CD Review SUNDAY HERALD 28 Aug 2011
Rob Hall & Chick Lyall
Blithe Spirit (FMR)
CD Review

From their bases on either side of Scotland's central belt, saxophonist Rob Hall and pianist Chick Lyall take their music to audiences across Europe - they played in Italy ealier this month - and their international standing is reflected in the quality of this, their third album. These are musicians whose offstage conversations - whether they are reminiscing about Keith Jarrett's great 1970's Scandinavian band, discussing classical harmony or considering their favourite Scottish landscapes - seem to continue entirely naturally when instruments replace voices. Whichever sphere they operate in, they're always informed by striking melodies such as the very brisk, penetrating theme of Hall's The Regime  or Lyall's lilting title track. Even on the handful of more abstract pieces that punctuate the track list, the atmosphere remains conversational, a quality that along with the clarity of tone and ideas from Hall's sopranino, soprano and tenor saxophones and clarinet, and Lyall's beautifully considered improvising and accompaniments, makes Blithe Spirit an album to return to often.

Rob Adams
29th August 2011
Rob Hall & Chick Lyall
tel. 07973 145976