It isn’t often that you come across an album that is as close to perfection as trombonist and composer Nick Finzer’s is. But is perfection necessarily a good thing?

The album is filled with a good mixture of upbeat and fun songs (‘All Hype’, ‘The Chase’) that bring a smile to a listener’s face and more thoughtful and poignant tracks (‘Steadfast’, ‘Spheres of Influence’).

As well as Finzer, the album features performances from Glenn Zaleski on piano, Lucas Pino on reeds, Alex Wintz on guitar, Dave Baron on bass and Jimmy MacBride on drums. All manage to give beautiful and sincere performances throughout the album.

However, there is one problem that makes it feel difficult to embrace the album entirely: it sounds too  controlled and not spontaneous enough, making it difficult to really believe in the music – as poetic as that sounds.

But it is never demanding or intimidating as you can tell by listening to songs such as ‘Life Happens’ and ‘While You’re Gone’  and the album flows easily between songs perfectly throughout.

It is an album that takes you through a number of different emotions – from happy to reflective and while this is brilliant it would be even better if everybody would just loosen up a little bit more and add even more expression and emotion to their performances.

When creating the album Finzer said that he wanted the album to: ” focus on the personalities of the band…I write to challenge myself, but I made sure that on this recording there would be plenty of room to highlight these incredible players.”

Now while it is difficult to establish how accurately this was achieved for the final product in terms of not knowing the performers themselves , but it does feel like a mixture of very different vibrant characters that have been brought together.

So what did I make of it overall? I did enjoy it in all honesty, but I still that with a lot more freedom the album would dare I say it have been perfect.

The Chase will be released on Origin Records on 21st July.

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