This debut album from fresh-faced UK piano, bass and drums trio Gogo Penguin provides an unlikely but salient link between the north-facing music scenes of Manchester and Sweden. The latter country was the home of pianist Esbjörn Svensson, the most influential jazz musician of recent times, who was cruelly snatched away at the height of his fame in a tragic diving accident in 2008. Thus this Mancunian trio of pianist Chris Illingworth, bassist Grant Russell and drummer Rob Turner do a fine job of picking up the e.s.t. sound.
Another notable connection between the Swedish innovators and this precious group is the way bassist Dan Berglund’s scything, bowed bass cut through the band’s sound, driving the music into a potent classical-rock avenue without ever sounding clichéd, and it’s a trick that Russell pulls off convincingly here too.
Possessing a winning combination of deeply interconnected group empathy and sparklingly melodic tunes, this is a trio of northern stars to look out for.