Sandy Brown Jazz

 

Featured Albums Released in 2019

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Click here for Releases featured prior to 2019

 

By artist in alphabetical order:

 

A

Gianluca Peterella, Eivind Aarset, Michele Rabbia - Lost River

George Adams - Sound Suggestions

Ralph Alessi - Imaginary Friends

JD Allen - Barracoon

Louis Armstrong and Oscar Peterson - Louis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson

The Art Ensemble Of Chicago - We Are On The Edge

Ahud Asherie Trio - Wild Man Blues

Rebecca Nash / Atlas - Peaceful King

 

 

B

Tom Bancroft's In Common - Love And Stillness

Søren Bebe Trio - Echoes

Paul Bedal - In Reverse

Seamus Blake - Guardians Of The Heart Machine

Art Blakey And The Jazz Messengers - 'Live' At The Cafe Bohemia November 1955

Blazing Flame Quintet/6 - Wrecked Chateau

Paul Bley - Ballads

Paul Bley, Gary Peacock, Paul Motian - When Will The Blues Leave

Jasper Blom Quartet - Polyphony

Bonsai - Bonsai Club

Paul Booth - Travel Sketches

Matt Brewer - Ganymede

British Traditional Bands At A Tangent - The Mainstream Bands

Greg Burk - As A River

 

 

C

Tom Cawley - Catenaccio

June Christy and Stan Kenton - The June Christy / Stan Kenton Collection 1945 - 1955

Trish Clowes - Ninety Degrees Gravity

Quentin Collins Sextet - Road Warrior

Rob Cope - Gods Of Apollo

Sylvie Courvoisier / Mark Feldman - Time Gone Out

Fat John (Cox) Sextet - Honesty : The Unreleased 1963 Studio Session

Benjamin Croft - 10 Reasons To ...

Chris Ingham Quartet featuring Mark Crooks - Stan

Ben Crosland Quintet - The Ray Davies Songbook Vol II

Kim Cypher - Love Kim X

 

 

D

Zhenya Strigalev and Frederico Dannemann - The Change

Miles Davis - Rubberband

 

 

E

Duncan Eagles - Citizen

Bill Evans - Evans In England

 

 


F

Alvin Roy and Digby Fairweather - Alvin Meets Digby

Fat John Sextet - Honesty : The Unreleased 1963 Studio Session

Sylvie Courvoisier / Mark Feldman - Time Gone Out

Tori Freestone Trio - El Mar De Nubes

Paolo Fresu, Richard Galliano, Jan Lundgren - Mare Nostrum III

Bill Frisell / Thomas Morgan - Epistrophy

 

 

G

Paolo Fresu, Richard Galliano, Jan Lundgren - Mare Nostrum III

Stan Getz - Stan Getz Plays The Blues

Miguel Gorodi Nonet - Apophenia

Zac Gvi - Monk Spent Youth

 

 

H

Hackney Colliery Band - Collaborations: Volume I

Rich Halley - Terra Incognita

Tom Harrell - Infinity

Ben Webster and Coleman Hawkins - Ben Webster Meets Coleman Hawkins

Kevin Hayes and Lionel Loueke - Hope

Jon Hendricks / Lambert, Hendricks and Ross - Four Classic Albums

Ashley Henry - Beautiful Vinyl Hunter

Alex Hitchcock Quintet - All Good Things

Laurence Hobgood - tesseterra

 

 

I

I Am Three & Me - Mingus' Sounds Of Love

Chris Ingham Quartet featuring Mark Crooks - Stan

 

J

Keith Jarrett - Standards Vol. 1

Norman Johnson - The Art Of Life

Etta Jones - A Soulful Sunday

Clifford Jordan - Four Classic Albums

Marton Juhasz - Discovery

Laura Jurd - Stepping Back, Jumping In

 

 

K

June Christy and Stan Kenton - The June Christy / Stan Kenton Collection 1945 - 1955

Kino Trio - Il Cielo Sopra Berlino

Wendy Kirkland - The Music's On Me

 

 

L

Jon Hendricks / Lambert, Hendricks and Ross - Four Classic Albums

Harold Land - Four Classic Albums

Gabriel Latchin Trio - The Moon And I

James Brandon Lewis - An Unruly Manifesto

Russ Lossing - Motian Music

Kevin Hayes and Lionel Loueke - Hope

Joe Lovano - Trio Tapestry

Mundell Lowe - Five Classic Albums

Paolo Fresu, Richard Galliano, Jan Lundgren - Mare Nostrum III

 

M

Kevin Mackenzie - The Ballad Of Future Joe

Madwort's Menagerie - Madwort's Menagerie

Nick Malcolm - Real Isn't Real

Jonny Mansfield - Elftet

Branford Marsalis Quartet - The Secret Between The Shadow And the Soul

Claire Martin and Jim Mullen - Bumpin' : Celebrating Wes Montgomery

Marilyn Mazur - Shamania

Pete Oxley and Nicolas Meier - The Alluring Ascent

Helen Merrill - Four Classic Albums

Pat Metheny - Watercolors

Yoko Miwa Trio - Keep Talkin'

The Modern Jazz Quartet - The Early Year 1952-1956

Wes Montgomery - Back On Indiana Avenue : The Carroll De Camp Recordings

The Dudley Moore Trio - Have Some Moore!

Bill Frisell / Thomas Morgan - Epistrophy

Paul Bley, Gary Peacock, Paul Motian - When Will The Blues Leave

Claire Martin and Jim Mullen - Bumpin' : Celebrating Wes Montgomery

 

 

N

Quinsin Nachoff's Flux - Path Of Totality

Rebecca Nash / Atlas - Peaceful King

 

 

O

Linda May Han Oh - Aventurine

Pete Oxley and Nicolas Meier - The Alluring Ascent

 

 

P

Partisans - Nit De Nit

Patchwork Jazz Orchestra - The Adventures Of Mr Pottercakes

Paul Bley, Gary Peacock, Paul Motian - When Will The Blues Leave

Jeremy Pelt - Jeremy Pelt The Artist

Gianluca Peterella, Eivind Aarset, Michele Rabbia - Lost River

Louis Armstrong and Oscar Peterson - Louis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson

Bud Powell - The Genius Of Bud Powell

Jamie Saft, Steve Swallow, Bobby Previte - You Don't Know The Life

Billy Prim - Thelassa

 

Q

Q4 - Uphill Struggle

 

 

 

R

Gianluca Peterella, Eivind Aarset, Michele Rabbia - Lost River

Shez Raja - Journey To Shamhala

Django Reinhardt - Diminishing Blackness: The Compositions Of Django Reinhardt

Leo Richardson Quartet - Move

Greg Ward presents Rogue Parade - Stomping Off From Greenwood

Jon Hendricks / Lambert, Hendricks and Ross - Four Classic Albums

Alvin Roy and Digby Fairweather - Alvin Meets Digby

 

 

S

Jamie Saft, Steve Swallow, Bobby Previte - You Don't Know The Life

Jamie Saft Quartet - Hidden Corners

Scopes - Scopes

SEED Ensemble - Driftglass

Matthew Shipp Trio - Signature

Gwilym Simcock - Near And Now

Alex Sipiagin - NoFo Skies

Sloth Racket - Dismantle Yourself

Wada Leo Smith - Rosa Parks: Pure Love

Los Speyer's Time Zone - Clave Sin Embargo

Bobo Stenson Trio - War Orphans

Fleur Stevenson - Follow Me

Still Light - Minua

Zhenya Strigalev and Frederico Dannemann - The Change

Anthony Strong - Me And My Radio

Jamie Saft, Steve Swallow, Bobby Previte - You Don't Know The Life

Tom Syson - Different Coloured Days

 

 

T

Sarah Tandy - Infection In The Sentence

Norma Winstone and John Taylor - In Concert

Tini Thomsen's MaxSax - Shift

Keith Tippett - The Unlonely Raindancer

Rosie Turton - Rosie's 5ive

John Turville - Head First

 

 

U

 

V

 

W

Wandering Monster - Wandering Monster

Trevor Watts - Life And Music

Ben Webster and Coleman Hawkins - Ben Webster Meets Coleman Hawkins

Jeff Williams - Bloom

Norma Winstone and John Taylor - In Concert

Nate Wooley - Columbia Icefield

 

X

 

Y

Brandee Younger - Soul Awakening

 

 

Z

 

 

 

 

Rebecca Nash / Atlas - Peaceful King
(Whirlwind Recordings) - Released: 16th August 2019

Rebecca Nash (keyboards); Nick Malcolm (trumpet); Matt Fisher (drums); Thomas Seminar Ford (electric guitar); Chris Mapp (electric bass, electronics); Sara Colman (vocals).

Rebecca Nash Peaceful King

 

'In her first major recording as leader, keyboardist and composer Rebecca Nash presents her Atlas group on 'Peaceful King', which interlaces a panoply of strands - rock, drum-and-bass, '70s fusion, soul-jazz and electronica, alongside singer-songwriter influences - into a widening landscape of beauty of wonder. The regular line-up of longtime associates Nick Malcolm (trumpet) and Matt Fisher (drums) plus Thomas Seminar Ford (electric guitar) and Chris Mapp (electric bass, electronics) is augmented here on three numbers by the rich, intuitive vocals of Sara Colman. The exciting cross-pollination of music, especially discernible around the sphere of contemporary instrumental and vocal jazz, has become a strong, progressive feature of today's fresh, creative outputs. Rebecca Nash is becoming increasingly visible in this area of the British scene; a major player in Entropi, Paradox Ensemble and Sara Colman's band, as well as an educator with the National Youth Jazz Collective, Cheltenham Festivals, Birmingham Jazzlines and Birmingham Conservatoire. Illustrator/musician Ning-ning Li has incorporated impressions of Nash's eight tracks into the album's sumptuous cover art. A distinctive electric piano figure announces title track 'Peaceful King', whose electronic effects (by Paradox's Nick Walters) maintain a positivity explained as a reaction to the current state of the world, while free-flowing 'Tumbleweed' buzzes and bleeps with a redolence of the Pat Metheny Group. The remaining tracks include 'Dreamer' that continues Nash's penchant for interlocking chord structures and references the cyclic patterns of the late, great John Taylor.' (album notes).

Details and Samples : Listen to the title track : Video of Tumbleweed played live : Rebecca Nash's website :

 

 

 

 

Quentin Collins Sextet - Road Warrior
(Ubuntu Music) - Released: 13th September

Quentin Collins (trumpet); Leo Richardson (tenor saxophone); Meilana Gillard (alto saxophone); Dan Nimmer (piano); Joe Sanders (bass); Willie Jones III (drums); special guest - Jean Toussaint (saxophone)

Quentin Collins Road Warrior

 

'Internationally renowned trumpeter, composer and bandleader Quentin Collins will be releasing Road Warrior on Ubuntu Music this autumn.  The new album continues Collins’ compositional journey following on from his 2007 debut If Not Now, Then When? and albums with Brandon Allen (What’s It Gonna Be? and Beauty in Quiet Places).  Co-written with leading British saxophonist Tom Harrison, Road Warrior is a musical depiction of life as a touring musician. Collins assembled world-class musicians to be involved in the project.  “New York based pianist Dan Nimmer is soaked in the history of jazz piano, in one moment evoking Erroll Garner, in the next, McCoy Tyner.  Bassist Joe Sanders’ sound is a major driving force, while Willie Jones III pumps relentless energy into the music,” explains Collins.  Tenor saxophonist Leo Richardson and Meilana Gillard (who was drafted in to play alto on four days’ notice, when injury left Tom Harrison unable to make the recording) make up the band.  Road Warrior was mixed by Troy Miller and produced by Jean Toussaint, who also played on two tracks. Three tunes stand out among the eight original compositions and are set to be released ahead of the album - ‘Look Ahead (What Do you See?), ‘The Hill and ‘Road Warrior’.  The former was inspired by a beautiful conversation Collins had with his 10-year-old son, asking him to project years into the future and dream of an outcome of his imagining.  Harrison wrote ‘The Hill’ for Dan Nimmer as a tribute to both Art Blakey and a memory of a life changing performance at the site of Blakey’s childhood home in Pittsburgh.  “The title track is dedicated to Road Warriors the world over, who spend a large percentage of their lives travelling and plying their trade and the rest of their time trying to hold everything else together!” concludes Collins.' (album notes).

Details and Samples when available : Video :

 

 

 

 

 

Claire Martin and Jim Mullen - Bumpin' : Celebrating Wes Montgomery
(Stunt Records) - Released: 15th February 2019

Claire Martin (vocals); Jim Mullen (guitar)

Claire Martin and Jim Mullen Bumpin

 

 

'Claire Martin, who currently lives in Brighton, has performed all over the world over the last 30 years and has been called one of the top four jazz singers on the planet by Jazz Times magazine. She has been performing professionally since she was 19 years old, and just two years later she achieved her dream of singing at Ronnie Scott's legendary jazz club. Since then, she has released 18 albums including collaborations with prominent musicians such as Martin Taylor, Bill Charlap, and Kenny Barron, as well as having been part of an intimate and celebrated duo with the famed composer and pianist Sir Richard Rodney Bennett up until his passing in 2012. Claire has also been a featured soloist with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Big Band, and the BBC Concert Orchestra. She has received seven British Jazz Awards, including two Best Vocalist prizes in 2009 and 2010, and another for 2012's Best Jazz Release: 'Too Much In Love To Care', a collaboration with Kenny Barron which received universal acclaim and for which Jazz Journal called her 'one of the finest jazz vocalists in the world today.' Claire Martin has worked with legendary Scottish guitarist Jim Mullen for 30 years. He has also been recognized with several British Music Awards, including Best Guitarist in 1994, 1996, and 2000. The 74-year-old Glasgow native has never sounded better with his own distinctive style inspired, among others, by Wes Montgomery. His career got off to a flying start with Pete Brown & Piblokto!, then as a member of Brian Auger's Oblivion Express, and later with the Average White Band. In the mid-1970s he met the tenor saxophonist Dick Morrissey and formed the jazz-funk band Morrissey-Mullen. Jim has played and recorded with Mose Allison, Mike Carr, Jimmy Witherspoon, Georgie Fame, Tam White, and countless others throughout a long and glorious career' (album notes).

Details and Sample : Video of Goin' Out Of My Head live :

 

 

 

 

 

Sloth Racket - Dismantle Yourself
(Luminous Label) - Released: 2nd September, 2019

Cath Roberts - (baritone saxophone, compositions); Sam Andreae (alto saxophone); Anton Hunter (guitar); Seth Bennett (double bass); Johnny Hunter (drums).

