Reviews Zone

Joe Tatton Trio: Big Fish (Rodina Music) Out now



4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)



One of my favourite album releases of 2022. UK pianist, organist, singer and songwriter Joe Tatton and his trio with a tribute to Mose Allison. But trust me, this really is not just another tribute project….

FYI: Joe is organist with respected Leeds-based jazz, funk and soul band The New Mastersounds, emerging as a sought-after session man around 2001. But here he fronts a trio with Nashville session cats Steve Mackie on bass and Kenneth Blevins on drums.

Guests pop up on flute, trumpet, sax’, guitar, percussion, vocals, cello, violin and viola.  Produced by Kevin McKendree at his studio near Nashville.

Joe and his trio were playing some Mose Allison material in their live set, which inspired Joe to pen his own songs in the style of the late and great Mississippi bluesman. Capturing his sardonic lyrical style and his jazz-blues piano sound on these solid numbers.

To do what Joe has done here across these dozen cuts requires above all else, one major factor: the feel. And he has it in bucket loads. Innate. From the Mose Allison feel to Ramsey Lewis to Dave Grusin to a bunch of legends… But rest assured, this guy does have his own thing goin’ on…

The trio itself is a tight unit and lots of chemistry, despite Joe being a UK-based chap and the other two guys live and work in Music City, Tennessee.

These are songs that have the Allison ironic and humorous view of life, updated to the 21st century. Musically, it has groove and it has a joyous ‘good time’ vibe at its core.

I have heard a fair few Mose Allison inspired records over the years, but nothing as classy as this. So far. The songs here all penned by Joe, and one cover; Mose Allison’s “Ever Since The World Ended”, a track sounding as relevant today in post-Covid lockdown as it did when Mose wrote it in the 1950s – a time when the cold war and the nuclear threat was looming over everyone.

The Haggis Horns are firing on all cylinders on the opening track, “Just Don’t Stop” with its Northern soul flavours. The title track “Big Fish” tells the tale of a jazz muso in the middle of nowhere, with New Orleans vibes, a city Joe has played many times including for Mardi Gras.

Half way through this set, “Timeline” is perhaps closest to Mose’s style, a satirical lament to “socials” – a previous vinyl single release. There’s also a smattering of neat instrumentals, with jazz flute master G-Lock, aka Gareth Lockrane, sparkling.

The likes of Ben Sidran sprang to mind as I listened to these tracks, and on the superb “Like Ike,” Joe’s touch on the keys reminded me of the great Dave Grusin’s movie scores.

One of the most enjoyable albums of this year so far for me, and note to self: Go see Joe Tatton on a stage somewhere soon. Got to be done….


By Rob Bishop




1 out of 5 stars (1 / 5) ‘Dull Zone’
2 out of 5 stars (2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’





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