‘Red Alert’ is arguably the flame-haired pianist’s most impressive offering yet.
Essentially, it’s a trio album (with Tom Mason on bass, and Jack Pollitt on drums) but Mason, who juggles acoustic piano with electronic keyboards, offers a rich array of textures, colours, and sounds with her expansive and sometimes filmic arrangements.
‘Pent Up,’ a kinetic slice of tense, straight ahead jazz driven by a funky undertow, lives up to its title while ‘Skating On Thin Ice,’ one of the 10-track album’s best cuts, has more of a jazz fusion
feel. There’s tension, too, in the edgy title cut. Different again is SiSi, which begins as a reflective ballad before changing up the gears and morphing into a quirky groove peppered with serious jazz improv. More introspective is ‘The Yearning,’ a gentle ballad, where Mason highlights her sensitivity as a pianist. But it’s her unique and energetic approach to rhythm which gives Mason’s music its singular character. On ‘Red Alert,’ it’s best exemplified by the sprightly, Latin-tinged closer, ‘I See Seven,’ which rides a jaunty 7/4 meter.