Sloth Racket Dismantle Yourself

'Dismantle Yourself is the fourth studio album from Sloth Racket, the quintet of UK improvisers led by baritone saxophonist Cath Roberts. The album was recorded in early February 2019, over two snowy days at The Chairworks studio in Castleford, Yorkshire. After three albums made in single day sessions, the aim was to have more time to work on the music in the relaxed setting of a residential studio. The band hadn't seen the new compositions in advance of the session, in contrast to previous albums which were recorded at the end of tours. With more time for experimentation, the focus of the recording was the exploration and development of the new material, collectively improvising the composed starting points into finished pieces. It was a glimpse into the world of multi-day recordings and a fresh approach for the group, who now look forward to taking the new music on the road and completely deconstructing anything that may have been settled upon back in that cosy winter studio. Sloth Racket formed in 2015 when Jazz North East invited Cath Roberts to present a new project at Gateshead International Jazz Festival. Since then they have toured in the UK at least once every year as well as appearing at London Jazz Festival, Brighton Alternative Jazz Festival and LUME Festival. They have released three studio albums on the Luminous label, a live album on Tombed Visions, and one studio album as extended lineup Favourite Animals ‒ which toured in a large ensemble double bill with Anton Hunter’s Article XI in 2017. Pre-Sloth Racket, the five musicians in the band had been playing together for several years in different combinations. Anton Hunter and Sam Andreae's collaboration dates back to 2008 and their quartet HAQ. Hunter brothers Johnny and Anton have been playing music together since childhood, current examples being Beck Hunters with Mick Beck and the quintet Spirit Farm. Seth Bennett and Johnny Hunter are two thirds of Fragments with Adam Fairhall as well as playing together in many other settings. Cath Roberts and Anton Hunter have been performing as the duo Ripsaw Catfish since 2013. 'Dismantle Yourself' will be available to pre-order from slothracket.bandcamp.com from 12 August, and is released on 2 September as a CD and digital download, plus streaming via the Bandcamp app. A risograph-printed zine will be available as a companion to the album, containing words and graphics by Cath Roberts and printed by Footprint Workers Co-op in Leeds. The zine will be on sale in a bundle with the digital album, and there will be an option to purchase the CD, zine and digital album together. Sloth Racket are touring to support the release, with dates in Newcastle, Sheffield, Manchester, Lancaster, Todmorden, London, Ramsgate, Norwich and Cambridge. The tour is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, and the album recording session was supported by the Fenton Arts Trust and the Oppenheim-John Downes Memorial Trust' (album notes).

Details and Samples : Click here for the Sloth Racket website : Click here for the tour details :

 

 

 

 

 

Loz Speyer's Time Zone - Clave Sin Embargo
(Spherical Records) - Released: 2nd October 2019

Loz Speyer (trumpet, flugelhorn); Martin Hathaway (alto sax, bass clarinet); Stuart Hall (guitar); Dave Manington (double bass); Maurizio Ravalico (congas); Andy Ball (drums).

Loz Speyer Time Zone Clave Sin Embargo

 

'The third Time Zone album, “Clave Sin Embargo” is a deep fusion of Cuban music and Jazz – soulful, catchy and rhythmically provocative. Speyer’s particular Cuban-Jazz crossover grew out of the collision of Cuban culture with his own when between 2000 and 2009, the London based trumpeter spent a total of over a year in Santiago de Cuba, studying Afro-Cuban music, working with local Son bands, collaborating with Cuban musicians – and starting his own Anglo-Cuban family. His compositions took a similarly unexpected turn, and back in the UK he began touring and recording them with Time Zone. The present incarnation of Time Zone came together for a UK tour in 2012, and features maverick guitarist Stuart Hall, ebullient saxophonist Martin Hathaway, conga maestro Maurizio Ravalico, bassist Dave Manington and drummer Andy Ball. Their interaction is the key to this joyful and highly rhythmic music, drawing collective on a range of experience that includes work with Mike Westbrook, Django Bates, Jesus Alemani, Hermeto Pascoal, Clifford Jarvis, Gwilym Simcock, Iain Ballamy, Roberto Pla, Kenny Wheeler, Jamiroquai, Radiohead, Yann Tiersen and Tim Berne…(Vortex notes). 'Speyer’s ear for the exultant horn harmonies of traditional Cuban dance music informs a probing crossover composer’s intelligence, in which time signatures are shuffled and idioms overlaid… Nobody writes world music quite like Loz Speyer, and he’s long deserved a bigger stage, and the resources to match'. (John Fordham, the Guardian).

Details and Samples : Live video of Mood Swings from the album : Brief video taster of Guarapachanguero from the album :

 

 

 

Rich Halley - Terra Incognita
(Pine Eagle Records /CD Baby) - Released: 1st June 2019

Rich Halley (tenor saxophone); Matthew Shipp (piano); Michael Bisio (bass); Newman Taylor Baker (drums)

Rich Halley Terra Incognita

 

'Tenor saxophonist Rich Halley explores new music with a gutsy new quartet on his most recent outing, Terra Incognita. For this experience, he recruits the Matthew Shipp Trio to support him, which, besides the formidable pianist, includes bassist Michael Bisio and drummer Newman Taylor Baker. From the bravura call-and-response of the opening track (“Opening”) to the rhythmically loose-limbed conclusion (“The Journey”), erratically expressed with obscure piano voicings and bop accents, one can’t help being engulfed by the album's high concentrations of energy. Attempting to find common parallels , the quartet creates without bounds, embarking on atonal spiritual quests, fast swinging rallies, and circumspect interactions.They take us to both recondite and familiar places' ....(JazzTrail). 'The first impression of an initial spin of the disc says: Halley hasn't changed. He still comes right at you, at times with the force of a hurricane that will—usually unexpectedly—give way to a gentle breeze that sets the low branches (and the windchime of Shipp's piano) into a calming rhythmic reverie.  It is Halley's meeting with a pianist that makes this recording so special ...... Between "The Opening" and "The Journey," the sound remains the same. Powerful free jazz from a cohesive quartet that walks a line between the raucous and the sublime ...' (Dan McClenaghan in allaboutjazz ****). 

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review : Full Dan McClenaghan Review :

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Bedal - In Reverse
(Bace Records) - Released: 7th June 2019

Nick Mazzarella (saxophone); Paul Bedal (piano); Matt Ulery (bass); Charles Rumback (drums).

Paul Bedal In Reverse

 

'For his third album as a leader, pianist Paul Bedal gathered pretty active members from the Chicago scene: alto saxophonist Nick Mazzarella, bassist Matt Ulery, and drummer Charles Rumback. Although the latter two musicians had been part of his first recording project, Chatter (Bace Records, 2014), the brand new In Reverse marks the debut of this quartet, featuring eight properly structured originals peppered with improvisation.The title cut, “In Reverse”, a catchy post-bop number coated with the modal spirituality of Coltrane, makes a great opening, detaching from the rest of the program as a consequence of its majestic depth and pulsation. The awakening sounds fuel great solos by Mozzarella and Bedal, and both take the opportunity to stretch out a bit more on the final vamp worked out by Ulery and Rumback. The strong teamwork behind the soloists occurs effortlessly, and “Janssen Ave” is another example of coordination and precise accentuation in a sort of unassumed swinging environment. In this case, Mazzarella goes bluesier, throwing in melodies that satisfy the ear, while Bedal, exploring with more atonal drive, navigates inside and outside with logic .....Composition-wise, Bedal shows a gracefulness that may be used in the future to expand textures and moods even more. But for now, you should give In Reverse a chance' (JazzTrail). '.....There is plenty of passion on the album, particularly on the expansive “Janssen Ave.” Mazzarella’s bluesy and muscular sax spars with the loosely swinging rhythm trio. Bedal’s keys cascade with fervor and earthy intensity. The spirited vamps interlace and form a stimulating and dense sonic tapestry ......'  (Hrayr Attarian in Chicago Jazz Magazine).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review : Full Hrayr Attarian Review : Listen to Janssen Avenue :

 

 

 

Billy Prim - Thalassa
(Blahonoiz Records) - Released: 16th September 2019

Attila Blaho (piano); Andor Horváth (double bass, 2,5); Júlia Csillag (voice, 4); Áron Turcsányi (electric bass, 3); Billy Prim (drums)

Billy Prim Thalassa

 

 

Billy Prim is a Greek drummer now based in Hungary. 'In many ways I see myself as a storyteller. Each one of these melodies is like a little tale, a way for me to take all these feelings, arrange them as sound in time, and present them to you in a song . It's me, opening up to you, sharing what I feel and how I understand the world and hopefully giving you what you feel a name, a sound , a melody' (Billy Prim)

Details : Video of Waves of Emotion played live : Video of Midnight Sea :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Louis Armstrong and Oscar Peterson - Louis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson
(Jazz Images CS) - Released: 27th May 2019

Louis Armstrong (trumpet); Oscar Peterson (piano) with Ray Brown (bass), Herb Ellis (guitar) and Louis Bellson (drums)

Louis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson

 

'The late fifties must have been an exciting time at Verve records. Louis Armstrong was recording his classic albums with Ella Fitzgerald, and Ella was starting out on her song book series. And always in the background, making a major contribution to Ella's Duke Ellington songbook, and Louis and Ella's recordings was another great jazz figure, the inestimable Oscar Peterson. And then the news came out that Luis and Oscar were to record an album together. This was a big deal. Louis had, 30 years previously, singlehandedly revolutionised jazz and was at the forefront of recent trad revival. Peterson was one of the major figures of what was known, at the time, as `modern jazz'. Peterson fans were of the opinion the Louis' best days were behind him (with a wealth of supporting evidence from his entertaining but not very innovative recordings with Decca in the preceding decade). They were afraid that Peterson, the new innovator, was taking a step back. And Louis fans, with their disdain for modern jazz were concerned that their hero would not fit in with the new complex rhythms of Peterson's piano playing. No one should have worried. What resulted from this meeting of the two great innovators old and new was some of the best music of both their careers....... (Amazon Review). 'Louis with the Peterson quartet in 1957 was quite a contrast to what, by then, had been his regular setting for 10 years in the All Stars. He rises to the occasion with some definitive versions of songs that only pop up occasionally elsewhere in his repertoire (Alyn Shipton in Jazzwise ****)

Details : Review and Samples from an earlier release :

 

 

 

 

 

June Christy and Stan Kenton - The June Christy / Stan Kenton Collection 1945 - 1955
(Acrobat) - Released: 3rd March 2019 [2 CDs]

June Christy (vocals) with the Stan Kenton Orchestra (various personnel)

June Christy Stan Kenton Collection

 

'June Christy was one of elite coterie of singers during the post-war decade who readily spanned the big band, cool jazz, and sophisticated pop genres, becoming one of the most popular and admired female vocalists of the era, outshone only by the likes of Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald and Peggy Lee. Having sung with Boyd Raeburns band in the early 1940s, she took over from Anita ODay with Stan Kentons ground-breaking orchestra in 1945, over the next five years was named by Down Beat magazine as the best female vocalist with a big band in 1946, 1947, 1948 and 1950. This great-value 49-track 2-CD set comprises a significant proportion of the studio and live recordings she made with Kentons orchestra through until 1950, by which time she had embarked on a successful solo career, and also includes some of the duet recordings she did with Kenton accompanying her on piano in 1955. It includes their 1945 No. 2 hit with Tampico along with the Top 10 hits It's Been A Long Long Time and Shoo Fly Pie And Apple Pan Dowdy and five other Billboard chart entries. Its a substantial overview of her work with Stan Kenton, and a great showcase for her distinctive talent' (album notes). 'The core of this collection is the five years Christy spent as Kenton's main vocalist from 1945-50, including the majority of her Billboard chart successes (even with songs that had been better recorded by others), and rounded off with some later (and rather attractive) duets with Kenton at the piano' (Alyn Shipton in Jazzwise ***)

Details :

 

 

 

 

Zac Gvi - Monk Spent Youth
(FIR-E) - Released: 13th August 2019

Ben Davis (cello), Fred Thomas (drums, bass, prepared piano), Zac Gvirtzman (piano, bass clarinet, organ, toy piano).

Zac Zvi Monk Spent Youth

'Monk Spent Youth is the fruit of several things: an electrifying collaboration between like-minded musicians, a monthly night hosted by the band at the old Jamboree, and a youth spent captivated by the music of Thelonious Monk. Celebrating the music, the life and the spirit of Monk, this record is much more than an re-imagining of some of Monk’s seminal compositions; it’s a testament both to Monk’s unique sensibilities, his playfulness and introspection, and to the original sound and sensitivity of the ensemble. The ensemble, all members of London’s F-IRE Collective, consists of Ben Davis on cello, Fred Thomas on drums, bass and prepared piano and Zac Gvirtzman on piano, bass clarinet, organ and toy piano. As well as Monk’s compositions, the album features originals “Waltzin’ In” and “Lunasphere” by Gvirtzman alongside his and the ensemble’s arrangements of Monk’s compositions and several solo pieces performed by Gvirtzman. The opening track “Bubu’s Birthday” is a miniature portrait of Monk’s humourous side, playing on the childlike-ness of the tune with it’s free-wheeling toy piano musings. “Evidence I”, with its counterpart “Evidence II”, fragment Monk’s iconic composition, itself a process of deduction from the standard on which it was based, into a series of snatched gestures that build towards the statement of the theme, underpinned by Thomas’ highly creative and upfront drumming. On “We See” the ensemble roars with carefree gusto, with Davis’ cello equally powerful as a searing solo horn and a funky, rooted walking bass. Gvirtzman’s rendition of “Crepuscule with Nellie” as a solo church organ piece finds the hymn in the tune, employing a palate of contrasting organ stops, while his bluesy waltz, “Waltzin’ In”, is both a nod to Monk’s sojourn on the religious music circuit and a vehicle for the ensemble’s abundant tongue-in-cheek humour. ........ “Monk Spent Youth” was recorded by Alex Bonney at Greenway Studios and Heath Street Baptist Church in Hampstead, and mixed and mastered by Bonney. The spirit of play is maintained in Gvirtzman’s post-production of the record in the intersections between some of the tracks and occasional, subtle cartoon-like effects' (album notes).

Details and Samples :

 

 

 

 

 

Leo Richardson Quartet - Move
(Ubuntu Music) - Released: 9th August 2019

Leo Richardson (tenor saxophone); Rick Simpson (piano); Tim Thornton (bass); Ed Richardson (drums); guest Alex Garnett (tenor saxophone).

Leo Richardson Quartet Move

 

'Leo is widely recognised as one of London's leading tenor saxophonists, best known for his honest, straight-ahead, contemporary hard-bop style. His influences include John Coltrane, Joe Henderson, Dexter Gordon, Horace Silver and Art Blakey. Leo's 2017 debut album, The Chase, received exceptional reviews from around the world, including the first ever 5 Star review for a debut jazz album by the Observer. The Chase was also selected by The Times as one of the Top Ten Jazz Albums of 2017. In America, Downbeat Magazine praised the album as being straight out of the mid-1960's jazz classics. Leo has performed throughout the world and appeared last year at the Love Supreme Jazz Festival in the UK. This summer, Leo's quartet will be performing at the Rochester International Jazz Festival in the US. He has played at Ronnie Scott's, on numerous occasions. 'Move', Leo's next Quartet album, features his powerhouse rhythm section of Rick Simpson (piano), Tim Thornton (bass) and Ed Richardson (drums). The ubiquitous tenor Alex Garnett joins the band as guest on the final track. The sophomore album picks up where the debut album left off. As Leo describes, "I never thought I'd release my second album so soon after the first, but I just love playing with the band so, I thought, why not?! The compositions on this record are very much a natural progression from the first album. I feel the music has developed and matured, instilling the essence of hard bop but remaining contemporary. The rhythm section in this quartet is absolutely world class and I'm very lucky to be able to play my music with them and develop it together as a band". (album notes).

