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Double Talk Review

Jazz UK

Superb multi reeds and flute player Travis with his new band including guitarist Mike Outram, organist Pete Whittaker and drummer Roy Dodds - plus telling orchestral guitar electronics from Robert Fripp on a couple of tracks dedicated to Paller Mikkelborg. Travis' sound range is amazing, from Lucky Thompson - breathy to Ronnie Laws funk, and he doesn't hide his unashamed enthusiasm for prog-rock's heart-on-sleeve melodies swell pedaleffects and church organ sounds. But just when you think it's getting too Gothic, along comes a groove track with some screaming Larry Young-like organ, Outram sounding like a demented 80's house anthem and with the often underused Dodds really kicking. The band is on the road in this month and next.ere ...

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Theo Travis’ Double Talk: Transgression Review

By ROGER FARBEY (All About Jazz)

The chiming notes of a very Mahavishnu Orchestra sounding guitar open the tension-rich "Fire Mountain" hotly pursued by Theo Travis' intense tenor sax soloing and coruscating axe work from Mike Outram. 

A change of pace is heard in the title track, beginning slowly but gradually building-up in pace and volume, Outram's fuzzy guitar twinned with Travis' sax comprise the melodic driving force, all underpinned by organ from Pete Whittaker and crackling drums from seasoned percussionist Nic France. The pressure continues to build courtesy of a keen ensemble riff reaching a climax until it dies back into the opening reflective sax-led balledic theme.

"Smokin' at Klooks" is a steamy blues-fest, Outram's guitar channelling Peter Green's memorable solo on "Black Magic Woman" and Travis producing a light, bluesy solo on flute. The catchy "Song For Samuel" benefits from Travis' articulate tenor sax, conjuring-up the breezy feel of "Off The Wagon" as performed by one of his sax heroes, Tubby Hayes and more lithe guitar ensues from Mike Outram.

A sultry head introduces the slower "Everything I Feared" underlaid by an organ bass pedal line over which surfaces Outram's stinging guitar and a dazzling echoey flute solo from Theo Travis. 

The only track not written (or co-written) by Travis is the wistful and deceptively complex "Maryan" by Robert Wyatt and Philip Catherine, which again spotlights delicate flute with organ accompaniment offering an example of exquisitely beautiful sensibility. 

The stately-paced "A Place In the Queue" is replete with magnificent glissando guitar and soulful tenor saxophone over plaintive organ chords, but then gathers a head of steam just over halfway through with biting guitar and an ensemble passage leading back to the opening melody. The closing track is the short and pensive "The Call" clearly demonstrating that Travis' blues-inflected tenor can sound as good as it gets played slowly and with feeling. 

Theo Travis really needs no introduction given his history of collaboration with music giants such as Robert Fripp, Gong and Soft Machine Legacy, not to mention the dozen recordings he's produced under his own name over the past twenty years. He has also contributed to various works by progmeister-extraordinaire Steve Wilson, who expertly mixed and mastered this album. Transgression will undoubtedly win many prog fans over to jazz and given the high quality of the compositions and superb performances all 'round, this album can justifiably be termed a cooker

Track Listing: Fire Mountain; Transgression; Smokin' at Klooks; Song For Samuel; Everything I Feared; Maryan; A Place In The Queue; The Call 

Personnel: Theo Travis: tenor sax, flutes, Fender Rhodes; Mike Outram: guitar; Pete Whittaker: organ; Nic France: drums, percussion 

Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Esoteric Antenna

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Secret Island - Reviews

"The whole outfit sounds poised relaxed and beautifuly modulated "- 

Dave Gelly. Musician Magazine.


"One of the outstanding releases of 1996. A very fine album.. "-
Helen Mayhew. Jazz FM


"Well up to scratch.... A cracking album.. "-
Brian Morton. Radio3 Impressions


"..features John Etheridge and shows just what a good composer Travis is "-
Lynton Chiswick. Time Out


"This is a sophisticated and mature piece of writing from a musician known as much for his composition as for his playing....an original and personal jazz conception "-
Ian Ritchie. Absolute Jazz(Internet magazine)


" The strong melodic themes and thoughtful solos which distinguished his earlier recordings are much in evidence on the new one, and there's a bonus in the prescence of guitarist John Etheridge, whose ringing sound and bright ideaas add a new dimension to Travis' music "-
Pete Martin. Jazz UK 

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View From The Edge - Review

"...a strong album and should go further to establishing him as a national name." -
The Birmingham Post

" Travis continues to avoid the stock harmonic solutions...well worth checking out and a lot more to come." -
Derek Briggs. Jazz On CD

"It is impressive for the determination with which Travis avoids the standard patterns and cliches of jazz" -
The Observer Review

"a triumph of popular appeal and art." -
Derek Briggs. Jazz On CD

"Once again Travis' striking composition make the music both distinctive and accesssible" -
Pete Martin. Studio Time


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2am - Reviews

"Travis has made a record of real jazz interest and wide general appeal." -
Jazz On CD

"Travis has been getting alot of media praise, well merited this disc suggests." -
Jazz Journal

"Another blinder from saxophonist Theo Travis.." -
Musician

"Tough contemporary jazz with a boppish edge..an impressive start." -
Penguin Guide to Jazz

"An authentically intoxicating early hours set" -
The Financial Times

"If you like small-combo modern jazz with music that speaks intelligently, buy this one. " -
Jewish Chronical

"2am features some killing ballads" -
Venue

"This one earns an "A" for atmosphere" -
Cadence Magazine

"An exciting and rightly acclaimed debut CD" -
The Birmingham Post

"2am highlights Travis' abilities as a player and composer with tunes like 'Fish' and 'Nightmare In New York' typical of his driving energy and capturing something of the excitement he generates live" -
Coventry Evening Telegraph

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