If I had to give an award to the best jazz label 2014, Gondwana Records would definitely be in the discussion. After some incredible releases by Matthew Halsall or GoGo Penguin, the new album by Mammal Hands has the full potential to be a part in that list.
With Nick Smart on piano, Jordan Smart on saxophone and Jesse Barrett on drums the trio features a classic lineup. Just like their label-mates GoGo Penguin they are more oriented towards a more or less minimal kind of songwriting. Mostly it is a simple piano pattern that carries the track over a clever arranged rhythm. The saxophone is usually occupied with playing the lead melodies which evolve out of the piano pattern that is the keystone to the songs structure. It is also the key to the tracks' steady movement that flows through different moods and dynamics. Mammal Hands prove how simple and effective jazz compositions can be. As always - making the complex and difficult things look easys, that is certainly what is happening on this record.
You'll find two tracks streaming on the group's Bandcamp.