Music Reviews

Joe Webb


Joe Webb collblanc

Edition Records

Formats available: Download, Vinyl

According to his bio, Joe Webb is “fuelled by deep love of 90s guitar bands and an unwavering passion for football”.  Don’t let that sweet talk and fool you for a nano second though, even though he is looking as if he is still enjoying his 20s, Webb has jazz and not blood flowing in his veins and exhibits talent and depth that many at thrice his age will never be able to achieve.

Joe Webb is not a household name on the UK music scene. This is a travesty, as he offers a rare style of jazz piano that will impress and thrill most jazznicks should they get to hear this album.

Collblanc is a very short album at just under eighteen and a half minute yet it packs in far more talent, verve, ingenuity, dexterity and sheer exuberance than most piano led trios I’ve heard. The artist’s website credits one of the giants of contemporary jazz, Brad Mehldau and Jamie Cullum with whom Webb has played and collaborated.

Webb plays a unique brand of modern jazz that will never intimidate. it weaves a splendid and most intoxicating spell that include references to Lenny Tristano, Thelonious Monk, Jessica Williams, Bad Powell, and Art Tatum. It isn’t strictly speaking blues-based and neither is it modern European Jazz. It’s certainly influenced by bebop but it foregoes the need to occasionally torment the listeners and audience, and offers instead, music that inspires and entices. Webb’s very able partners, Will Sach (double bass) and Sam Jesson (drums) support the piano with an ease that makes the music charming throughout.

The review samples were 24/48 WAV files and the recording is good, it locks a realistic piano up front between the right speaker and the centre of the soundstage and in places is eerily realistic. The bass is behind it in almost the centre of the stage while the drums are stretched between mid-left and centre. The tone is more warm than pin sharp and the bass is in places a tad slow, but the presence of the instrument in the room is very realistic at all times.

And adding an icing to the proverbial audio cake, there is a 7 inch vinyl version for those who enjoy the benefits of a good record player. I have been playing Collblanc nonstop for three days and expect that it will keep on giving immense joy for the foreseeable future.

Reuben Klein

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