Pete Aves – Down Beat

High Llamas' guitarist's best solo album to date

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The backing tracks for Down Beat were recorded in just two days by a formidable ensemble, live and often improvised, and the range of material here is extraordinary, from some humorously mellow sax variations on the theme to The Waltons to the jazz-streaked, curiously-truncated “Kalimba”, which rolls out with the thunder of John Coltrane. Although his fellow Llamas loan him some instruments, that’s where the debt to his band ends. The best moments are often the gentlest, such as “You Said You’d Built Some Wings”?imagine if Miles Davis and Gil Evans had got together to orchestrate the band in Trumpton.

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