Writer Henry Hanssen / Photographer Chris Neophytou
If you’ve been around the Birmingham jazz scene long enough, chances are you will have encountered a stylishly-bearded, beanie-wearing trombone player by the name of Dave Sear. Over the last few years, Sear has been heavily involved in some exciting new projects in Birmingham, playing with the likes of Xhosa Cola and Emma Rawvicz.
Upon hearing Sear was set to release a solo record featuring a lineup of equally rated musicians, the vibe in the air was one of high anticipation.
I Always Thought My Thoughts Were Me is an album that speaks to the extremes of human emotion.
The album’s title track has a steady forward momentum which naturally works itself into the following track, ‘Eyes That Speak a Thousand Words’, a ballad that balances itself between fragility and sensitive beauty. This track establishes itself as a standout on the album, happily planting itself in the middle of what is otherwise a swinging tour de force.
Sear delivers a ripper of a solo on ‘Reservoir Retreat’ which goes down as one of my highlights of the eight-track record.
The lead single, ‘Visual Balance’, springs into action like a bolt of lightning. Pianist Elliot Sansom provides a memorable solo halfway through, bringing remarkable interaction between drummer Jim Bashford and bass player James Owston.
Sear shines in his ability to write some of the simplest, yet catchiest and well-formed melodies I’ve heard in a long time. In doing so, he provides a perfect jumping off point for a series of burning solos for himself and band members.
Other standout tracks include: ‘Inner Urge’, one of two covers on the album, and ‘Blues for Rockydella Rascal’.
I have no doubt that I Always Thought My Thoughts Were Me is an album that the Birmingham jazz scene will receive with high praise.
While the listening experience is genuinely exciting, seeing Sear play with these musicians live brings the music to a higher place.
Watch the music video for the first single ‘Visual Balance’ here:
Details regarding Sear’s upcoming gigs and projects can be found on his website: www.davesear.com