Nathaniel Facey - alto saxophone
Ingrid Jensen - trumpet
Gilad Hekselman - guitar
Noel Langley - trumpet
Jason Yarde - baritone saxophone
Trevor Mires - trombone
Gareth Lockrane - flutes
Tom Farmer - double bass
James Maddren & Jon Scott - drums
Ivo Neame - piano
Jim Hart - vibraphone
George Crowley - tenor saxophone
Recorded at Wonderland Studios (Oct 6-10, 2020)
Mixed by Ivo Neame and Alessio Romano
Mastered by Peter Beckmann
Produced by Ivo Neame
Executive Producer - Michael Janisch
Photography by Monika S Jakubowska
Graphic Design by Dave Bush
released November 26, 2021
ABOUT THE ALBUM
Ivo Neame’s twisting grooves and harmonic ingenuity have helped establish his distinct voice in international contemporary jazz. The celebrated Phronesis pianist returns to Whirlwind for Glimpses of Truth, a powerful artistic statement marking the first time Neame’s big band compositions have been committed to disc. Neame’s most assured body of work to date will undoubtedly be remembered as one of this period’s most impressive artistic achievements.
“Having lots of people play this intricate polyrhythmic music can be really emotionally powerful,” says Neame. Taking inspiration from Phronesis’ large ensemble projects, the compositions also played a didactic role, as a way of introducing newcomers to complex rhythmic structures. The pandemic flipped that idea on its head: faced with dwindling opportunities to hear these compositions live, Neame thought “’I’m just going to plough on regardless and record it all’.” Composed, multi-tracked (Neame plays all the tutti sax lines), videoed, mixed and mastered remotely over the pandemic period, Glimpses of Truth embraces the digital on a global scale, as Gilad Hekselman, Jim Hart and Ingrid Jensen appear alongside a stellar selection of UK musicians.
Neame’s creations grapple meaningfully with wider social issues. “We’re always struggling with the real truth of anything,” he says, explaining the album’s title. “People talk about how we’re in a post-truth world – this album is my interpretation of that.” The release emerges into a post-Trumpian landscape abounding with conspiracy theorists who fully embrace their own truths. “But a lot of the time, it’s very murky – that’s why I call it ‘glimpses’. These days, it’s ‘this is my truth, that’s your truth’, it’s all very vague because the world is so chaotic.” Glimpses of Truth offers stark clarity as a healing balm, working methodically through rhythmic complexity towards a negotiated artistic truth.
Neame stumbled across an article which claimed that 12 million Americans believe interstellar lizards run the United States. “I wanted to write a tune that would encourage people to wake up and question their beliefs" – ‘Rise of the Lizard People’ is what followed, immediately dropping you into Neame’s world of pulsing rhythms and shifting feels. ‘Strega’ follows, the distinctive double-drum setup of Maddren and Scott accompanying Jensen’s pensive trumpet touches. A mandolin-like left-hand tremolo gradually envelops ‘Broken Brains’; George Crowley features as the track veers towards introspection. The widespread mental health issues the title references are “not something to be taken lightly,” says Neame. “We all have to check ourselves.”
‘Phasing Song’ takes inspiration from Steve Reich and John Adams; a saxophone canon multitracked by Neame forms its compositional crux. ‘Perseverance’ is similarly layered, but the freest track on the album proves “you don’t need to be in the same room at the same time to achieve something spontaneous and interactive.” “I’m not precious about any music, it’s all up for grabs,” says Neame; ‘Ghostly Figure’ is proof of that, heading in a gently unsettling electric direction with bouncing synths and eerie trombone murmurings. The album finds Neame well equipped on his continued search for hard-fought truths.
"There have been some fascinating instances of isolated jazz artists' ingenuity in the pandemic era, but this wide-screen triumph by Ivo Neame is one of the standouts.'
★★★★ Jazzwise Magazine
"Skilfully pieced together in uniquely difficult circumstances 'Glimpses Of Truth' is a triumph for Ivo Neame and must rank as one of the most outstanding releases of 2021."
★★★★★ The Jazz Mann
"A fine piece of work."
★★★★★ Kind of Jazz
"A success on every level."
★★★★ All About Jazz
"A tour de force of lockdown woodshedding creativity with 'Glimpses of Truth', home-brewing an uncannily live-sounding virtual big band."
"The seven tunes are complex and shifting, evolving as the minutes fly by, solos pop up and then dissolve, backing riffs drift past as if on a rhythmic river with Neam's piano pinning it all together."
London Jazz News
"The compositions are strong, thought provoking, and played to the highest standard."
"A galaxy of post-bop-and-beyond virtuoso talent."
supported by 23 fans who also own “Glimpses of Truth”
I investigated WTB after hearing an, as yet untitled, piece on BBC3’s J to Z.
I was instantly taken with it and reminded of the music of National Health.
It’s a wonderful album. I listen through ear buds, via Bluetooth speaker and put through the AVR to fill a room. All are immersive, while different. khawaja
supported by 22 fans who also own “Glimpses of Truth”
Oh man, I love everything about this - it's everything that the spirit of jazz ought to represent - exploration, adventure, beauty, politics. Exquisite playing and writing and an incredible sense of purpose and meaning though it all. Just wonderful. Massive kudos to JH for coupling his incredible music to a message that the we all need. x Steve Lawson