Second Lives

Jun 22, 2021
Web Exclusive

By Haydon Spenceley

Graham Costello is one of a slew of rising jazz voices in the UK scene. Here, following the success of his breakthrough ensemble album Strata, he presents Second Lives, a second slice of hugely enjoyable, uplifting, and intriguing ensemble work. Whether it’s the Portico Quartet-eque brass and piano of “Eudaimonia” with its beautiful and satisfying build which initially grabs you, the uproarious funk of “Legion,” or the propulsive “Arrowhead” one thing is for sure—here is an album demanding multiple listens. So many layers and twists and turns reveal themselves. Time after time the band seems to have settled into a state or a groove only for it to be uprooted and given a second life by a new entry or musical idea.

Costello is obviously a prodigiously talented composer full of ideas and ambition. This album is a powerful realization of an artistic vision full of integrity. Jazz it may be, but there’s plenty here to delight both a seasoned listener and to draw in and enrapture the casual listener. Highly recommended. (

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