WHAT a difference a pianist makes. The line-up is only a piano player away from that of the scintillating Tinkler, Rex, Grabowsky, Edie Live album, having in common trumpeter Scott Tinkler, bassist Philip Rex and Ken Edie on drums.
Hannaford takes Garden down a different path, using frameworks of melodic fragments, rhythms and notated music as an occasional guide to improvisation.
Only on two tracks — the epic 17-minute G.E.B. and What was that? — are all four musicians featured. Three tracks are for piano, drums and bass, with one track solo piano.
Hannaford urges us to “hear what this music is, rather than what it is not”. So what is it? This is complex, simple, aggressive, delicate, triumphal, dazzling, acerbic and engaging. Moods change, notes — especially Tinkler’s — take flight and soar.
Music to experience rather than effortlessly enjoy. Best heard live.
In short: These garden paths go almost anywhere you can imagine.