‘Crossing Calexico with Mogwai will take you some way here… but only some way… This is very welcome unchartered territory. A highly original 10-track acoustic film score album rich in melody, harmonies, atmosphere and dynamics with a good mix of tempos that will take the listener to many places inside 40 minutes.
Boz Hayward’s fourth album SHORTSCORES is the first body of work created solely for Video Jam – the experimental short film/live score event from Manchester. Boz has been associated with Video Jam since its inception in January 2012. His cinematic, narrative writing style, coupled with his quaint and idiosyncratic ‘Bozchestra’ (traditionally consisting of Boz himself on acoustic guitar, a mariachi bass/guitarron, violin, trumpet and percussion) lends itself perfectly to the art of the film score. A rich, rewarding listen.’
Review from Bob Osborne:
‘This is the first body of work created solely for Video Jam to be recognised and released as an album. Video Jam is an ongoing series of unique experimental events that seek to explore and re-examine the relationship between moving image and sound. Video Jam collects together a programme of short, silent films of any genre, by professionals and amateurs alike and pair each with a different musician or sound artist with the intention of composing an original score. This ‘blind collaboration’ culminates in an event which screens every film with its own accompaniment performed live.
It has to be said that the music stands alone very well without the visuals – not that I had them to look at anyway – what I mean is you don’t need to see the films to enjoy the music in its own right. I was , from the outset, reminded of the enigmatic and emotional music produced by Bill Frisell, similarly originally written for films (including one for Gary Larsons’, “Tales from the Far Side”) on the Quartet album in the mid 1990s, mainly due to the similar lead instrumentation of violin and trumpet. Boz writes excellent tunes and the selection on this album move from plaintive blues licks, tex-mex mid tempo jollity, through klezmer into El Degüello. What sets it aside from Frisell’s work is the addition of sprinkles of tasteful percussion, xylophones for example play an important role on the charming “Old Friend”.
Rick Burrows excellent trumpet work is wonderfully understated and can be both brittle (with the mute in play) and brash. Haywards arrangements are complex, exciting and inspiring – the music is indeed cinematic in its’ own right without, as I say having to rely on the visuals, this is exemplified on the highlight piece “Fractured Reflection” which shifts tempo and mood echoing to some degree Ennio Morricone but without his brash enthusiasm. Another comparator has to be the work of John Barry on the sublime “Patrick Moore” which combines vocals, slide guitar and, naturally xylophone. This is a reflective, thought provoking and crammed full of musical surprises and I recommend it to you unreservedly’