Gerard Presencer – Platypus – Audio Quarterly Magazine. Linn Records.

Gerard Presencer is probably best known as the young trumpeter who played on the US3 mega hit of “Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)”, although his debut album, “Platypus” might well change that. It is an album, which Presencer hopes will defy what he calls “dogmatic classification” and be considered as representing merely the music, which he likes.

That is perhaps why he has chosen to name it after an animal, which as an egg-laying mammal straddles the evolutionary tree. Or perhaps he just liked the pretty photograph of the animal by Jean-Paul Ferrero. But whatever, I’m afraid that I am going to have to be dogmatic and classify this album as being very much in the jazz funk genre.

Classifications may be a hindrance to him but they make my life a whole lot easier. And I’m the one at the keyboard so Gerard, sorry mate, but this is a jazz-funk album. It is also very good and very enjoyable.

A highly capable band consisting of Jason Rebello on piano, John Paracelli on guitar, Andrew Cleyndert on bass and Jeremy Stacey on drums, with Chris fletcher playing percussion on “Blue Eyed Boy” backs him up. One and all fizz along playing bright and funky(sorry there’s another dogmatic classification) throughout the eight self penned tracks. Self penned that is, but with the slight exception of the opening number “Still Moanin'” which wittily uses the chorus from Art Blakey’s “Moanin'”.

Presencer is a good arranger and writer of medium length numbers, which serve well as a vehicle for his emotive playing on the flugel horn. Mention should also be made of Paricelli’s guitar, which is consistently exciting. Something which can also be said of Rebello’s piano playing, but if we give credit where credit is due we run the risk of going through the whole band once more.

The production is the usual Linn clearness.

This is an album which shows yet another British jazz musician producing a quality release. It will certainly be very interesting to see where Gerard Presencer goes next. Until then, this is an album which has much to recommend it. Including a pretty photograph of the Platypus. 

Gerard Presencer – Platypus LINN Records AKD 079