Further Praise for Ambulance UK Tour

The Birmingham Post's Peter Bacon included the band in his respected Jazz Diary column prior to their appearance at the CBSO Centre in Birmingham offering further insight into their music and influences:

"Aldeburgh, on the Suffolk coast, is not particularly known for being a hotbed of jazz.

Benjamin Britten, yes, and one of the finest fish and chip shops on the planet, maybe, but jazz? A little unlikely.

However, thanks to a musical residency offered to double bassist Arnie Somogyi and his band Ambulance, the shuffle of the shingle beach, the resonance of Maggie Hambling's shell sculpture and the reed-fringed calm of the Alne estuary at Snape Maltings all provide inspiration for some pretty impressive jazz.

You will have a chance to hear some of it on Saturday when Ambulance, with its celebrated American guest, trumpeter Eddie Henderson, bring the music of their new album, "Accident and Insurgency", to the CBSO Centre, Birmingham, courtesy of Birmingham Jazz.

Ambulance is a slightly deceptive name for the band - there's not much Beeh-Baah about the rich jazz soundscape this septet can conjure up.

Having said that, the opening track on "Accident and Insurgency", Walking Wounded, shows the band can do urban hot as well as coastal cool.

This is a modern, post-bop band interacting with great panache and making a lovely rounded sound, but it is the more evocative Aldeburgh-inspired stuff that shows Arnie's band to be a thing apart, and a very special one. The atmospheric interludes like Mick the Fish, the comedic slip and slide of Captain Courageous, the quiet gorgeousness of pianist Tim Lapthorn's Solace - these show remarkable versatility.

The band - Paul Booth and Rob Townsend on saxophones, Dave Smith on drums, as well as Somogyi and Lapthorn - all compose, and if Henderson's name isn't there in the writer credits, his presence is vital in providing the jazz heritage and improvisational fireworks. Just listen to his flugelhorn intro to Tumbledown - exquisite."


12 February 2008