The Guardian review “Dawning”

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“Saxophonist John Martin and pianist Jonjo Grisdale are recent graduates of the same Middlesex University jazz education that produced Led Bib, though this is much closer to orthodox jazz than Led Bib’s rock and electronics-infused work. At times the session betrays the tentativeness of a debut, but Martin and Grisdale are players of real promise. Martin has played in salsa and Afro bands, and for Guillemots, but the lyrical sway of Andy Sheppard, the atmospherics of Jan Garbarek, the pensiveness of Kenny Wheeler and the country-chime of early Keith Jarrett are more immediate references. The lively soprano-sax track Looking Up hints at Martin’s African history but sounds more like Garbarek’s folksy mid-tempo outings. The leader’s tenor sketches smoky long notes and deft turns over an attractive groove on the tempo-shifting Moving On. There’s a passive feel to the slow-swirling title track with its methodical call-and-response elements, but the churning blues Swagger is excellent, and there’s a haunting (and very Sheppardesque) feel to the closing soft-groover It Is How It Is. The sleeve info and the actual running order differ, but you soon figure it out.”

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