Details and Samples : Listen to The Demise :

 

 

 

 

 

Ashley Henry - Beautiful Vinyl Hunter
(Universal /Sony Music) - Released: 6th September 2019

Ashley Henry (piano, keyboards); Theo Croker, Keyon Harrold (trumpet); Judi Jackson (vocals); Sparkz (rap); Daniel Casimir (bass); Eddie Hick, Marijus Aleska (drums); Artie Zaitz (guitar); Makaya McCraven (drums); Binker Golding (tenor sax); Moses Boyd (drums)

Ashley Henry Beautiful Vinyl Hunter

 

 

'Following the widespread success of 26-year-old Ashley Henry’s Easter EP, the genre-blurring UK pianist returns in full force with his debut studio album Beautiful Vinyl Hunter, set for release in September on Sony Music. Offering a journey into the visionary mind of one of the UK’s most creative young talents, the highly anticipated 15-track album draws on a heady brew of influences from jazz, beats, hip-hop, punk and grime and features collaborations with an impressive collective of innovators including Makaya McCraven, Keyon Harrold, Ben Marc, Luke Flowers, MC Sparkz, Jaimie Branch, Binker Golding and Joshua Idehen' (album notes). '...... This debut long player is very much a consolidation of his progress to date and the presence ... (of) ... some of the young Turks of UK jazz ...makes this a transatlantic affair with a contemporary edge ....' (Kevin Le Gendre in Jazzwise ***)

Details and Samples :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keith Tippett - The Unlonely Raindancer
(Discus Music) - Released: 22nd April 2019

Keith Tippett (piano)

Keith Tippett The Unlonely Raindancer

 

The production of The Unlonely Raindancer by Keith Tippett on the Discus label is well described by Andy Robson in Jazzwise magazine: '... As no master tape exists (of Tippett's solo piano debut) Discus owner Martin Archer, in a painstaking act of dedication, digitally recreated the album from 600 minutes of live recording of Tippett's Dutch tour patched over a YouTube dubbed original vinyl recording. If that sounds like a Frankenstein monster, fear not, it's more the reblossoming of a long dormant rose. Or oak, as Tippett twice visitssthe folk melody of 'Tortworth Oak', though he soon transcends the tune with his massive chording ... This improvised, but not avant-garde music that disappears up its own arch. It's music with a heart and soul that can barely contain itself. But it just does.' Keith Tippett says: 'This album consists of improvised music, except for the melody of Tortworth Oak, which developed during the (performance). The pianos were not prepared, except for the final 1 ½ minutes of The Muted Melody, where the strings are dampened by a piece of wood. Music boxes are also used. The final piece Midnight Snow Walk is played on a zither. April 1979 was my first solo piano tour. A tour of the Netherlands organised by my friend Rob Sötemann. In some ways I look upon this music as a blueprint for the Mujician solo albums, a trilogy recorded for FMP during the 1980's. A special thankyou to Martin Archer (Discus) for kindly re-releasing this album in 2019. A big thankyou to Hazel Miller (Ogun) for keeping the originals in safe storage'.

Details and Samples : Click here to listen :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jonny Mansfield - Elftet
(Edition Records) - Released: 21st June 2019

Ella Hohnen-Ford (vocals & flute); James Davison (trumpet & flugel); Tom Smith (alto, tenor sax & flute); George Millard (tenor sax, bass clarinet & flute); Rory Ingham (trombone); Dominic Ingham (violin); Laura Armstrong (cello); Oliver Mason (guitar); Jonny Mansfield (vibraphone & composition); Will Harris (double bass & electric bass); Boz Martin-Jones (drums); Guests - Chris Potter (tenor sax,track 2); Gareth Lockrane (flute, track 4): Kit Downes (Hammond organ, track 9).

Jonny Mansfield Elftet album

 

 

'Jonny Mansfield, winner of the Kenny Wheeler Jazz Prize 2018, vibraphonist and composer, follows previous winners Rob Luft, Misha Mullo-Abbado and Tom Barford as part of new generation of vibrant musicians emerging from the UK. His debut album, Elftet, shines a bright light on his talents as instrumentalist, composer and orchestrator, and celebrates the close musical bond he shares with his fellow musicians' (album notes). 'Mansfield has the ambition to tread a different path and in creating a larger ensemble, and writing and composing for it, has set himself a lifetime's challenge .... Mansfield suggests enormous promise for the future' (Stuart Nicholson in Jazzwise ***)

Details and Samples : Video of Falling :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Booth - Travel Sketches
(Ubuntu Music) - Released: 30th August 2019

Paul Booth (tenor sax); Steve Hamilton (piano); Dave Whitford (bass); Andrew Bain (drums)

Paul Booth Travel Sketches

 

'Internationally renowned saxophonist Paul Booth returns to his roots with a stylish new album of original compositions.  Travel Sketches features leading musicians Steve Hamilton on keyboards, Dave Whitford on double bass and Andrew Bain on drums.  “We are friends who make music together.  There’s an empathy when we play, unspoken directions that lead us to constantly re-interpret the music we are playing,” explains Booth.  “The album was recorded one afternoon in a live playing situation and most of the tracks were first takes.  I really wanted my compositions to feel as though they were written by the whole band and somehow, I think we achieved this.” Travel Sketches was inspired primarily by places Booth visited whilst on tour with different artists.  “I wrote ‘Seattle Fall’ one rainy autumn day, during a tour with Steve Winwood. Looking for solitude in a Seattle theatre, I found a beautiful old piano and the inspiration was set.”  Along with ‘Seattle Fall’ and ‘Tuscan Charm‘, a tune that evokes the delights of Tuscany following a lengthy Italian tour,  Peter Gabriel’s ‘Don’t Give Up’ has been chosen as a single release.  “It has been played many times at our gigs and will typically close an evening. It is my hope that the listener leaves with a sense of self and hope.  The positive message, woven in with my own interpretation, will hopefully trigger or--dare I say it--INSPIRE the ideals and ethics of future generations,” says Booth.  “In order to succeed...Don’t give up on the hard work it takes. The life you can live through music is the most fulfilling and rewarding life. Trust me, I’m living it now!” (album notes).

Details and Sample : Video of Seattle Fall played live : Paul Booth's website :

 

 

 

 

 

Wendy Kirkland - The Music's On Me
(Self Release) - Released: 20th July 2019

Wendy Kirkland (piano & voice); Pat Sprakes (guitar); Paul Jefferies (bass/bass guitar); Steve Wyndham (drums) + Roger Beaujolais  (vibes); Tommaso Starace (saxes)

Wendy Kirkland The Musics On Me

 

'Wendy’s musical career began at age 10, when she started taking piano lessons. She won a scholarship to have all her lessons paid for by Derbyshire Music, and continued to take her ABRSM piano grades. Switching to jazz in her late teens, Wendy continued her playing career as a dance class pianist, accompanist to singers and as a keyboardist in club bands. After being persuaded to sing by a great friend and guitarist, Bill McCreath, Wendy learned to reach people who are perhaps turned off by instrumental jazz, as she learnt to communicate with the audience through the songs. Wendy’s voice has been likened to Blossom Dearie with hints of Diana Krall. Her influences range from Nat King Cole, Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald through Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, Wynton Kelly to Chick Corea, Eliane Elias and Michel Petrucciani' (Wendy Kirkland website). 'Wendy stated in a recent interview here on Jazz In Europe that she considers herself a pianist that sings and this is evident in the strong piano work throughout the album. This in no way detracts from her vocal ability and in fact, it is the instrumental nature of her vocals that make it so attractive. When listening to this album I keep coming back to Blossom Dearie and yet, while obviously influenced by Dearie it’s clear that Wendy has developed her take on it. I enjoyed this album a great deal. Highly recommended' (jazzineurope website).

Details for purchase : Introductory Video : jazzineurope Review :

 

 

 

 

JD Allen - Barracoon
(Savant Records) - Released: 12th July 2019

JD Allen (tenor saxophone); Ian Kenselaar (acoustic and electric bass); Nic Cacioppo (drums).

JD Allen Barracoon

 

'JD Allen's eighth recording for Savant Records finds the wildly inventive saxophonist returning to the sax-bass-drums format playing with his usual sizzling intensity and unveiling new works which challenge preconceptions which somehow engage the listeners rather than alienate them. His colleagues, Ian Kenselaar and Nic Cacioppo are with him every step of the way, revelling in the exploratory compositions of their leader and rising to the challenges they bring. JD Allen was hailed by New York Times jazz critic Ben Ratliff as, "a tenor saxophonist with an enigmatic, elegant and hard-driving style," He has be the winner of Downbeat, JazzTimes & NPR polls in categories including NPR's Best Jazz of the Year, Tenor Saxophonist of the Year, Composer of the Year and Rising Star of the Year. Following up on 2016's ground-breaking album, 'Americana', (SCD2155), 'Barracoon' (a lean-to or barracks to confine slaves) reflects Allen's awareness of the 400th anniversary of the first arrival of unwilling slaves in what was to become the United States' (album notes). 'The incomparable saxophonist JD Allen returns with his 13th album as a leader, this time in the company of two young rhythm stylists who have been playing with the tenor titan for more than a year, bassist Ian Kenselaar and drummer Nic Cacciopo. Barracoon contains 10 tight, tough compositions that confer a wider ampleness to Allen’s improvisatory ground since the style adopted often leans on the avant-garde jazz while retaining the true essence of the blues and Americana spirit. The title track is an incendiary tour de force that shrinks and expands with bite and insight in the account of the saxophonist’s fully intonated low-pitched notes, whose extraordinary timbre resounds like a cannon. Everything falls on top of the rambunctious swinging tapestry created by bass and drums. The inspiration for this CD was today’s political fickleness as well as the books Barracoon: The Story of The Last Black Cargo by Zora Neale Hurston and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, whose emotions are directly transferred to “The Immortal (H.Lacks)”. Taking the form of a lachrymose spiritual, naturally rooted in the blues and folk traditions, this tune affiliates with “13” in terms of tone, feeling, and expression. The latter piece dawns with a solo bass statement and dusks after an impactful trio reassembly for an awesome finale ....' (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review : Listen to Communion :

 

 

 

 

Jamie Saft Quartet - Hidden Corners
(RareNoise Records) - Released: 5th July 2019

Jamie Saft (piano); Dave Liebman (tenor and soprano saxophones, flute); Bradley Christopher Jones (acoustic bass); Hamid Drake (drums).

Jamie Saft Quartet Hidden Corners

 

'On 'Hidden Corners', visionary keyboardist, producer and composer Jamie Saft embarks on a spiritual journey along the searching path unveiled by such iconic forebears as John and Alice Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, and Albert Ayler' (album notes). 'The penchant for spiritual sounds evinced by keyboardist Jamie Saft is widely known, especially after a successful double release on RareNoise imprint last year: Solo a Genova and Blue. The novelty of his new album, Hidden Corners, is the musicians that follow him in this restorative, empyreal journey of musical discovery. Whereas bassist Bradley Christopher Jones continues in the rhythm section, the well-versed drummer Hamid Drake occupies the chair that belonged to Nasheet Waits. In the frontline, tenorist Bill McHenry gives his place to master saxophonist Dave Liebman, who extends the sonic possibilities with the addition of flute, tenor, and soprano. Inspired by concepts from Jewish mysticism, the eight-track album makes a start with “Positive Way”, going toward the bandleader’s confession of faith in positivism. We find Jones bowing the bass with depth in a generous contribution for the overall splendor until he shifts technique to embark on an expressive pizzicato solo whose melodic paths amaze. With Drake driving the boat with pure love for rhythm and low-key expertise and Saft accompanying with the habitual efficacy, Liebman makes an astounding entrance, rising up above the ground with lines that simultaneously strike and breathe ...' (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review :

 

 

 

 

 

Alex Sipiagin - NoFo Skies
(Blue Room Music / CD Baby) - Released: 22nd April 2019

Alex Sipiagin (trumpet); Chris Potter (tenor saxophone); Will Vinson (alto saxophone); Alina Engibaryan (vocals); John Escreet (piano, keyboards); Matt Brewer (bass); Eric Harland (drums).

Alex Sipiagin NoFo Skies

 

 

'NoFo Skies, the new recording by trumpeter/composer Alex Sipiagin, features his regular crew. If saxophonists Chris Potter and Will Vinson contribute to the supple three-horn voicing with ardent determination, pianist/keyboardist John Escreet, bassist Matt Brewer, and drummer Eric Harland establish a front-rank rhythm section. Russian-born vocalist Alina Engibaryan completes the lineup, employing her warm tones to narrate stories with words and contemporary melodies. The material, nine compositions by Sipiagin and one by Engybarian, run smoothly, forming a solid whole. The album was inspired by the North Fork of Long Island, New York (Spiagin’s home), and wends its way through a variety of modern yet palpable sonic terrains ...... For this disc, Sipiagin invested as much in compositional acumen as improvisational abundance, modernizing rhythms and patterns while still respectful of traditional frames. All musicians seem comfortably fit in their positions and the present session transpires not just a relaxed environment but also the strong bondage between them'. (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review : Listen to Sky 1 :

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Bley, Gary Peacock, Paul Motian - When Will The Blues Leave
(ECM Records) - Released: 31st May 2019

Paul Bley (piano); Gary Peacock (double bass); Paul Motion (drums)

Bley Peacock Motion When Will The Blues Leave

 

'When Will The Blues Leave, a previously unreleased recording rescued from the archives, bears testimony to the special musical understanding shared by three great improvisers. Long acknowledged by creative musicians as one of the influential groups of the 'free' era, Paul Bley's pioneering trio with Gary Peacock and Paul Motian has been under-represented on record. In 1999, a year after recording the splendid reunion album Not Two, Not One, Paul Bley's highly innovative trio with Gary Peacock and Paul Motian took to the road with concerts on both sides of the Atlantic. When Will The Blues Leave documents a terrific performance at the Aula Magna, Trevano in Switzerland. Included here, alongside the angular freebop Ornette Coleman title track, are Paul Bley's "Mazatlan", brimming over with energy, Gary Peacock's evergreen "Moor", Gershwin's tender "I Loves You Porgy" and much more… All played with the subtlety of master improvisers, recasting the music in every moment. Paul Bley's last recording for ECM was the live solo album Play Blue, recorded at the Oslo Jazz Festival in 2008. Paul Motian's final recording as a leader for the label was Lost In A Dream, recorded 2009, with Chris Potter and Jason Moran. Motian died in 2011, Bley in 2016' (album notes). 'It's difficult for piano trios to distinguish themselves in that most common of jazz formations, but When Will The Blues Leave could have been a defining moment for this unit. Their juxtaposition of lyricism and free improvisation within single pieces, and in real time, is challenging listening, but this elite group of artists have left us with a scrapbook of stunning ideas' (Karl Ackermann in allaboutjazz ****)

Details and Samples : Full Karl Ackermann Review : Listen to Dialogue Amour :

 

 

 

 

 

Yoko Miwa Trio - Keep Talkin'
(Ocean Blue Tear Music) - Released: 14th June 2019

Yoko Miwa (piano); Will Slater (acoustic bass); Scott Goulding (drums); Brad Barrett (acoustic bass track 11)

Yoko Miwa Trio Keep Talkin

 

'Keep Talkin’, the new trio album by Japanese-born, Boston-based Yoko Miwa, documents a pianist and composer operating at the peak of her powers. While maintaining her undeniable signature, Miwa’s musicianship evokes the harmonic finesse and rhythmic brilliance of key influences like Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, McCoy Tyner and Oscar Peterson. Her expansive, versatile writing presents both a remarkable ear for melody and an earthy, intuitive feel for groove. And as an arranger and interpreter, Miwa showcases her fantastic knack for programming: From jazz standards to Brazilian music to unsung gems by pop and folk heroes, each of her selections is definitively remade in her image while retaining its core charms. In the end, those delights coalesce around Miwa the bandleader, who helms gifted players including her husband, the drummer Scott Goulding, and the bassists Will Slater and Brad Barrett with intelligence and dexterity. Or as the Boston Globe said of the Miwa Trio’s previous album, 2017’s Pathways—which hit No. 6 on the JazzWeek chart—her music is “bright and accessible. … Miwa’s technical chops are evident, yet she’s anything but showy; she prizes space in her sound, and leaves room for the deep interplay her group has honed over the years' (album notes). '...The superb Keep Talkin' brings that number of recorded offerings from Miwa to eight. The music of Keep Talkin' says that Miwa has fully embraced an American state of mind, beginning with the title tune, a Miwa original that sounds like something out of the hard-grooving Horace Silver songbook. Or add some horns and Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers could come to mind. And apparent right out of the gate: Miwa and her trio play with joy.....' (Dan McClenaghan in allaboutjazz ****)

Details and Samples : Further Details : Introductory Video : Dan McClenaghan's full review :

 

 

 

 

Kevin Hays and Lionel Loueke - Hope
(Edition Records) - Released: 30th August 2019

Kevin Hays (piano); Lionel Loueke (guitar)

Kevin Hays Lionel Loueke Hope

 

 

'Pianist Kevin Hays & guitarist Lionel Loueke have created a masterpiece with their mesmerising and joyous acoustic debut, Hope. Originally a vinyl only release (2017), this remastered CD and digital version adds three new, additional tracks. Hope is an album that moves effortlessly between melodic serenity and rhythmic interplay, bound by the combination of two creative minds, two generous souls and two deeply expressive voices. Hope is remarkable, warm and inclusive (album notes). '...... Hays is a native of one of the most affluent zip codes in the U.S. while Loueke was born in a part of Africa that suffers from one of the world's lowest literacy rates. Despite their many differences, there is a contemporaneousness and harmony between these two artists that transcend their roots and goes straight to the heart of their common purpose. Hope is an elegant album from two masters with ambitious aims and the talent to convey their message in sublimely stylized manner (Karl Ackermann in allaboutjazz ****).

