Monocled Man: Bernabe Jurado

Rating: ★★★

Record and Artist Details


Rory Simmons (t, ky, syn)
Jon Scott (d)
Chris Montague (g)


Whirlwind Records


Media Format:

7” EP and Bandcamp download

Catalogue Number:



March and December 2019

Trumpeter, composer and producer Rory Simmons' Monocled Man trio extends the resources of his thoughtfully long-spun, somewhat Kenny Wheeler-like trumpet lines set against muscular guitar interventions (from Chris Montague), and subtle percussion shuffling of the fluid and the metronomic (from Jon Scott). The appeal of this bassless but sonically full-blooded trio to DJs and dancefloors as well as jazz fans is highlighted by the release of Bernabe Jurado (named after the Mexican defence lawyer beat novelist William Burroughs hired following the bizarre death of his second wife, Joan Vollmer) as a 7” vinyl single, and a streamable four-track EP. Ambient textures build under Simmons' Nils Petter Molvaer-like reflections on the title track, while ‘Memory/Ugly Spirit’ takes off on a fast, hip-hoppish clatter joined by a contrastingly languid, wide-interval trumpet theme, a Simmons improvisation that shows how comprehensively he sidesteps jazz soloists' lexicon of hot licks, and a writhing, sonically startling Montague guitar finale. ‘Sero Max for Joan Vollmer’ begins in high-pitched, twitchy guitar pings over a snare groove from Scott increasingly reconstructed by Simmons' subsequent studio edits, its directions veering between a brightly elegant trumpet theme and a ripping, free-abstract guitar barrage. The set ends on the wistful long-tone trumpet theme, drifting electronic wind-sounds and rain-on-tin percussion clamour of ‘The Raw/Mineral Blue’. This is a talent-packed original trio playing to nobody's gallery but its own, but there's no mistaking Monocled Man's fresh and focused musicality.

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