Exposé Online banner

Jenny Maybee / Nick Phillips — Haiku
((Not on label) no#, 2016, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2016-03-15

Haiku Cover art

I’ll admit to a preference for energetic music, so this collection of tunes by singer / pianist Jenny Maybee and trumpeter Nick Phillips, joined by acoustic bassist Paul Eastburn but without a drummer, faces an uphill battle for my attention. The fact that none of the songs is faster than a medium tempo is a second strike against it. That being said, these are musicians of talent, and it’s not fair to judge them for what they’re not trying to do. And just because the energy level is relaxed doesn’t mean they’re not putting their hearts into it. Maybee’s piano work is fairly old-school, without much dissonance, though far from simplistic, with rich chording and imaginative melodies, and there are occasional touches of surprise, chromatic lines that go unexpected places. Her voice is similarly pleasant, closer to the breathy side than full-throated, maybe a little like Sarah Vaughan on a ballad (though with less vibrato and without the more powerful climaxes). Phillips matches his playing to her voice, with a mellow tone and relaxed manner, perhaps reminiscent of Chet Baker – certainly no pyrotechnics here. The lack of a drummer allows the players a lot of freedom to interpret the compositions. Haiku is not something I’m going to listen to every day, but it suits a pensive mood, and it is recorded superbly – these are live performances captured with the highest fidelity.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): Jenny Maybee

Latest news

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ex-Vagus - Ames Vagabondes – Ex-Vagus is a French prog rock quintet (bass, drums, keyboards, vocals, and guitars) that would fit well in the Musea stable of French artists (Ange, Pulsar, etc.). Ames Vagabondes is their third...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues