Album Of The Week: Ambient Jazz Ensemble – Suite Shop


Text via Here & Now

Ambient Jazz Ensemble’s sound is inspired by a mix of Brian Eno, Gil Evans and Weather Report. From the offset “Eyes Wide Open” takes us on an glorious orchestral, slightly jazzy direction. Think Pat Metheny Group meets David Axelrod with a modern electronic twist. The horns, brass, strings and synths play off each other to create beautiful soundscapes. “The Journey”, showing the funkier side of Suite Shop, flirts with chorale music at its peak. The aptly titled “Quiet Hero” does exactly what it says on the tin: gorgeous tranquility which then builds in booth mood and intensity climaxing in electronic orchestral heaven, definitely one for festivals, sunsets and rises, epic moments personified. And then we confidently exit the Suite Shop “Never In Doubt” and roll the credits. Writer, Colin Baldry, is not short of Genius !

The AJE sound is predominantly a chilled ambient experience but most tracks build, expanding into more dense layers or chordal interest. Drums are key to keeping it light yet intricate, solo instruments are treated, subtle electronica gives it a modern dimension, and orchestral textures provide a cinematic intensity. Hopefully it works on many levels depending on the circumstances in which you’re listening.

Neil Cowley (Brand New Heavies, Jamiroquai, Neil Cowley Trio) plays keys on all 10 tracks alongside strings and a brass section featuring Finn Peters who’s played with Bill Frisell, Sam Rivers and DJ Spinna






Suite Shop is out on vinyl on August 7th via Her And Now Recordings

CF Smith

Write for Music Is My Sanctuary & Stereofox.

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