Chick Lyall is a truly world class piano soloist who is here joined by one of the leading figures in contemporary European jazz, the deeply intelligent and creative saxophonist Joakim Milder, to create an album of wonderful, full-on, creativity. This is grown-up jazz at it's sensual best featuring exquisitely beautiful folk-tinged compositions, sitting alongside exhilirating group improvisations which develop like soundtracks to unseen movies of great intimacy and drama. Don't be put off by the 'i' or 'c' words here (ie. Improvisation and creativity), it contains a varied mix of reckless swing, a cooler ECM-style beauty, and uninhibited group explorations that never go where the sun don't shine and often end up finding moments of great tenderness and calm. To give cognoscenti reference points one could mention the Dewey Redman/Paul Motian band led by Keith Jarrett as a point of origin, but that is one source amongst many. This CD is essentially contemporary, intelligent, and deeply felt acoustic European jazz of the highest quality. BBC Review, UK : '...lyrical, engaging jazz that stands up to anything ECM have put out of late...' ~ by Peter Marsh, 21 June 2007 'Anyone with an interest in UK (and particularly Scottish) jazz will probably have come across the name of Chick Lyall. The pianist has been working within a wide variety of contexts for years, from electro-acoustic free improv (with Green Room) to straighter acoustic jazz settings, and along with many of his fellow players (and the support of the tireless Caber imprint) has demonstrated that jazz is alive and well north of the border. 'This album sees him united with Swedish saxophonist Joakim Milder (probably best known for his work with Tomasz Stanko) along with Lyall's usual rhythm section of Mike Dunning and Tom Bancroft. While it might be tempting to look for some kind of geographical connection between the Swede and the Scots, this record isn't the collection of desolate, wintry tone poems you might expect. 'Lyall has composed seven of the twelve pieces here; the others are group improvisations. The pianist's blend of impressionism and bluesy flourishes, together with Dunning and Bancroft's sensitive, empathic swing recalls the recent explorations of Keith Jarrett's Standards Trio, although Milder's contributions (together with some of the leader's writing) suggest the earlier classic Jarrett quartet with Dewey Redman, Charlie Haden and Paul Motian. His blurry tenor is unmistakably European, posessed of a folky lyricism and a hint of the poised, harmonic intelligence of the West Coast School. There's nothing even vaguely Coltrane-ish about it. His soprano is less distinctive but is often gorgeous, particularly on the aching 'Lilac Suite pt 2' (if this doesn't crop up on Jazz record Requests, I'll eat my beret). 'The 'Iliac Suite' and the appropriately bluesy 'Blue Remembered' had me reaching for the repeat button; they seem to offer the strongest writing and the best springboards for improvisation. The spontaneously composed pieces aren't shabby either; 'The Manitou' has a structure as well defined as any of the compositions. Dunning and Bancroft's abilities are particularly in evidence here as they shadow limpid piano and gently probing tenor lines, making for a genuine four way conversation. ''Broken Poems' is worth an hour of anyone's time; if you find yourself in need of some lyrical, engaging jazz that stands up to anything ECM have put out of late, you could do far worse than this unassuming gem of a record.' Comments & reaction to this review (from the BBC.co.UK website) : 'I think he's one of our most neglected talents, or at least someone who deserves more airplay and reviews like this. Haven't heard this one yet, but the clips sound good!' ~ Jim, Cardiff, Wales UK. 'That Chick Lyall is still relatively unknown, is an aberration that should worry any jazz community. He and his cohorts have produced a record of remarkable scope and invention. At once playful, joyful, brooding, thoughtful, and sensual, 'Broken Poems' is an extraordinary record & deserves your attention.' ~ Brian, Carbondale, IL, USA 'Those who record with Tore Brunborg, I'll give special attention. Wonder what Lyall sounds like 20 years after that recording.' (in reference to Chick Lyall & Tore Brunborg's album - 'Tilting Ground', 1990) ~ Sand, Norway 'Surely Chick Lyall has now proved himself to be a major player on the British Jazz scene. Stunning.' ~ P J Lynch. Newbigging 'Chick Lyall is a rare talent indeed - everyone should make themselves familiar with his music.' ~ Colin McFarlane, Cleveland, Ohio The Guardian Unlimited Review (The Guardian, London UK) : ~ John Fordham, 30 January 2004 'Not only is the Scottish jazz scene producing a fast-expanding crop of newcomers, it is also becoming a significant force in European jazz. The engaging composing and playing of pianist Chick Lyall is a growing influence on the Scottish circuit, and this collaboration with Norwegian saxophonist Joachim Milder represents a significant expansion of his group's horizons. Milder comes close at times to the dense and impacted sound of the free-improvising saxophonists and exhibits an attractive, Ornette Coleman-like momentum on uptempo tunes. 'On this set, Lyall confirms his status as a pianist of long-range, cliche-free inventiveness and raw power and, though there are no slavish allegiances to anyone, an enthusiasm for some of the work of Keith Jarrett is a glowing strand of this session. That element, intertwined with Lyall's Scottish roots, drives the opening Danse Macabre, a delicious combination of jig-like licks and the sound of Jarrett's 1970s New York band, it's loose and buzzy swing powered by drummer Tom Bancroft's jittery snare accents, stop-go tom-toms and steaming cymbals. 'The band also favours a slippery, unresolved-melody approach a little reminiscent of Iain Ballamy, and Milder quietly explores the qualities of sustained, gently vibrato-skewed sounds in his variations on them. The central episodes of Broken Poems move closer to an ambient/improv environment of very slow narrative development - often leaving the thoughtful Milder's melancholy sax voice on it's own - or darting, improv call-and-response, and maybe the disc could have used more of the opener's eccentric vigour for balance. 'But there is an engagingly lazy bluesiness to Blue Remembered, and subtle appreciation of sonic delicacies throughout (catch Bancroft's bodhran drumming against Milder's curly soprano lines and Lyall's plangent chords on Suite Part 3), making this a significant addition to the evolving strengths of north European new jazz.' Also available on CD Baby: ROB HALL & CHICK LYALL ~ 'THE BEATEN PATH' GREEN ROOM (Chick Lyall~David Garrett) ~ 'TIN MAN' GREEN ROOM (Chick Lyall~David Garrett) ~ 'UNDERTOW'