The Impossible Gentlemen are English and American. They are young and old. They play tender ballads and impossibly fast bop. Lord, they can play fast. Pianist Gwilym Simcock and guitarist Mike Walker are the young guns from England. Bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Adam Nussbaum are the old American duffers and have been working together for almost as long as Simcock has been alive.
This sounds like two cliques in the making, but the Impossible Gentlemen sound nothing like that. Their sound is not bolted together but unified in a professional way. This professionalism is a double-edged sword though, making for swift figures on the lead track “Laugh Lines” but little else on the album that is quite as memorable or even briefly attention-grabbing. The Impossible Gentlemen’s self-titled album is more about execution than hard content, so it’s not unreasonable to project their future career as one comparable to supergroups like Fly; perspiration comes first, inspiration second.