Paul Higgs appears to be a whirlwind of a musical force in his native England where he has been working regularly as a professional musician since before he was a teenager. He got much of his training during his 11 years with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra where he played numerous instruments, composed and arranged. At 22 he played his first West End theatre show with Lulu, and this led to Higgs being asked to work with the prestigious National Theatre where he eventually became the Musical Director for more than two-dozen productions. And just about every American or British classic pop singer that came to perform in London (Peggy Lee, Cleo Laine, Rosemary Clooney, Buddy Greco, Nancy Wilson, Al Martino, Tony Hatch, Vic Damone, Johnny Dankworth) put Higgs in the band for those shows. Higgs also has contributed much music to British film and telelvision productions.
That sets the stage for a new album by Higgs, who is best-known as a trumpet player, but on his Pavane CD he also plays piano, composes all the material, arranges and produces. There are several things that set this album apart from the pack. The first is that the music is great, but not easily categorized (contemporary classical? modern jazz? instrumental showtunes? soundtrack sounds in search of a film? or a bit of all of that?). The second thing is that, unlike most jazz and pop-rock horn players, Higgs does not feel compelled to play fast, uptempo numbers (no boogie or funk or anything like the band Chicago did in their prime). No, generally Higgs plays very slow which gives each drawn-out note much emotionally resonance. This is music with feeling, passion, a heartbeat, an inner spirit.
This would perfect music to put on at your next dinner party, especially if there are some upper-crust folks in the crowd (people who occasionally go to the symphony or out to plays). Higgs is a class-act just waiting to class up your next get-together. You heard it here first.