Tony Kofi – Point Blank

Album Review | Last Music Company | Review by Liam Wilkinson | Stars: 4/5

As the British Isles endures its strangest days for generations, there are a few remaining things of which this country should be proud. One of them is Tony Kofi, a jazz musician of Ghanaian descent who has, over the last couple of decades, risen to the peak of the British jazz scene with true grace and a heartfelt dedication to his music. Here is a saxophonist, flautist, teacher and composer who is held in the highest regard by fans and fellow musicians alike and whose gutsy hard-bop style confidently fuels the engine of many of a jazz festival, concert or LP. Point Blank, Kofi’s latest album, provides further proof of this fine reedsman’s prowess. With Pete Whittaker on organ, Simon Fernsby on guitar and Pete Cater on drums – collectively known as The Organisation – Kofi delivers a formidable set of covers that explores the rich history of this evergreen genre. There are interpretations here of tracks by Pepper Adams, Horace Silver, Wes Montgomery and Lonnie Smith, each melody painted lovingly by Kofi’s baritone sax and Fernsby’s guitar on a canvas of Whitaker’s soulful organ and Carter’s immaculate percussion. And holding the whole thing together is a palpable sense of generosity; Kofi may be a punchy player, but he certainly knows when to let his fellow musicians take centre stage.