By Kev Rowland
Sometimes a thought can lead to some different and unusual places, and this is exactly what has happened here when Lockyer wondered what would have happened if Sinatra and Reinhardt had met and collaborated together. To assist in this journey he invited Ben Powell (violin), Rob Hardt (clarinet) and Ed Bennett along for the ride, and the result shows how much he loves both styles of music. I have never been a massive fan of Sinatra, to be honest, it’s not really my style of music, but over recent years, have been investigating Reinhardt and especially his recordings with Stéphane Grapelli. With this album, I soon discovered that while I appreciated Lockyer’s vocals, and what he was attempting to do when marrying the two artists together, what I really wanted to listen to was his amazing guitarwork combined with the lyricism of Ben Powell. An album of just the two of them, with no vocals whatsoever, would be a very special set indeed, but that this doesn’t work is far more due to personal taste than to any failing in the presentation.
It may not be exactly what I am looking for in music, but Lochyer’s approach to Django-style acoustic guitar is masterful, and the album is well worth investigating.