Britain’s brightest hope of producing a world class jazz pianist lies with young welsh player Gwilym Simcock who made his name a couple of years back with an album that carried a very similar title to this. ‘Good Days at Schloss Elmau’ was a solo performance, on this occasion he is accompanied by Russian double bassist Yuri Goloubev and the pair made this recording at the snow swept Schloss Elmau in the Bavarian alps. It’s an environment that prompted reflection on the first album but the presence of a second musician lifts the mood and introduces a sense of conversation.
The bass forms a fine tonal counterpoint to Simcock’s mid and upper register playing whilst introducing an earthiness and warmth to the sound. The pair perform eight self penned pieces and a single cover, Reverie. They combine jazz and classical styles but the former is at the core of a vibe that weaves an intricate and undulating musical fabric that is very easy to float away with. Goloubev is not content to play rhythm, he is an agile and dynamic musician who brings a muscularity to the result that, on the pieces he penned, put the plucked and bowed bass at centre stage.