Details and Sample : Introductory Video : Listen to Heritage : allaboutjazz review :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miles Davis - Rubberband
(Warner Bros) - Released: 6th September 2019

Miles Davis (trumpet); Adam Holzman, Neil Larsen and Wayne Linsey (keyboards); Steve Reid (percussion); Glen Burns (saxophone) and Wilburn Jr (drums); Lalah Hathaway, Ledisi (vocals)

Miles Davis Rubberband

 

 

Rubberband is a previously unissued album by Miles Davis from 1985. A four-track EP was released last year for Record Store Day, but now Warner Bros are releasing an 11 track album on 6th September. The recorded tracks were put on the shelf in 1985 when Miles transferred from the Columbia label to Warners and he went on to record and release his Tutu album instead. The sessions for Rubberband are described as something of a radical departure from the jazz-funk music of Miles' final Columbia albums. He had a new studio group with Adam Holzman, Neil Larsen and Wayne Linsey (keyboards); Steve Reid (percussion); Glen Burns (saxophone) and Wilburn Jr (drums). 'They explored funk and soul grooves while there were also plans to feature powerhouse vocalists Al Jarreau and Chaka Khan. 'The music has been completed by its original producers and Davis' nephew Vince Wilburn Jr with new vocal contributions from Lalah Hathaway and Ledisi'. Rubberband includes liner notes from George Cole, writer of ‘The Last Miles’, and features an original painting by Miles Davis as the cover art.

Details :

 

 

 

Tini Thomsen's MaxSax - Shift
(339 Records) - Released: 17th June 2019

Tini Thomsen: (baritone saxophone); Nigel Hitchcock (alto saxophone); Tom Trapp (guitar); Mark Haanstra (bass); Joost Kroon (drums); Guest: Miles Bould: (percussion on Track 8)

Tini Thomsen MaxSax Shift

 

'For Tini Thomsen, a musical life without exploration, innovation and a constant broadening of her artistic horizons is unthinkable. The baritone saxophonist and composer constantly seeks new expressive possibilities, forms and fields of activity.  With Shift, the third album from Tini’s MaxSax, the raw energy of its two predecessors gives way to a more nuanced and temperate aesthetic focusing on strong contrasts while leaving the immense power of the music intact.  This is a courageous album of innovative and imaginative compositions with a highly original sound' (album notes). 'Shift, the third album of Tini Thomsen's MaxSax. And of course the saxophonist and her band - how could it be any different with this album title - have turned a few screws to give the already very individual group sound a slightly different "spin". The Bonnie and Clyde-like iconoclasm of the first two albums has given way to a more nuanced and well-tempered aesthetic on Shift, which, without depriving the music of its immense power, relies on strong contrasts. New on this album is that both Tom Trapp and Mark Haanstra have contributed compositions. The band members know how to combine the heavy grooves of the first album with the jazz harmonic elements of the second album and to give the baritone sax enough space to line up as usual without losing the position of the centre. Even more band sound with even more Bari than backbone. Shift has become a courageous album, which not only scores with its wealth of ideas and imaginative compositions, but also presents a band with a highly original group sound, which has to be located beyond any conventions' (339 Records).

Details and Samples : Tini Thomsen's Tea Break : Video :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gianluca Petrella, Eivind Aarset, Michele Rabbia - Lost River
(ECM Records) - Released: 31st May 2019

Gianluca Petrella (drums, electronics); Eivind Aarset (guitar, electronics); Michele Rabbia (trombone, sounds)

Rabbie Aarset Petrella Lost River

 

 

'Lost River is an evocative post-ambient, richly textured sonic event, and one of the outstanding beyond-category recordings of recent ECM history. Drummer Michele Rabbia and guitarist Eivind Aarset had played many duo concerts, and Rabbia had also worked with trombonist Gianluca Petrella in other contexts, but this recording marks a premiere for the trio. Spontaneously improvised for the most part, and with mysterious detail flowering inside its soundscapes, Lost River keeps revealing new forms. Rabbia's drumming is freely creative and propulsive, and enhanced through his use of electronics. Aarset's flowing playing will delight listeners who have enjoyed his Dream Logic project and his contribution to recordings with Nils Petter Molv 1237;r, Tigran Hamasyan, Andy Sheppard and others. Petrella's role as a principal instrumental voice will surprise those who know him only as a great "jazz" soloist with Enrico Rava and Giovanni Guidi; his broad range is very well deployed in Manfred Eicher's widescreen production in this recording, made in Udine in January 2018' (album notes).

Details and Samples : Video :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Søren Bebe Trio - Echoes
(From Out Here Music) - Released: 10th May 2019

Søren Bebe (piano); Kasper Tagel (double bass); Anders Mogensen (drums)

Soren Bebe Trio Echoes

 

 

'Copenhagen based pianist, composer and bandleader Søren Bebe fits seamlessly into the series of major jazz piano names originating from Scandinavia – Esbjorn Svensson and Tord Gustavsen are the two most often mentioned when describing the nevertheless unique sounds of the Søren Bebe Trio. The Copenhagen-based group continues the long tradition of Scandinvian piano trios, performing music both lyrical and understated, mournful and sweet. Original compositions - including a collaboration between all three musicians called New Beginning- sit alongside Danish psalms and folksongs. There’s even a nod to their classical influences in the form of Elgar’s Sospiri, Op. 70. And whilst they inevitably draw comparisons to the likes of Esbjörn Svensson & Tord Gustavsen who made this style so popular, years of touring together enable them to bring their own special touch to the music' (album notes)

Details and Samples : Video of Homeward played live : Video of Jeg er træt og går til ro played live :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ben Webster and Coleman Hawkins - Ben Webster Meets Coleman Hawkins
(American Jazz Classics) - Released: 22nd March 2019

Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster (tenor saxophone); Oscar Peterson (piano); Herb Ellis (guitar); Ray Brown (bass); Alvin Stoller, Stan Levey (drums)

Ben Webster Meets Coleman Hawkins

 

 

'The complete classic album Coleman Hawkins Encounters Ben Webster (Verve Records MGV-8327), as well as the other six tunes from the session, originally issued on other Hawkins’ albums and long out of print anthologies. As a bonus, four songs from sessions recorded on both the previous and the same day by each saxophonist alone with the same rhythm section have been added. The sessions end with each player presenting his own reading of “Ill Wind”. Includes comprehensive 6-page booklet with up-to-date liner notes' (album notes). '....Most serious jazz fans will already own the album, but for those who may not have heard either tenor titan before, this reissue makes a very handy introduction ....' (Simon Spillett in Jazzwise ****)

Details and Samples :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jon Hendricks / Lambert, Hendricks & Ross - Four Classic Albums
(Avid) - Released: 7th June 2019 (remastered)

Jon Hendricks, Dave Lambert, Annie Ross (vocals) with various musicians.

hendricks Lambert Ross Four Classic Albums

 

'AVID Jazz continues with its Four Classic Albums series with a re-mastered 2CD release from Jon Hendricks (2 x solo albums) and Lambert Hendricks & Ross complete with original artwork, liner notes and personnel details Jon Hendricks - 'A Good Git Together'; 'Fast Livin' Blues'' and Lambert, Hendricks & Ross - 'High Flying' and 'Sing Ellington' Following the incredible success of our first and recently released Lambert, Hendricks & Ross: Four Classic Album set (AMSC1320) and our classic best seller Annie Ross: Four Classic Albums (AMSC1015), we thought we would round off our journey with another two classics by the titanic trio and for good measure offer up a taste of the vocalese master Jon Hendricks out on his own on two extraordinary albums. Released in 1959, A Good Git Together features Jon Hendricks during the time of his greatest success with LH&R, amongst such fine musicians as Wes Montgomery, Pony Poindexter and the brothers Cannonball & Nat Adderley. For Fast Livin' Blues, Hendricks is again joined by Pony Poindexter on tenor and soprano alongside Freddie Green on guitar and the legendary Joe Newman on trumpet as well as LH&R stalwarts the Ike Isaacs Trio. Our two final LH&R albums round off our vocalese journey through the music of one of the finest vocal groups in jazz history. Sing Ellington does what it says on the tin (to use that awful expression) but in fine, fine LH&R style, while High Flying features the final time Annie Ross would play on an album with her brothers in song. But what a fine way to out... singing sublimely! And of course the Ike Isaacs Trio are on hand to accompany them on both albums' (album notes). 'Two Hendricks solo albums ... and two by the vocalese trio catch Jon in good form, and complement the earlier L,H & R box from the same label with as much oodly-boodling as anyone could want' (Alyn Shipton in Jazzwise ***).

Details :

 

 

 

 

 

The Modern Jazz Quartet - The Early Years: 1952-56
(Acrobat) - Released: 5th May 2019 (2 CDs)

John Lewis (piano); Milt Jackson (vibraphone); Percy Heath (bass); Kenny Clarke, Connie Kay (drums)

MJQ The early Years

 

 

'The Modern Jazz Quartet were one of the most innovative, distinctive and influential groups in jazz in the 1950s and subsequent decades, pioneering a refined, classically-influenced style of cool jazz which retained the blues-based traditions of the genre, and reflected the changes wrought by bebop, while playing music which was unique and unmistakeable. That music owed much to the interplay of John Lewis piano and Milt Jacksons vibraphone seamlessly underpinned by Percy Heath's bass. Kenny Clarke was the group's original drummer, replaced when he left in 1955 by Connie Kay. This great-value 32-track 2-CD set comprises recordings from their first four LP releases for Prestige and Atlantic from their first studio session as the Modern Jazz Quartet in 1952 through to 1955. It features all the titles from their original 10 Prestige LP The Modern Jazz Quartet, and from their 12 LPs for Prestige Django and Concorde, plus all the titles from their Atlantic LP Fontessa, and selected titles from their Atlantic LP At Music Inn (some tracks on that album also featured Jimmy Giuffre, but none of those are included here). Its a comprehensive overview of the music which established their reputation and captures the essence of their approach during their formative years as a recording unit' (album notes). '.... this is a good 2 CD tour through the MJQ in its early prime, with the switch from Kenny Clarke to Connie Kay happening just before the halfway point ....' (Alyn Shipton in Jazzwise ***)

Details :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bud Powell - The Genius Of Bud Powell
(Jazz Images) - Released: 27th May 2019

Bud Powell (piano); Ray Brown, Curley Russell, George Duvivier (bass); Buddy Rich, Max Roach, Art Taylor, Osie Johnson (drums)

The Genius Of Bud Powell

 

'The album-title was first used in connection with a mid-1970s reissue, some ten years after Powell's death, and yet the pianist's genius is still insufficiently recognised. Having arrived on the scene in the shadow of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, his brilliant manipulation of bebop's complexities can often seem less compelling than the dazzle of the horn-players. Yet his ability to translate their intensity to the piano, and to create highly melodic lines at great speed, deserves to put his reputation on the same level. These two batches of material from Powell's early career (1950-51) are not evenly matched, either in length or approach. The opening session finds Ray Brown and Buddy Rich working hard to keep up with him, and features three versions of the same fast, Tatum-influenced arrangement of "Tea For Two" the remaining material is unaccompanied, and the even faster "Just One of Those Things" almost defeats him--but not really. Two other, more relaxing standards follow the uniformly impressive originals, which include "Parisian Thoroughfare" (later done by Clifford Brown) and "Hallucinations" (aka "Budo", recorded by Miles Davis). The pianist's own versions show exactly what Clifford and Miles admired' (Brian Priestley album notes from an earlier release). '.....if you have no Powell from the period, this is a great set to get, but let's hope for a sequel that, by matching this level of presentation, does a better job of reissuing the Blue Note material ....' (Alyn Shipton in Jazzwise ****)

Details :

 

 

 

 

 

Rob Cope - Gods Of Apollo
(Ubuntu Music) - Released: 5th July 2019

Rob Cope (soprano saxophone); Elliot Galvin (piano); Rob Luft (guitar); Jon Ormston (drums)

Rob Cope Gods Of Apollo

 

 

'You don't often come across a concept for an album that's as unique as this. Rob has amassed a stellar quartet and recorded the first of ultimately what is to be a three-part trilogy, inspired by space. The debut is a tribute to the race to land the first man on the moon, bringing us with him in this breath-taking journey. The album uses archival NASA audio and travels from the first man made satellites in 1957 through to the final moon landing in 1972. It was recorded at Crown Lane Studios in Morden by John Merriman. Rob explains, "Gods of Apollo is like a film soundtrack, set to the original archival audio of the race to the moon. The album features the exceptional talent of Elliot Galvin, Rob Luft and Jon Ormston. I aimed to capture this excitement and add a new level of artistry to the voices of the astronauts." (album notes).

Details and Samples : Introductory Video :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laura Jurd - Stepping Back, Jumping In
(Edition Records) - Released: 19th July 2019

Laura Jurd (trumpet); Raphael Clarkson (trombone Tracks 3,5,6); Alex Paxton (trombone Tracks 1,2); Martin Lee Thomson (euphonium); Soosan Lolavo (santoor); Rob Luft (banjo, guitars); Elliot Galvin (piano); Anja Lauvdal (synth, electronics); Conor Chaplin (double bass); Liz Exell (drum kit); Corrie Dick (drum kit); The Ligeti Quartet: Mandhira de Saram (violin); Patrick Dawkins (violin); Richard Jones (viola); Cecilia Bignall (cello - guest cellist).

Laura Jurd Stepping Back Jumping In

 

 

'Stepping Back, Jumping In is the new album from the British trumpeter, composer and creative force, Laura Jurd. With Stepping Back, Jumping In, Laura Jurd has created an eco-system full of sonic contrast, multiple layers and dimensions, with rigorous composition alongside improvisatory spaces. The result is dynamic, vibrant music that welcomes multiple listens, showcasing some of the most exciting composer-instrumentalists around today. With compositional credits Elliot Galvin, Soosan Lolavar and a co-composed piece by Norwegian musicians Anja Lauvdal & Heida K. Johannesdottir, and perfomed by some of the most exiting players on the British scene.' (album notes). 'The project was commissioned by King's Place, London as part of their 'Venus Unwrapped' series which created the opportunity to bring together some of Laura's favourite musicians from various musical backgrounds, ending up as a 14-piece ensemble featuring musicians and composers from the UK and Norway, all of whom are equally at home in the realms of improvised and contempoarary classical music. This group became the vehicle for five composers, including Laura, to write some extensive new works (Edition Records).

Details : Video : Laura Jurd Interview :

 

 

 

 

Alex Hitchcock Quintet - All Good Things
(Fresh Sound New Talent) - Released: 31st May 2019

Alex Hitchcock (tenor saxophone); James Copus (trumpet, flugelhorn); Will Barry (piano, fender rhodes); Joe Downard (bass); Jay Davis (drums)

Alex Hitchcock Quintet All Good Things

 

'Saxophonist Alex Hitchcock leads a powerhouse quintet that combines a compelling, adventurous ear for melody with virtuosic improvising. Their summer 2019 tour launches their first album All Good Things, released on the Spanish label Fresh Sound New Talent, renowned for introducing debuts by artists including Robert Glasper, Brad Mehldau and Avishai Cohen. The quintet features five of the most creative rising stars of the UK's jazz scene, who have already made their mark as sidemen with an impressive list of jazz luminaries ranging from Jasper Høiby through Chris Potter to Elliot Galvin. Influences range from the explosive energy of Kneebody and the complexity and nuance of Ambrose Akinmusire to European trailblazers Phronesis and Django Bates. This new body of work follows the release of the 2018 EP Live At The London And Cambridge Jazz Festivals - a vibrant collection of live recordings that gained extensive praise in discerning music circles, subsequently winning Hitchcock a Taking Off feature in Jazzwise Magazine, as well as an in-depth interview with fellow saxophonist Soweto Kinch on BBC Radio 3’s Jazz Now programme. Alex explains: 'We've tried to find a positive response to the division and uncertainty currently being felt across the UK and further afield. I've tried to write optimistic music that doesn't avoid subtlety and more challenging sounds, and has space for dissonance. Some of the songs are eclectic but this doesn't detract from a common thread and distinctive sound world running through the album, with strong melodies and virtuosic improvising holding it together.' (album notes). '... All Good Things is the clearest indicator to date of the stratospheric trajectory on which this super-talented quintet is indubitably heading. But in stark opposition to the truncated aphorism of its title, this album represents the beginning of what is bound to be a happily burgeoning future' (Roger Farbey in allabout jazz ****).

Details and Samples : Full Roger Farbey Review : Listen To Hamburg :

 

 

 

 

Anthony Strong - Me And My Radio
(Guaranteed! Records) - Released: 19th April 2019

Anthony Strong (vocals, piano, percussion) with various personnel including Nicholas Costley-White (guitar); Spencer Brown (bass), Andy Ball (drums)

Anthony Strong Me And My Radio

 

'10 years, 4 albums and over 300 shows since his debut release, British singer-pianist Anthony Strong has established a reputation as a charismatic singer, a swinging pianist and, above all, a consummate performer. His new album, 'Me And My Radio', is Anthony's very own 21st century mixtape; a collection of classics - old and new - carefully compiled for those who share his love of great music, regardless of style. From jazz & blues through to motown & soul, songs made famous by Louis Armstrong, Charlie Chaplin & Ella Fitzgerald sit alongside those by Stevie Wonder & Johnny Cash. And, amongst these gems, a sprinkling of originals which could easily have come from a bygone era. But whilst the repertoire is unashamedly old-school, the treatment is decidedly fresh. Ranging from intimate, all the way through to full big band and orchestra, this is a record full of colour, warmth and character. Following in the footsteps of the jazz greats who came before him, Anthony honed his craft on stage, performing - to date - more than 300 shows in 26 countries. From LA's Hollywood Bowl in the West, to Shanghai Jazz Week in the East, as well as many of Europe's leading theatres, jazz clubs and festivals. Of course, there have been many highlights along the way, including a support show with the legendary BB King, an appearance on German television, a front page on France's biggest daily newspaper, a 60-minute feature on America's NPR… But his profile today comes not via a major label campaign or a single lucky break, but by a decade of touring, performing and, above all, entertaining audiences. On 'Me And My Radio' Anthony takes the dynamism of his last album 'On A Clear Day' to new heights. With his British charm, intelligent arrangements and handpicked repertoire, this is an undeniably feel-good listen for 2019' (album notes). 'With irresistably catchy hooks and plenty of textural ear candy, Me And My Radio will satisfy even the most sweet-toothed listeners. Traversing everything from jazz and blues to soul and pop, Anthony Strong's personal mixtape illustrates his unerring skill at reinventing standards ....' (Peter Quinn in Jazzwise ****)

Details and Samples : Introductory Video : Listen to You To Me Are Everything :

 

 

 

 

Tori Freestone Trio - El Mar De Nubes
(Whirlwind recordings) - Released: 31st May 2019

Tori Freestone (tenor saxophone); Dave Manington (double bass); Tim Giles (drums)

Tori Freestone Trio El Mar De Nubes'The natural phenomenon of the Canary Islands’ ‘sea of clouds’ is an exhilarating experience – a highland ascent which rewards with views across the shifting stratocumulus ocean surrounding El Teide (the highest point in Spain) and her neighbouring summits. It’s a landscape which has proved endlessly inspirational for tenor saxophonist and composer Tori Freestone, and a special impetus for El Mar de Nubes, her third trio album with double bassist Dave Manington and drummer Tim Giles. Those illusory impressions of sea and mountains focused Freestone’s thoughts on the concept of seeing the world from different perspectives. As such, they present a metaphor for this bond of creative minds to unearth the myriad possibilities in the saxophonist’s writing. Parallels were also discovered between her walks in ‘las montañas’ and Casper David Friedrich’s much-loved painting ‘Wanderer above a Sea of Fog’ (echoed in the album’s cover), including the story that some have viewed his work upside down, believing the clouds are waves and the water is sky. “At the close of 2017”, explains Freestone, “I blocked out time to stay in Tenerife, to be alone in the mountains where my thoughts flow freely; and I was there during the New Year when the supermoon was visible. To arrive in the alien landscape of El Teide on New Year's Day after viewing the sea of clouds en route was incredible, followed by the moon appearing brighter than the sun as the evening drew in due to the super moon being at it's strongest that particular day.” Over the following days, Tori noted down words which, in retrograde, came to inform the rhythms, modulations and harmonies of the title track and her new instrumentals on this album ..... The lyrical basis of Tori’s searching title track – “Standing alone, above a sea of clouds…” – is heard as she threads melodic lines amongst its undulating bass-and-percussion swell; and the split personality of ‘Hiding Jekyll’ is portrayed through overlapping rhythms and tempi. ‘Los Indianos’ (La Palma’s carnival) recalls the years touring as a violinist with Cuban bands, its vitality described by the saxophonist as “a vibey, messed-up calypso groove”; and new-year thoughts of the past and future are explored in the metric modulations of ‘La nochevieja’. Dave Manington’s impetuous ‘Hasta la vista’ adds boppish verve, and ‘El Camino’ creates freedom for imaginative saxophonic torrents. Sam Rivers’ elegant ‘Beatrice’, referencing Joe Henderson’s ‘The State of the Tenor’ release, is a standard the trio played early on in their formation with the two renditions of the sea shanty ‘Shenandoah’ (including a version featuring Freestone on violin and vocals) an old favorite from the leader’s folk-music beginnings with her family' (album notes). ' ....If her vocal version of Shenandoah is unsteady, Freestone’s two tenor sax interpretations of the song draw on her formidable tonal range, piper-like elisions, and balance of delicacy and bite. The Tori Freestone Trio’s evolution forges on (John Fordham in The Guardian ****). '.... The musical challenges of this chordless trio are easily matched by their exceptional skills and imagination ...' (Roger Farbey in allabout jazz ****).

Details and Samples : Listen to the Title Track : Full John Fordham Review : Full Roger Farbey review :

 

 

 

Hackney Colliery Band - Collaborations: Volume 1
(Veki Records) - Released: 7th June 2019

Various personnel plus guests including Dennis Rollins (trombone); Bugge Wesseltoft (piano); Pete Wareham (saxophone) [Click here for more]

Hackney Colliery Band Collaborations 1

 

'After the stunning success of their critically-acclaimed third album Sharpener, which reached number 3 in the jazz charts and number 14 in the independent music charts, London's brass juggernauts Hackney Colliery Band blaze back onto the scene with their first collaborative album, ushering in a whole new era for the band. Featuring collaborations with a host of key names in jazz and world music including amongst others the father of Ethio-jazz Mulatu Astatke, British jazz funk legend James Taylor, trombonist Dennis Rollins, UK saxophonist Pete Wareham and Beninese singer-songwriter and Grammy Award-winner Angelique Kidjo, Hackney Colliery Band have effortlessly transformed their explosive live energy into 11 original recordings that push the groove and form in an accomplished manner. On 'Collaborations: Volume One', writers Steve Pretty, Olly Blackman and Luke Christie have between them penned the outfit's most dynamic material to date. 'Mm Mm' (feat. Angelique Kidjo and Roundhouse Choir) merges Beninese grooves with wah pedal trumpet textures, and the rousing call-and-response between Kidjo's soaring vocal and the exhilarating choir adds a richness and depth to the composition' (album notes). 'Bugge Wesseltoft, Pete Wareham and Mulata Astatke are among the guests making their presence felt soloing with a decade-old East London big band that stick to back-to-basics jazz traditions while adding uplifting Afro-beat grooves' (Selwyn Harris in Jazzwise ***)

Details and Samples : Listen to Without You : Listen to Hypothetical : Video of the band playing live :

 

 

 

 

 

Fleur Stevenson - Follow Me
(Self Produced) - Released: 2nd July 2019

Fleur Stevenson (vocals); Pete Billington (piano); Raph Mizraki (double bass); Simon Price (drums)

Fleur Stevenson Follow Me

 

 

'Fleur Stevenson is a creative, imaginative singer and has worked with some of the top musicians including Gareth Williams, Brandon Allen and David Newton and Frank Harrison to name but a few. She has performed at major U.K. venues including Pizza Express Jazz Club, Ronnie Scott’s, the 606 Club and many more. Classically trained in trumpet and voice, she was a chorister as a young singer. Then Stevenson stood in for the singer in a local jazz band during rehearsal and realized she felt at home with jazz. She formed her own band and also founded Jazz Singer’s Night in Reading to encourage jazz vocalists. .... Fleur Stevenson’s Follow Me is incredibly easy on the ears. The musicality and arrangements are good, and Stevenson is in possession of a voice which has power – yet she has the control to drop down to a caress in a heart-beat. And she can scat; boy, can she scat! There is attention to detail in every track and very clear nods to the composers, yet each number is also imbued with originality ....’ (Something Else Reviews)

Details and Samples : Full Something Else Review : Preview :

 

 

 

 

Brandee Younger - Soul Awakening
(Self Produced) - Released: 7th June 2019

Brandee Younger (harp); Ravi Coltrane (tenor saxophone); Chelsea Baratz (tenor saxophone); Stacy Dillard (soprano saxophone); Antoine Roney (tenor saxophone); Sean Jones (trumpet); Freddie Hendrix (trumpet); Corey Wilcox (trombone); Nicole Camacho (flute); Niia (vocals); Dezron Douglas (bass); E.J. Strickland (drums); Chris Beck (drums).

Brandee Younger Soul Awakening

'Harpist Brandee Younger and her cohorts find a perfect balance in the repertoire that composes Soul Awakening, her fourth album as a leader, which was completed in 2013 but only now sees the light of the day. The lineup includes longtime collaborators such as saxophonists Stacy Dillard and Chelsea Baratz, drummer E.J. Strickland, and bassist Dezron Douglas, who produced the album. Additionally, there’s a bunch of special guests assisting the spiritual perspective of the bandleader’s music, always conducted with the intent to inspire. The album astounds in its overture with Douglas-penned “Soulris”, a spiritual modal journey founded on a formidable bass/drums groove (the drummer here is Chris Beck) and suffused with those positive vibes associated with John and Alice Coltrane. Their son, Ravi Coltrane, is the tenorist here, blowing some well-timed outside notes that take us over the moon. ... The colorful “Respected Destroyer” was many times included in the repertoire of New Orleans brass band The Soul Rebels. Following the modest beauty of Younger’s harp, we find Baratz sharp articulations on tenor, and then the crisp, clear tone and range of trumpeter Sean Jones. Everything takes place under Strickland’s hip-hop-flavored groove. Harpists Dorothy Ashby and Alice Coltrane are paid tribute with renditions of their own pieces, “Games” and “Blue Nile”, respectively ...... Brandee Younger puts her own stamp on these compositions and magical moments, going from inward to the vastness of space, are instantly tracked down. What the heck kept this splendid work on the shelf for so many years?' (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review : Listen to Soul Awakening : Listen to Soulris :

 

 

 

 

 

Tom Harrell - Infinity
(HighNote Records) - Released: 5th April 2019

Tom Harrell (trumpet, flugelhorn); Mark Turner (tenor sax); Charles Altura (guitar); Ben Street (bass); Johnathan Blake (drums); Adam Cruz (percussion - track 3).

Tom Harrell Infinity

 

'For this HighNote release, featuring a razor-sharp quintet with saxophonist Mark Turner and guitarist Charles Altura, Tom Harrell & company combine complex compositions, seductive rhythms, advanced harmonic concepts, vibrant solos and sheer inspiration in an album which transcends the jazz idiom. This is perhaps Harrell's most imaginative recording to-date, with the scoring for the piano-less, tenor sax and guitar front line ensemble sui generis among his work. When pianist Bill Charlap featured Tom Harrell at a recent gig with his trio at New York's Jazz Standard, he summarised the trumpeter's genius as concisely as anyone could. "It is our honor and privilege," he announced, "To share the bandstand with a man who is a living, breathing melody." (album notes). 'Ace trumpeter Tom Harrell’s new recording, Infinity, brims with uncomplicated structures, harmonic sophistication, nervy improvisations, and a mix of kaleidoscopic hard-bop and straight ahead post-bop influences. The album comprises ten Harrell compositions subjected to wonderful musical treatments by a hot quintet .... If the easy-listening “Folk Song” exhibits a gentle backbeat that produces cool and sophistication vibes, the time-shifting “Hope” offers percussive rattles and shakes, parallel melodies, rarefied reverb-drenched guitar, and an unforeseen bolero-ish routine that, in a flash, morphs into a vibrantly swinging locomotion. This is a clinical demonstration of Harrell’s compositional facility and inventiveness .... The trumpeter is an intelligent, exceptionally melodic sculptor who channels discipline and freedom to the right places for the most breathtaking effect. He is outstanding here, and so are his bandmates' (JazzTrail)..

Details and Sample : Full JazzTrail Review :

 

 

 

 

Sylvie Courvoisier / Mark Feldman - Time Gone Out
(Intakt) - Released: 5th July 2019

Sylvie Courvoisier (piano); Mark Feldman (violin)

Sylvie Courvoisier Mark Feldman Time Gone Out

'For almost 20 years, Sylvie Courvoisier and Mark Feldman have been continuously redefining the dialogue between Western and American music, improvisation and composition, tradition and modernity. The most diverse playing attitudes and atmospherics network in the alert reactions of the two players - dance, world-weariness, liberating noise, shrill jumping cascades, the confession of simple beauty. Their latest live release was described by the Frankfurtr Allmeinen Zeitung (FAZ) as one of the "original productions in jazz history". A duo that stands or falls with a special togetherness and a duo that lives from the spectacular playing, the immense technique, the grandiose joy of playing and the art of improvisation. The new CD Time Gone Out, recorded at the Oktaven Audio studio in New York, is a culmination of many years of collaboration. The album shows how her music has freed itself from any reference and plays in radical singularity: between power and restraint, energy and fragility, energy and softness. This precious art speaks in the present about the present, about our time and wanders into a distant, unpredictable future' (album notes). 'Pianist Sylvie Courvoisier and violinist Mark Feldman, two of the finest and consummate stylists of the New York avant scene, release a new set of bold music on Time Gone Out, twenty years after their first duo recording, Music for Violin and Piano. By turns literate and kinetic, the duo’s direction is never obvious and every little step feels like a secret unraveled....... The central piece on the album is the title track, “Time Gone Out”, a nearly 20-minute chamber creation that you may think of as an offbeat chorale with a streamlined approach and celestial bursts. You’ll find an immersive solo piano passage as well as blossoming violin messages appearing as cerebral modern classical incursions dramatized with interactive commitment. Moreover, there’s a poised compromise between hushed, ruminative moments and dynamic activity. Offering different dividends with each listening, this album encloses too many treasures to be discovered. The long-standing creative partnership between Courvoisier and Feldman is stronger than ever, taking us to a lot of unexpected places' (JazzTrail).

Details and Sample : Full JazzTrail Review :

 

 


 

 

Jeff Williams - Bloom
(Whirlwind Recordings) - Released: 26th April 2019

Carmen Staaf (piano); Michael Formanek (double bass); Jeff Williams (drums)

Jeff Williams Bloom

 

'It speaks volumes when the bustling opening track of drummer Jeff Williams’ new piano trio release, Bloom, is revealed as “just us warming up, getting our headphone mix together”! For that’s the remarkable, spontaneous quality which his partnership with pianist Carmen Staaf and double bassist Michael Formanek delivers across ten numbers individually penned by each, plus a Buster Williams interpretation. Jeff Williams has worked alongside Stan Getz, Dave Liebman, Joe Lovano, and John Abercrombie, in addition to leading his own groups for some time; and for the last few years, in the States, he has played in saxophonist Dan Blake’s quartet with pianist Leo Genovese and bassist Dmitry Ishenko. “One time when Leo was unavailable, Carmen stepped in, and I felt a real connection with her playing”, recalls the drummer. “We talked about the idea of a trio, after which I ran into Michael (we first met in the 1970s, gigging together in New York). That was the eureka moment – it bloomed outta nowhere, hence the album title.” Including new piano trio arrangements of earlier numbers, Jeff jests that he shares Thelonious Monk’s attitude (when the great piano man was asked why he plays the same tunes all the time) that “I want people to hear them!” The harmonic beauty of ‘Another Time’, for instance – originally recorded with two horns and bass – is enhanced, thanks to Staaf’s invention and the colourful refractions of Williams’ cymbals (including a1950s K Zildjan ride); and the furtive, chromatic, 7/8 propulsion of ‘Scrunge’ segues into impatiently-grooving ‘Search Me’. ...“I grew up listening to many piano trios, especially Ahmad Jamal’s from around 1958–1962 – so that influenced my playing. But there’s no fixed concept, and this was simply a case of ‘Let’s see what we can do with it’. I’ve always played with people who inspire me, enjoying the conversation, going into some depth; and often thinking about the musicians, rather than the instrumentation. So I hope Bloom will allow us to flourish in pursuing this trio further.” (album notes). 'The Ohio-born London-based drums veteran Jeff Williams is on a roll at the moment .... Williams' fifth disc with a piano-bass-drums trio is perhaps his strongest to date ...It's always a treat when the 'real thing' comes along and this particluar Jeff Williams trio is undoubtably that' (Selwyn Harris in Jazzwise ****).

Details and Samples : Listen to She Can't Be A Spy :

 

 

 

 

Zhenya Strigalev and Frederico Dannemann - The Change
(Rainy Days Records) - Released: 28th June 2019

Zhenya Strigalev (saxophones, voice); Federico Dannemann (guitar, vocals); Luques Curtis (double bass); Obed Calvaire (drums)

Zhenya Strigalev and Frederico Dannemann The Change

 

 

'The two internationally renowned musicians met at the Royal Academy of Music over fourteen years ago and have performed together since Dannemann joined Strigalev's Never Group in 2016. The album represents major recent changes in the artists' personal lives - Strigalev moved back to Russia after a decade of developing his music in London and Dannemann returned to performance after years of teaching in Santiago. "The Change promotes the idea that we need to keep changing always. To not stay in the same place even if it is comfortable. Especially in jazz." says Strigalev "It's only 'right' when it keeps moving and changing. So by calling the project and album 'The Change' we also remind ourselves what we love about music and why we are doing it ......The unique thing about the album is that it covers lots of different spectrums of state of mind: calm, active. thoughtful, romantic, energetic, relaxed, focused!" (album notes).

Details and Samples : Video of The Change played live :

 

 

 

 

Stan Getz - Stan Getz Plays the Blues
(Acrobat) - Released: 18th January 2019

Stan Getz (tenor saxophone) with various personnel including Dizzy Gillespie, Harry Edison, Roy Eldrige (trumpet); J J Johnson (trombone); Gerry Mulligan (baritone sax); Al Haig, Horace Silver, Oscar Peterson, Count Basie, Lou Levy (piano); Lionel Hampton, Cal Tjader (vibes); Herb Ellis (guitar); Ray Brown (bass); Stan Levy, Shelly Manne, Louie Bellson, Billy Higgins (drums).

Stan Getz Plays The Blues

 

' "I can play different styles and appreciate [other] styles", the great tenor saxophonist Stan Getz remarked in an interview in 1950, close to the dawn of his career as a soloist in his own right. At the time he made this observation, Getz was being hailed as one of the coolest of the new cool school, a glacial-toned improviser whose natural metier appeared to be stoic-faced interpretations of Great American Songbook ballads, the very epitome of the introspective, post-war construct that now labelled jazz high art rather than gutbucket entertainment. But there was and had always been another Getz, one who'd drunk deep from the roots-infused vintages pressed by his spiritual forebear Lester Young, a player whose solos never failed to contain a trace of the blues. Getz could play the blues as well as anyone, although jazz history books rarely ever make mention of the fact; in fact, one of his earliest recordings as a leader Crazy Chords proved just how well, the saxophonist and his band taking the sequence through all twelve keys, resulting in a 78rpm that many would-be tenor stars wore to a powder. By no means was this (to some ears definitive) statement the end of Getz's fondness for the most basic of all jazz's resources; quite the opposite, and as his career rocketed skyward in the 1950s, he always kept one foot firmly planted in the blues. This collection assembles no fewer than a dozen examples of Getz doing just that, kicking his heels in settings ranging from summits with fellow modern jazz icons like Dizzy Gillespie and Gerry Mulligan through encounters with swing era giants Count Basie and Lionel Hampton and onto a clutch of stellar examples of his own quartets and quintets, featuring then new stars such as Horace Silver and Jimmy Raney. The range of Getz's blues from the bop-meets-country allusions heard on his meeting with guitarist Herb Ellis to the near boogie-woogie mood struck on his session with piano titan Oscar Peterson is a reminder that far from being a monochromatic film-noir balladeer the saxophonist could play any part, in any style. I don't want to become stagnant, he once said. I can be a real stompin' tenor man' (CD album notes). '... Thank goodness Norman Granz was so keen to record Getz so often and always in the very best of company. Pure pleasure: definitely recommended' (Peter Vacher in Jazzwise ****)

Details and Samples :

 

 

 

 

Norma Winstone and John Taylor - In Concert
(Enodoc) - Released: 25th January 2019

Norma Winstone (vocals); John Taylor (piano).

Norma Winstone and John Taylor In Concert

 

'This duo recording of revered British jazz vocalist (and ECM Records artist) Norma Winstone and pianist John Taylor, is appearing on CD for the first time. It was recorded August 1988 at the Guildhall School of Music, London. They perform music by Leonard Bernstein, Steve Swallow, Egberto Gismonti and Ralph Towner, amongst others, with lyrics by Norma herself, Johnny Mercer and Margaret Busby. Norma Winstone was born in London and first attracted attention in the late sixties when she shared the bill at Ronnie Scott's club with Roland Kirk. Although she was known initially for evolving her own wordless approach to improvisation, her extraordinary versatility means she is equally at home with the standards repertoire, performing with small groups, orchestras and big bands. She was awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in 2007 and has recorded extensively for ECM Records, her latest album 'Descansado: Songs For Films' was released in 2018' (album notes). 'Following a summer 1988 teaching assignment at the Guildhall School Of Music And Drama, singer Norma Winstone and pianist John Taylor got a short-notice request for a farewell duo concert at the college. This hour-long exercise in empathy, playfulness and dazzling techniques was the result .....' (John Fordham in Jazzwise ****)

Details :

 

 

 

 

Wes Montgomery - Back On Indiana Avenue: The Carroll DeCamp Recordings
(Resonance Recordings) - Released: 19th April 2019

Wes Montgomery (guitar); David Young (tenor sax); David Baker (trombone); Melvin Rhyne (organ); Earl Van Riper, Buddy Montgomery, John Bunch, Carl Perkins (piano); Monk Montgomery, Mingo Jones (bass); Paul Parker, Sonny Johnson (drums).

Wes Montgomery Back On Indiana Avenue

 

'Back on Indiana Avenue: The Carroll DeCamp Recordings' is a collection of previously-unissued recordings from jazz guitar legend Wes Montgomery captured live and in studio in his hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana in the mid-to-late 1950s by renowned arranger/pianist Carroll DeCamp (Stan Kenton, Les Elgart). The deluxe 2CD set includes an extensive booklet with rare photos, essays by jazz scholar Lewis Porter and producer Zev Feldman, interviews with guitar icons George Benson and John Scofield, plus guitarist and Carroll DeCamp's nephew Royce Campbell and saxophonist/educator/publisher Jamey Aebersold. This is the sixth official Resonance release of previously-unissued Wes Montgomery recordings and fills in an important early piece of the jazz great's story' (album notes). '.... What's fairly certain is that these 22 tracks comprise some of the earliest surviving Wes on tape, recorded back in his hometown and pre-dating his Riverside signing but already showing a talent in full maturity ..... The only thing that may conceivably raise eyebrows is hearing him adopt Freddie Green's rhythm style from time to time on the pianoless items. Other than that, it's (consistently enjoyable) business as usual. Sound is variable, ranging from dull-grey to pin-sharp depending on the location, but as per their other issues, Resonance's packaging is first-class. A keeper' (Simon Spillett in Jazzwise ****).

Details and Samples :

 

 

 

 

 

Bill Evans - Evans In England
(Resonance Records) - Released: 19th April 2019 [2 CDs]

Bill Evans (piano); Eddie Gomez (bass); Marty Morell (drums).

Bill Evans In England

 

 

'Evans in England' is a newly-discovered recording of the Bill Evans Trio featuring bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Marty Morell captured live at the legendary Ronnie Scott's jazz club in London, England in December of 1969. The deluxe 2CD set includes an elaborate booklet with rare photos by photographers Chuck Stewart, Jean-Pierre Leloir and Jan Persson; essays by acclaimed jazz writer and author Marc Myers and producer Zev Feldman; plus interviews with Eddie Gomez, Marty Morell and filmmaker Leon Terjanian. This is the fourth official Resonance release of previously-unissued Bill Evans recordings and captures Evans in a peak period of creativity at the helm of what would become his longest lasting trio' (album notes). 'This selection of material recorded at Ronnie's may well be the best posthumous Evans discovered by Resonance Records but I can imagine it not seeming so to everyone. Those listeners in love with pianist's more dreamy side may be put off, not only by the energy on display but by the very up-front sound quality of many tracks ... that magnifies the immediacy of communication between the pianist and his accomplaces .... an absorbing archive issue'. (Brian Priestley in Jazzwise ****).

Details and Samples :

 

 

 

 

 

Gwilym Simcock - Near And Now
(ACT Music) - Released: 26th April 2019

Gwilym Simcock (piano)

Gwilym Simcock Near And Now

 

“Near and Now” is Gwilym Simcock’s second full album for solo piano. The first, the highly successful “Good Days at Schloss Elmau” from 2011, was his ACT debut. That early album was nominated for the Mercury Prize and was an important step in establishing the Welsh-born pianist’s reputation internationally. It has also stood the test of time, a fact which is at least in part due to the strong architectural sense that Simcock always brings to his work as both composer and improviser. As he says: “I have always enjoyed the challenge to make sure that a piece of music has a satisfying arc to it  – it should take you on a journey whether it is composed or improvised.” ... Simcock’s talent was singled out as special in his early twenties, most notably by Chick Corea. .. In 2006 he achieved a unique distinction when he became the first ever jazz musician to be invited to join the BBC’s prestigious New Generation Artists scheme. In more recent times, since May 2016 he has been travelling the world as a member of Pat Metheny’s Quartet. ..The time while travelling the world with Metheny ... has been put to good use. Simcock explains: “In the last six months or so, whilst away from home, I spent my spare time writing new music for a second solo album. I actually wrote much more, but quite a few of the pieces expanded.” In the new album, recorded at Simcock’s home in Berlin, the pianist is aiming for an “honest and personal sound,” for which he cites Keith Jarrett’s home-recorded album “The Melody At Night, With You” as a model. The instrument is a newly-acquired Steinway “B” from around 1900, completely custom-rebuilt for Simcock by the Klangmanufaktur partnership in Hamburg. ..... Each of the pieces on the album has another piano player as its dedicatee, and yet two things shine through consistently. First is the increasingly distinctive and individual musical personality of Simcock; and equally important is the sense of enjoyment which colours his whole music making process ... his credo about listening is above all “to know why you are enjoying something.” And playing? “To be able to make music that you know you’d want to listen to yourself.” ... at the mid-point of the album, perhaps its emotional heart, is a short and beautiful ‘thank you’, which stands in contrast to the larger structures around it. Simcock has dedicated the transparently poetic “You’re My You” to his first jazz piano teacher and mentor in Manchester from the ages of 14 to 18, Les Chisnall. “He has a very warm and giving approach to music, and that spirit is what I wanted to convey,” says Simcock’ (ACT Music on Simcock's website).

Further details about the album and Samples : Purchase details : Listen to Before The Elegant Hour (For Brad Meldhau) : Listen to Beautiful Is Our Moment (For Billy Childs) :

 

 

 

 

 

 

British Traditional Jazz At A Tangent - Vol 9 The Mainstream Bands
(Lake Records) - Released: 14th June 2019

Al Fairweather & Sandy Brown; Humphrey Lyttelton & His Band; Dill Jones Trio; Kenny Baker's bands; Fat John's Jazz band; John Dankworth Seven; George Chisholm & His Jive Five

British Traditional Jazz Vol 9

 

 

'Vol. 9 in the AT A TANGENT series looks at Mainstream bands on the British Jazz scene and completes the CDs devoted to different styles in the series. 'Mainstream' was a term coined in the early 1950s to describe a more arranged style of Jazz sitting somewhere between Trad/Dixieland and Bebop/Modern – it is closely akin to Small Band Swing of the 1930s/40s. The main protagonist in the UK is usually held to be Humphrey Lyttelton, but musicians like Kenny Baker and his associates had been playing it before Lyttelton embarked on it in the mid-50s. The problem in compiling this collection is that there were very few working bands playing the style. The Jazz clubs of the 1950s and early 60s were very Trad. Bands such as Lyttelton's and Fairweather-Brown ploughed very lonely furrows. It was a different matter with broadcasts and recordings where various aggregations fronted by Kenny Baker and sundry Lyttelton alumni got regular outings. As with most attempts to label music 'Mainstream' was inclined to be a bit blurred at the edges. To illustrate the point tracks by Beboppers such as John Dankworth and John Cox are included to show that they slot in without sounding out of place. Several tracks are previously unissued and it is hoped that the CD serves as both an introduction to the style and explode some myths' (album notes).

Details :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bonsai - Bonsai Club
(Ubuntu Music) - Released: 31st May 2019

Rory Ingham (trombone); Dominic Ingham (violin, vocals); Toby Comeau ( piano, keyboards); Joe Lee (bass); Jonny Mansfield (drums)

Bonsai Bonsai Club

 

'Chosen in the 'Shape of Jazz to Come in 2018' in Jazzwise, Bonsai (formerly known as Jam Experiment) are an award-winning band that are based in London, UK. Formed in 2014, they have appeared on BBC Radio 3 and Jazz FM numerous times and played at leading jazz festivals and venues across the UK including London Jazz Festival, Love Supreme Festival, Cheltenham Jazz Festival, and Ronnie Scott's. Bonsai's sound is dynamic jazz fusion balanced with intricate compositions and adventurous improvisations negotiated through mutual admiration for each other. The band has no leader or rather, each member is the leader; through this process they've challenged their own musical boundaries. Given that the Ingham brothers have been playing together for nearly 20 years, when the unusual frontline of trombone/violin/vocals is met with the ferociously "high- octane" rhythm section, the ensemble has an electric synergy that results in "pure musical gold". The line-up includes the winner of Rising Star in the 2017 British Jazz Awards, trombonist Rory Ingham, his brother Dominic Ingham on violin/vocals, Toby Comeau on piano/keyboard, Joe Lee on bass, and Jonny Mansfield (Kenny Wheeler Jazz Prize winner) on drums. As the band explains, "'Bonsai Club' is an album of compositions by Bonsai. This is a group where everyone is the leader, and the music is written to be played by each other, with each other. The long-standing relationships between Jonny, brothers Rory and Dom, and childhood best friends Toby and Joe mean that Bonsai are able to work cohesively and freely as a collective, resulting in total synergy. For this record Bonsai have explored breaking down boundaries between genres, whilst developing a sound that is driven by a myriad of ingredients: expressive vocals, a plethora of synths, and groove fuelled improvisations." (album notes).

Details and Samples : Introductory Video : Website and Tour Dates :

 

 

 

 

 

Partisans - Nit De Nit
(Whirlwind Recordings) - Released: 17th May 2019

Phil Robson (guitar); Julian Siegel (saxophones, bass clarinet); Thaddeau Kelly (bass); Gene Calderazzo (drums)

Partisans Nit De Nit

'With an authority developed over two decades on the circuit, Partisans are proud to unleash their first live album, Nit De Nit, recorded at London’s Vortex Club. As writers and co-leaders, Robson and Siegel had long thought of releasing a live account of their dynamic shows: “We’ve played many memorable gigs over the years and wanted to capture that energy, in the great tradition of jazz recording.” And though Partisans’ music is carefully conceived, the emphasis is on collective improvisation, explains Phil: “There’s something particular about the way this band gets its material together – we need to play live to get a glimpse of how it’s going to be. Our writing simply sets it in motion, with nothing set in stone, because everyone brings so much personality to it.” A quotation from Charlie Parker’s ‘Klact-oveeseds-tene’ preludes ‘Max’ (from Partisans’ album of the same name), an homage to Max Roach, whose audacious rhythms grace the original Parker recording. As Calderazzo replicates his intricacy (four bars of five, then four of three), the band launch into their own heady bebop celebration, Siegel and Robson unifying its perky riffs. Sidewalk-grooving ‘That’s Not His Bag’ (after pandemonium boarding a flight) hints at Steely Dan; and ‘Nit De Nit’ (hear that call-and-answer) suggests Parker again, only to snap into impressively-synced frenzy and fast swing. Siegel’s shamelessly brash blues arrangement of ‘John, I’m Only Dancing’, from a classic Bowie songwriting era, indicates a massive Miles influence. A groundhog’s punctual daily arrival in Robson’s New Jersey garden is behind ‘3:15 (On the Dot)’, Siegel’s bass clarinet emphasising tentative footfall around lush guitar chords and improvisational freedom. Punky ‘The Overthink’ is titled following an official’s reassurance to Siegel in boarding the right train: “Don’t overthink it”, while the guitar hues of ‘Eg’ (Egberto Gismonti) provide a Brazilian flavor. Swaggering mash-up ‘Pork Scratching’ features fine percussive detail and bass-pedal electronics before the set closes to koto-like ‘Last Chance’… with a ferocious sting in the tail'. (album notes).

Details and Samples : Listen to That's Not His Bag : Partisans Website:

 

 

 

 

 

Tom Syson - Different Coloured Days
(Self Release - TSYSCD02) - Released: 10th May 2019

Tom Syson (trumpet); Tom Barford (saxophone); David Ferris (piano); Pete Hutchison (double bass); Jonathan Silk (drums)

Tom Syson Different Coloured Day

 

 

'Tom Syson is a highly regarded trumpeter and composer based in the UK. In January 2019 he recorded his 2nd album, ‘Different Coloured Days’ at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios, which he is touring around the UK in May 2019, supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. The album title is inspired by his experience with anxiety. Tom opens the album with a compelling statement of intent to claim your ears. Gathered around that, a quintet of contemporaries suffuse the 8 compositions by Tom with warmth and muscle, in a finely-tuned balance of jazz tradition and contemporary instincts' (album notes).

Details and Samples : Video of At Peace : Listen to Near Death On The A90 : Listen to Soon :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kim Cypher - Love Kim x
(Kim Cypher Music) - Released: 3rd May 2019

Kim Cypher (vocals, saxophone); with various artists including Pee Wee Ellis (saxophone); David Newton (piano); Clive Morton (double bass); Chris Cobbson (guitar); B.D. Lenz (guitar); Karl Vanden Bossche (percussion).

Kim Cypher Love Kim

 

'Kim started playing saxophone at age 9 and achieved Grade 8 practical and theory of music with distinction by age 14. She studied Expressive Arts at St Paul’s & St Mary’s College in Cheltenham where she was awarded a First Class Honours for her original musical composition for saxophone, clarinet, Peruvian pipes and percussion. Kim has developed her own unique ‘funky’ style of saxophone playing, built upon influences by great players such as Gerald Albright, Maceo Parker, Pee Wee Ellis, Andy Sheppard, Dean Fraser, Courtney Pine and Grover Washington.  Kim trained alongside American saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis (saxophonist with James Brown and Van Morrison) and internationally acclaimed jazz saxophonist Andy Sheppard.  Kim’s vocal style has been influenced by the great Billie Holiday together with a wide range of vocalists / performers including Gunhild Carling, Imelda May, Caro Emerald and Liane Carroll. Inspired by the funkier side of jazz, Kim’s style of performance is best described as ‘funky saxophonist meets 1940s jazz singer’. Kim performs an eclectic mix of music spanning many genres with a quirky, jazzy twist together with her own original material, all packaged up in a captivating performance and warm stage presence. Kim’s 2nd album ‘Love Kim x’ (a collection of inspired original music and quirky takes on some well-known classics) is due for release on 3rd May 2019. The new album tour kicked off on 8th February to a sell-out 200 audience, with special guest Pee Wee Ellis. ‘Love Kim x’ features some of the finest jazz musicians in the UK and overseas including Pee Wee Ellis, David Newton on piano (14 times winner of best pianist in the British Jazz Awards), Clive Morton on double bass (ex-tutor to Jamie Cullum and long-time sideman with Frank Sinatra and Stephane Grappelli), Alex Steele on piano, Chris Cobbson on guitar, Lee Jones on guitar, Tom Clarke-Hill on double bass, John-Paul Gard on Hammond organ, Karl Vanden Bossche on percussion, Mike Cypher on drums PLUS awesome New York guitarist B.D. Lenz and The Kentwood Show Choir directed by Sheila Harrod' (Kim's website notes).

Details and Samples : Kim Cypher Website :

 

 

 

 

 

Miguel Gorodi Nonet - Apophenia
(Ubuntu Music) - Released: 24th May 2019

Miguel Gorodi (trumpet, flugelhorn); Gareth Lockrane (flutes); Michael Chillingworth (alto sax, clarinet); George Crowley (tenor sax, bass clarinet); Kieran McLeod (trombone); Ray Hearne (tuba); Ralph Wylde (vibraphone); Conor Chaplin (double bass); Dave Hamblett (drums).

Miguel Gorodi Nonet Apophenia

 

 

'Miguel Gorodi is a London based composer, teacher and trumpet player performing across a broad spectrum of jazz and improvised music. Miguel's Nonet is an ensemble that explores various compositional techniques with specific focus on texture, non-tonal melodic structures, polyrhythms, and the relationships between them all. A deep, moving debut' (album notes). ' ..... Dave Hamblett's punchy drums introduce the tune Nicest Memo," the concluding number in this set and, in common with all the compositions on the album, the tune presents a full tonal spectrum thanks to the cogent deployment of a variety of instrumentation within the nonet. Produced by vibraphonist of note Jim Hart, the final mix manages to showcase all the musicians equally, and more importantly so they can all be heard in a clear and distinct balance, even within the ensemble final crescendo. Apophenia represents a highly significant milestone in what promises to be a stellar career for this talented trumpeter and composer' (Roger Farbey in All About Jazz ****).

Details and Samples : Sandy Brown Jazz article :

 

 

 

 

 

America

We are indebted to Filipe Freitas for details of many American and some other releases. Filipe and photographer Clara Pereira (see the 'Lens America' article in What's New) run JazzTrail in New York City. They feature album and concert coverage, press releases and press kits, album covers and biographies. They are valued contacts for Sandy Brown Jazz in the United States. You can read more about Filipe and Clara in their 'Tea Break' item with us if you click here.

 

Greg Burk - As A River
(Tonos Records) - Released: 12th April 2019

Greg Burk (piano)

Greg Burk As A River

 

'Following his acclaimed 2016 release “Clean Spring” on SteepleChase Records, American pianist & composer Greg Burk returns with solo piano “As A River” - his 12th and most lyrical album to date. The son of classical musicians, Burk spent his formative years on the Detroit jazz scene, followed by studies in Boston with the likes of George Russell, Danilo Perez & Paul Bley. The lyrical, classical, side of Burk’s music emerges with conviction in this solo piano setting and mixes seamlessly with his deep roots in the jazz tradition. These diverse currents flow together fluently and unpredictably to create the journey that is the music of “As A River”. Now based in Italy, where this album was recorded on a Steinway Concert Grand, he’s performed with some of the jazz greats, from Benny Golson and Kenny Wheeler, to David Murray & Steve Swallow. Burk describes the impetus for this recording, which at times recalls the harmonic language of folk songs and melodies, as a “reawakening to the wonder of nature”. The rivers and lakes of his native Michigan were the playgrounds of his youth. This powerful union to the natural world, reawakened following a trip to Sequoia National Park to which the closing song of the recording, “Sequoia Song” is dedicated. “As A River” demonstrates Burk’s sophisticated touch, original pianistic conception and intimate flowing improvisations'. (album notes).

Details and Samples : Listen to As A River : Listen to The Union : Listen to Sequoia Song : Greg Burk's website :

 

 

 

 

 

Bill Frisell / Thomas Morgan - Epistrophy
(ECM Records) - Released: 12th April 2019

Bill Frisell (guitar); Thomas Morgan (acoustic bass)

Bill Frisell Thomas Morgan Epistrophy

 

'Epistrophy marks another beautiful encounter between guitarist Bill Frisell and bassist Thomas Morgan. The follow up to Small Town boasts a formidable repertoire captured live at The Village Vanguard in March 2016, having Jerome Kern’s “All is Fun” opening it in a marvelously relaxed atmosphere. Frisell’s fascinating melodicism is knee-deep in rhythmic ideas, and Morgan, who lightly swings for a while, assures not only a superior foundation but also constructs it in an interactive way. In addition to the aforementioned opener, it was the bassist who suggested The Drifters’ “Save The Last Dance For Me”, an R&B hit from the early 60s that comes affiliated to “Wildwood Flower”, the folk song that serves it as an intro. On many occasions, Morgan communicates with Frisell by responding to his thoughtful guitar work. It’s not uncommon to hear exquisite guitar harmonics adorning the tunes and Billy Strayhorn’s sweet ballad “Lush Life” doesn’t let me lie. Another example is Monk’s “Pannonica”, which also does a great job in highlighting the instrumentalists’ soulful lyricism and sharp tonalities. It’s a joy to experience all these magnetic chords brimming with delicious extensions.Since only top-notch musicians have the ability to make knotty passages sound simple, don’t be surprised if the rendition of Paul Motian’s whimsical “Mumbo Jumbo” surfaces natural and uncomplicated. The rubato approach invites us to freer, non-linear flights and the song is given a totally different perspective after the infusion of tasteful machine-like effects inflicted by Frisell’s sound-altering pedal ..... The title track is another Monk classic whose telepathic and freewheeling interpretation includes melodic fragmentation, blues sparkle, and swinging flair. Frisell’s comping is smart and fun, and the original melody only shows up at the end in all its clarity ..... Owners of an immeasurable musicality, Frisell and Morgan embark on impeccable narrations of well-known gems, in a clear demonstration of their interactive dexterity. It’s mind-boggling how they put such a fresh spin in so many familiar songs, and all we want to do is play them over and over’ (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review : Listen to In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning : Video of Epistrophy played live :

 

 

 

 

 

Linda May Han Oh - Aventurine
(Biophilia Records) - Released: 17th May 2019

Linda May Han Oh (acoustic and electric bass); Greg Ward (alto and soprano saxophones); Matt Mitchell (piano); Ches Smith (drums, vibraphone); Fung Chern Hwei (violin); Sara Caswell (violin); Bennie Von Gutzeit (viola); Jeremy Harman (cello) + Invenio vocal ensemble.

