calls and Swim For Your Life add variance and richness to the collection. Test’s solo on Fall Call is virtuostic imbued by his harmonic breadth along with his light-fingered melodic elegance. The final track, Swim for Your Life lightens the mood with its playful rompish nature. As Goldsby says: “Swim For Your Life reflects our short frolic on this planet. It’s up to us to take every moment and grab the love, beauty and swing all around us”. 


Hear, hear to that. This recording exploits the duo’s far-reaching harmonies, coupled with profound melodies while fully honouring the jazz tradition. Swim for Your Life is fully afloat throughout while making waves at every juncture.

Saxist/arranger Frank Griffith, is based in Liverpool. His weekly radio show, The Jazz Cavern can be heard on http://www.purejazzradio.com

LINK: Purchase Swim for your Life

from https://londonjazznews.com

Edited by snobb - 12 Feb 2024 at 8:28am
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