The Gathering: Rebound is the live recording of the follow-up album to the 2016 release The Gathering from saxophonist Chris Rand.
Both albums share two tracks, The Gathering and By the Leigh, but the band line-ups are different with only Chris and organist Andrew Noble being common factors on both albums. The band is: Chris Rand – saxophone; Nathanael Martin – guitar; Andrew Noble – organ; Robin Lowry – drums
The Gathering: Rebound begins with The Stack Effect which starts off with Chris in a jazz R&B style before guitarist Nathanael Martin comes in with something of a prog-rock inspired solo with great backing from drummer Robin Lowry. Chris then returns to the fray with a repeated phrase pattern from the introduction. By the Leigh follows in a rhythmic lilting manner with terrific solo playing from Nathanael Martin and Chris Rand. The drumming throughout is tight and crisp but it is the organ solo from Andrew Noble that steals this track for me.
Song for Lucy is, for me, the standout tune of the album. This is a blues ballad of stunningly beautiful construction and playing. Each player has their part to play in putting over the emotion behind the tune and each player plays their part to the full. I have no idea who Lucy is but would suggest that she must be someone special to elicit such a hauntingly engaging tune from a composer and musician.
God Bless the Child, the song written by Billie Holiday and Arthur Herzog Jr. in 1939, is given an extended twelve-and-a-half-minute outing and does not suffer in its delivery. The time is used to good effect with each of the musicians being given the opportunity to solo and bring something different to this well-known tune.
The Gathering is the penultimate track on the album and picks up the tempo from the previous two tunes. Another blues-based number with some good call and response playing between the sax and guitar. This would be a fitting end to the gig and this album but of course there is always the encore number, and, in this case, it is Strollin’ – which is listed as a bonus track. Strollin’ could be described as an onomatopoeic tune in that the title aptly describes what is heard. I like this tune; it is well played at a mid-tempo pace and rounds off this very enjoyable album nicely.