Linda May Han Oh Aventurine

 

'The prodigiously gifted bass player Linda May Ahn Oh proposes a warm, often quietly expressive set of music on her newest outing, Aventurine, a personal music essay in which some of the pieces took several years to reach the desired state of maturation. Flanked by collaborators such as top-tier pianist Matt Mitchell, imaginative drummer/percussionist Ches Smith, and outgoing saxophonist Greg Ward, Ms. Oh also employs a dutiful string quartet and the Melbourne-based vocal ensemble Invenio on selected numbers ...... Rest Your Weary Head ... divided into two distinct tracks. The first of them brings a dreamy, lullaby-ish feel in the voices and texture, while the second initiates with a spacey, serene interaction between soprano sax and bass that becomes vivacious around the time that the pianist brings a sort of Latin motif into the game. ... “Lilac Chaser” got its title from the visual illusion of the same name and was musically inspired by the work of pianist Andrew Hill with strings. The thick, round sound of the electric bass initially concentrates in a pedal, eventually breaking down to incorporate a groovy motion. ..... The bandleader’s roots are celebrated on fascinating musical hybrids such as the layered “Song Yue Rao” and the scrupulous “Seepsea Dancers”, both drawn from listenings of shuochang, a traditional Chinese genre of storytelling. More restrained in tone, the latter composition is dedicated to the bassist’s late former manager Izumi Uchida. Oh’s compositional virtuosity is on display throughout the record, generating layered and risk-taking new music. She manages to propel some classic material to unfamiliar places, like on Charlie Parker’s “Au Privave”, a bebop tune turned into funky experiment enclosing multi-keyed dialogue, and a mournful reading of Bill Evans’ “Time Remembered”, where she delivers a fine bass solo with the strings playing a focal role ....’ (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : UK purchase details : Full JazzTrail Review : Video Introduction : Listen to Kirigami :

 

 

 

 

 

The Art Ensemble Of Chicago - We Are On The Edge
(Pi Recordings) - Released: 26th April 2019 (2 CDs)

Roscoe Mitchell (soprano and alto saxophones, sopranino); Famoudou Don Moye (drums, percussion); Moor Mother (voice, poetry); Rodolfo Cordova-Lebron (voice); Hugh Ragin (trumpet, flugelhorn); Fred Berry (trumpet, flugelhorn); Nicole Mitchell (flutes, piccolo); Christina Wheeler (voice, autoharp, electronics); Jean Cook (violin); Edward Yoon Kwon (viola); Tomeka Reid (cello); Silvia Bolognesi (bass); Jaribu Shahid (bass); Junius Paul (bass); Dudù Kouaté (percussion); Enoch Williamson (percussion); Titos Sompa (vocals, mbira, percussion).

Art Ensemble Of Chicago We Are On The Edge

 

'Comprised of two discs: a meticulous studio session and the capture of a rousing live set at Edgefest in Ann Arbor, MI, 'We are on the Edge: A 50th Anniversary Celebration' is exactly that, a commemoration of a half-century of magical music making. The greatness of The Art Ensemble of Chicago has always been the shared commitment of it's original members - Roscoe Mitchell, Lester Bowie, Joseph Jarman, Malachi Favors, and Famoudou Don Moye - to the total realm of African diasporic music: what they have long-termed Great Black Music - Ancient to the Future. Also important are the group's disparate musical and artistic personalities, comprised of jazz, advanced compositional techniques, theatrical performance, poetry, Pan-African percussion, all tied together with improvisational flair and the exploration of pure sound (album notes). 'Founded in 1969, The Art Ensemble of Chicago, champions of the Great Black Music, interrupts a studio recording hiatus of 15 years to celebrate their 50th anniversary with a two-disc set (one of them recorded live at Edgefest in Ann Harbor, Michigan). Currently with 18 members, the group appears as a completely new constellation in the creative scene, including valuable additions such as flutist/composer Nicole Mitchell, cellist Tomeka Reid, experimentalist/activist Moor Mother, trumpeter Hugh Ragin, bassists Junius Paul and Jaribu Shahid, among others. The highly anticipated record comprises new material as well as some re-orchestrations of old tunes, having two of its founders at the helm: Roscoe Mitchell and Famoudou Don Moye. It’s dedicated to the original members who already departed: Lester Bowie, Malachi Favors, and Joseph Jarman .......Brimming with cinematic refinement, “We Are On The Edge” boasts the inflammable spoken word by Moore Mother over a relentless vamp of pizzicato bass lines, percussion, and strings. Despite the group's energy and a great attitude, this title doesn’t match the restless Pan-African rhythms and expressionistic textures of “Chi-Congo 50”, an old piece dressed in new clothes. The primitive dance between wild, teetering, trilling flutes and a horde of sprightly horns is invigorating, producing one of those incantatory moments that no one wants to let go. From the minute three on, there’s a circular bass groove and euphoric horn interplay, reinforcing the magic and the singularity of this special ensemble .....Brewing liberating textural ambiances, the new version of The Art Ensemble of Chicago is injected fresh blood and orchestral significance, but keeps its musical roots raw and its principles well intact' (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review :

 

 

 

Europe and Elsewhere

 

Kino Trio - Il Cielo Sopra Berlino
(Babel Label) - Released: 26th April 2019

Bruno Heinen (piano); Michele Tacchi (bass); Riccardo Chiaberta (drums)

Kino Trio Il Cielo Sopra Berlino

 

 

'Bruno Heinen piano, Michele Tacchi bass, Riccardo Chiaberta drums The Italians already know: Kino Trio brings together 3 players well matched in poise. Bruno Heinen's roots in impressionistic classical music are complemented by Michele Tacchi's lyrical fretless sound and the wide dynamic range of Riccardo Chiaberta's sensitive approach to the drums. Musical partners over many years in different combinations, including Bruno and Riccardo in Reem Kelani's group, Kino Trio came together over compositions with a unified written language stemming from the European jazz tradition, and as the band name makes clear, a shared fascination with cinema. The compositions from all members were written with each other in mind, and the album takes its title from Michele Tacchi's composition, inspired by Wim Wenders "Wings of Desire"... released in Italy as Il Cielo Sopra Berlino. Il Cielo Sopra Berlino, released on the Babel label, was developed through Kino Trio touring dates and studio time in Italy. First laid down over 2 days in November 2016 at Artesuono Recording Studio, the Trio returned to Italy to work on the mix, when concert dates have concentrated their minds and their collective whereabouts' (album notes).

Details and Samples : CD : Video Introduction : Listen to Heineniana :

 

 

 

 

Re-Releases

 

Etta Jones - A Soulful Sunday
(Reel to Real) - Released: 18th January 2019

Etta Jones (vocals); Cedar Walton (piano); Sam Jones (bass); Billy Higgins (drums)

Etta Jones A Soulful Sunday

 

 

'Newly-discovered recording of vocalist Etta Jones with the Cedar Walton Trio live in Baltimore, MD in 1972. Recorded in 1972, ''A Soulful Sunday: Live at the Left Bank'' is the first official release of previously-unissued music by vocalist Etta Jones feat. the Cedar Walton Trio with Sam Jones and Billy Higgins. The extensive booklet includes rare photos; essay by author James Gavin; interviews with Jones' longtime musical partner Houston Person, the Left Bank Jazz Society's John Fowler, Grammy-winning vocalist Catherine Russell and more!' (album notes). '..... Walton was playing an engagement at the club whereas Jones was appearing in Chicago and flew in and out on her day off to play the gig. As is usual with Resonance issues, the booklet is worth the money all on its own .... As might be expected, Walton and the trio fit right in with Jones's choices .... for all her experience there is a shouty aspect to these performances, a sense of trying too hard for my taste .... Still, Walton is superb throughout'. (Peter Vacher in Jazzwise ***)

Details and Samples :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mundell Lowe - Five Classic Albums
(Avid Jazz) - Released: 1st March 2019 [2 CDs]

Mundell Lowe (guitar); with various personnel including Donald Byrd, Clark Terry (trumpet); Jimmy Cleveland, Urbie Green (trombone); Gene Quill (alto sax); Ben Webster, Al Cohn, Oliver Nelson (tenor sax); Tony Scott (bass sax); Billy Taylor, Eddie Costa (piano); Trigger Alpert, George Duvivier (bass); Ed Shaughnessy, Osie Johnson (drums).

Mundell Lowe Five Classic Albums

 

'AVID Jazz continues with its Five Classic Album series with a re-mastered 2CD release from Mundell Lowe, complete with original artwork, liner notes and personnel details 'Guitar Moods'; 'TV Action Jazz!'; 'Porgy & Bess'; 'A Grand Night For Swinging' and 'Satan In High Heels' Perhaps unsurprisingly for a jazz guitar player, our next musical hero, Mundell Lowe spent much of his career playing in large bands, accompanying solo artists and doing session and TV work. Amazingly he did also find time to produce many fine albums under his own name. His musical career started at age 16 when he found himself performing at the famed Grand Ole Opry. From there he went on to play in the bands and orchestras of Jon Savitt, Benny Goodman and Ray McKinley. His TV session work was complimented by his weekend work on the jazz circuit where he played with the likes of The Dorsey Brothers, Bill Evans, Billie Holiday, Charles Mingus as well as both 'Bird' and 'Pres'! He also was a key accompanist to the great jazz singer Carmen McCrae (AMSC1125). Our albums feature Mundell in a number of settings including a film soundtrack, a show tribute, a TV themes set, a more typical Lowe-ish mellow guitar album and unusually a more swinging outing appropriately titled 'A Grand Night For Swinging'. This last album is one of the treasures of the set being a very rare, hard to find album (album notes)'. '..... The results, by and large, are exactly what you'd expect from such a top team, concise and neat, but when all's said and done, at times more than a little, well, over-polished ...... Best of the bunch is his take on Porgy And Bess, which assembles a never-to-be-repeated front line of Art Farmer, Ben Webster and Tony Scott, which, had it not been for the Miles/Gil version, might have got more attention at the time. Worth a punt for that alone. Hugely generous playing time.' (Simon Spillett in Jazzwise ***).

Details :

 

 

 

 

 

George Adams - Sound Suggestions
(ECM Touchstone) - Released: 18th January 2019

Kenny Wheeler (trumpet); Heinz Sauer (tenor sax); George Adams (tenor sax, vocals); Richard Beirach (piano); Dave Holland (bass); Jack De Johnette (drums).

George Adams Sound Suggestions

 

 

'George Adams made only one ECM recording, but it's a beauty, placing his powerful tenor sax at the front of a talent-packed group, with Adams, Kenny Wheeler and Heinz Sauer all contributing compositions to the programme. "The spirit of Mingus hovers watchfully nearby; Adams is an original, though. His solos roil beneath the restraints of bebop structure, then sail wildly through the roof with a committed passion," wrote Chicago Magazine. The tenor exchanges between Adams and Heinz Sauer are exciting, and George also delivers a very spirited vocal on "Got Something Good For You." Recorded in1979' (album notes). 'Not only is this vintage George Adams from a time when his playing was at its most fluent and inventive, but it is an example of Kenny Wheeler at his best as well - both as soloist and composer ....If you only know Adams' work from his Mingus or McCoy Tyner days, this album is a must-have' (Alyn Shipton in Jazzwise ****).

Details and Sample :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art Blakey And The Jazz Messengers - 'Live' At The Cafe Bohemia, November 1955
(Acrobat) - Released: 3rd March 2019 [2 CDs]

Art Blakey (drums); Kenny Dorham (trumpet); Hank Mobley (tenor sax); Horace Silver (piano); Doug Watkins (bass).

Art Blakey Live At The Cafe Bohemia album

 

'Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers were a major influential creative force in modern jazz for over three decades, with Blakey actively leading different incarnations of the band through to his death in 1990. They were legendary as representing the archetypal hard bop school of jazz, with a driving blues-flavoured approach. These performances came from early in the development of the Messengers soon after drummer Art Blakey and pianist Horace Silver had formed the group with tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley, trumpeter Kenny Dorham and bassist Doug Watkins, and these recordings were the first live performances by this line-up to be recorded and released, and so represent something of a landmark. This set comprises the performances which were subsequently released on the Blue Note label. In addition, by way of a bonus, we also feature three studio tracks which this line-up had recorded at their first session together in November 1954, which were released by Blue Note as The Horace Silver Quintet. Including several extended performances where the full range of the groups skill and style can be fully appreciated, this is a great showcase for one of the most admired ensembles in modern jazz, capturing the modern jazz zeitgeist of those years (album notes). '.... The rhythm section certainly drives things home with genuine force .. but the dream-team front line of Dorham and Mobley sound more gentle and lyrical than legend might allow ...It's tempting to say that these are recordings that have something for jazz fans of all stripes. There. I've said it. Nicely packaged too (Simon Spillett in Jazzwize ****)

Details : Samples :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tom Cawley - Catenaccio
(Ubuntu Music) - Released: 10th May 2019

Tom Cawley (keyboards); Gareth Lockrane (flutes); Fini Bearman (voice); Robin Mullarley (bass); Chris Higginbottom (drums)

Tom Cawley Catenaccio

 

 

'Tom Cawley is one of the UK’s leading jazz pianists. He has performed worldwide - in major clubs, venues and festivals – with some of the country’s leading artists, most notably Peter Gabriel, with whom he has also recorded two albums and a live DVD. As an artist in his own right he has performed, recorded and broadcast extensively over the last ten years. As well as an award-winning pianist, Cawley is also a composer, bandleader and educator. His group, Curios, won Best Band at the 2008 BBC Jazz Awards, and their three albums have been hugely critically acclaimed – described as “extraordianary” in MOJO, “spellbinding” in The Independent, “fantastic” in Time Out and “a shining light for British jazz” in Musician magazine. They have performed at the Barbican, the Royal Festival Hall, Ronnie Scott’s and at all of the UK’s major jazz festivals, as well as in Europe (most notably at North Sea Jazz). As a freelance jazz piano player, Tom regularly leads the house band at Ronnie Scott's club, and he is also a professor of jazz piano at the Royal Academy of Music. ‘Catenaccio’, Tom’s latest album, will be released on Ubuntu Music in May 2019' (Ubuntu Music).

Details and Samples : Listen to The Ungainlies : Roger Farbey Review ****

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shez Raja - Journey To Shamhala
(Raja Records) - Released: 1st June 2019

Shez Raja (bass guitar); Trilok Gurtu (Tabla, konnakoi, djembe, cajon); Wayne Krantz (electric guitar); Monika Lidke (voice); Chris Nickolls (drums); Pascal Roggen (violin)

Shez Raja Journey To Shambhala

 

'Virtuoso British-Asian bass player Shez Raja formed his London-based group with the vision of creating exciting and evocative music - a sonic kaleidoscope of Indojazzfunk, tuneful ragas and euphoric grooves. The band's live show is an eclectic headcharge of raw energy, always leaving audiences uplifted, inspired and asking for more! Following spectacular performances at top UK venues and major international jazz festivals from Russia to New Zealand, they have amassed a devoted following and forged a reputation as one of the most entertaining live acts on the scene today. 2019 sees the release of Shez's highly anticipated new album Journey to ShambhalaJourney to Shambhala is inspired by Raja’s self-composed tale of a young man who embarks on an adventure to discover the mystical city of Shambhala. He has a wild experience of excitement, danger, friendships, love and deceit - told through a musical voyage of soundscapes from exhilarating Indojazzfunk to enchanting ballads. The search for happiness is something we can all relate to and this concept album holds the message that, as in life, the journey often holds as much wonder as the destination. The CD includes a story booklet that reveals how each scene inspired the compositions on the album. The album recording sees award-winning Indian percussion guru Trilok Gurtu and the legendary US guitarist Wayne Krantz joining Shez on his journey, alongside the UK’s fast-rising DJ and remixer Happy Cat Jay who reworks key tracks in a style that is all his own. Two of the single releases are accompanied by innovative animated video (website/album notes).  

Details and Samples : Listen to the track Shambala : