CD Review ‘Future Pop’ – Jazzwise Magazine, Issue 138, Feb 2010

27th Jan 2010

Leah Gough-Cooper’s Human Equivalent ‘Future Pop’ (three stars)
Leah Gough-Cooper (as,ss), Serghio Jansen (g), Alan Benzie (p, Rhodes, kys), Martin Nessi (b) and Patrick Kunka (dr)

A Scottish band made up of former Berklee students and young award winning Scottish jazz musicians is fronted by a saxophonist-composer barely out of her teens. This makes the level of musicianship on this CD all the more astonishing. Style-wise it’s largely jazz-rock fusion given a vigorous makeover. Because it’s a sub-genre of jazz in which a very high level of notes and musicianship is essential it’s no surprise it has its devotees in the rehearsal corridors of Berklee – for evidence listen to Hiromi’s band. Yet, Gough-Cooper’s lyrical alto sax seems also to have absorbed M-Base-type odd metered cryptic patterns and some of the impressive drummer’s bustling grooves certainly demonstrate a line through to drum and bass and hip hop. Nevertheless Future Pop – not sure what that’s meant to say about it – inherits more directly from the world of Return to Forever, the keyboard impressionism of Weather Report, with some 1980s Marcus Miller-style funk thrown in. It’s hardly the most original of causes, but the band manages to attain a high quality of musicianship without sacrificing any of their youthful high spirits. Selwyn Harris


  1. MP3: Future Pop ('Future Pop')
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  2. MP3: Leaf Blower ('Future Pop')
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  3. MP3: On the Other Side
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  4. MP3: From the Ash (live at Bar East)
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