Theo Travis' Double Talk: Transgression

Instrumental jazz-fusion masterclass from the seasoned saxman.

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Over the last two decades, saxophonist/ flautist Theo Travis has lent his talents to an impressive list of modern prog artists, from Porcupine Tree to The Tangent to Gong, but one of his first loves has always remained jazz fusion.

This latest album from his own Double Talk band sees him indulging this passion, albeit leavened with a fine sprinkling of other influences. Travis’ work with Robert Fripp shows through on opening track Fire Mountain, as Crimson-esque riffing rubs shoulders with cool jazz soloing. Elsewhere, some driving sax work on the title track evokes the astonishing playing of ex-Van der Graaf man David Jackson, and the re-imagined cover of Andy Tillison’s A Place In The Queue even showcases some Hammond/flute interplay reminiscent of Focus. Of course, to fully get on board with this you will have to have some affinity with saxophone as a lead instrument, but the album is far from a vanity project, with guitarist Mike Outram given ample opportunity to display his soloing chops. For sure, this is a project with its roots planted firmly in the jazz world, but Travis’ gift lies in the way he weaves so many disparate strands into the full tapestry. Cool, yet hot.