The Impossible Gentlemen

Gwilym Simcock piano
Mike Walker guitar
Steve Swallow electric bass
Adam Nussbaum drums

Basho, 2011

NO 4 IN THE FAVOURITES OF 2011

The first recording by this perfectly balanced transatlantic band – guitarist Mike Walker and pianist Gwilym Simcock from this side of the pond; drummer Adam Nussbaum and electric bassist Steve Swallow from the other side – builds upon and confirms what those of us who heard them playing live in the spring of 2010 already knew: that it’s one of the most exciting and satisfying collaborations for a very long time. There is also, for me, a particular joy in hearing Mike Walker finally getting some of the attention and acclaim he so thoroughly deserves.
— Peter Bacon, The Jazz Breakfast

Gwilym Simcock and The Impossible Gentlemen

Reviews

Rob Young, The Urban Flux

“Although there’s nothing impossible for these artists to achieve with this jewel, it encompasses a compelling tapestry of diverse and challenging songs and equally as important it gives plenty of room to those who play them.”

Stuart Nicholson, Jazzwise ****

“One of the most refreshing debut albums for a long time”

London Jazz

“… this is a classy, elegant but punchily accessible album, and a great appetiser not only for their forthcoming June UK tour, but also their London Jazz Festival appearance in November.”

Peter Bacon, The Jazz Breakfast

“The first recording by this perfectly balanced transatlantic band – guitarist Mike Walker and pianist Gwilym Simcock from this side of the pond; drummer Adam Nussbaum and electric bassist Steve Swallow from the other side – builds upon and confirms what those of us who heard them playing live in the spring of 2010 already knew: that it’s one of the most exciting and satisfying collaborations for a very long time.”

Ivan Hewitt, Daily Telegraph ****

“This is simply a first-rate jazz album by an Anglo-American quartet which is unimpeachably mainstream. It’s terrific.”

John Fordham, The Guardian ****

“…from byzantine contemporary bebop to raw, Hendrix-like guitar blues by way of Pat Metheny’s lyricism and Gwilym Simcock’s mercurial compositions and piano virtuosity. Simcock, Salford guitar master Mike Walker, bass guitarist Steve Swallow and drummer Adam Nussbaum sidestep every supergroup pitfall by sounding as integrated and mutually responsive as if they’d been together for a decade.”

Jack Massarik, Evening Standard ****

“… the standard of improvisation and all-round musicianship is superb throughout. Simcock’s versatility is no secret but Walker is a revelation, covering all bases from the cool neobop intensity of Laughter Lines to the warm chorded balladry of Wallender’s Last Stand and the hot Santana-like lyricism of You Won’t Be Around to See It. The day he forsakes his beloved Salford for London or New York, other guitarists should look out.”

Bebop Spoken Here

“compelling CD”

Roger Thomas, BBC Music Magazine *****

“Packing more into eight tracks than many could manage in that number of albums …it’s simply outstanding”

Peter Bevan, The Northern Echo

“The interaction and mutual support is a joy throughout”

Kenny Mathieson, The Scotsman ***

“… the interaction between four diverse talents is a constant treat, whether on gentle, exquisitely textured explorations like Walker’s increasingly expansive When You Hold Her or Simcock’s Gwil’s Song, or up-tempo material, exemplified by Walker’s Laugh Lines or Simcock’s Play The Game. They close with Nussbaum’s sinuous blues, Sure Would Baby.”

Dave Gelly, Observer

“Each one is a virtuoso, but that’s taken for granted. It’s the interplay between them that matters, the way every nuance fits magically into the ever-changing pattern. And it’s not all action and energy either; the duet between Simcock and Walker in “Gwil’s Song” is the most sensuous sound imaginable. Absorbing.”

Chris May, AllaboutJazz

“This shimmering jewel of style and substance is jazz at its most exalted, and simply has to be heard. Here’s a crude and approximate map reference, but one that gets close to the buried treasure. Imagine guitarist Pat Metheny’s trio masterpiece, Day Trip (Nonesuch, 2007), add a pianist of commensurate genius, and you are banging on the disc’s front door. It is that good”.

Ian Mann, The Jazz Mann

“At last, a super-group that works. “The Impossible Gentlemen” is an exceptional album, one that combines accessibility and melodic sensibility with a high degree of musical sophistication.”

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