I discovered Manchester-based Gogo Penguin about 4 years ago, and truly loved them when I saw them live.
I was getting a bit worried when I didn’t really like their 2018 studio album A Humdrum Star that much.
Luckily, things came back on track (at least for my personal taste) with the excellent movie soundtrack album Ocean In A Drop, that I listed in My Top 3 Jazz albums of 2019.
GoGo Penguin (BlueNote 2020)
I’m a bit late in reviewing this, as it came out already 3 months ago, but I bought it the day it came out.
The album is now simply called GoGo Penguin. Naming an album simply after the band name is a major step, as Marc Zisman notes in his album comments on Qobuz.
The album shows that they’ve now developed their truly owned style, the “GoGo Penguin style”, for lack of a better word, that’s clearly recognisable.
The combination of grooves inspired by electronic music, but played (mostly) on an acoustic jazz trio, is really fascinating.
There is something hypnotic about the groove and the repeating piano patterns of Atomised. Or take To the Nth, where Pianist Chris Illingworth plays with some reverb effects, or Don’t Go, that features bass player Rob Turner, supported by a (prepared) piano. Just beautiful.
I’m going to quote again Marc Zisman from Qobuz: With GoGo Penguin, GoGoPenguin goes to the essential. Couldn’t have said it better.
Go get it!
My rating: 5 stars
You can find it here (Qobuz)
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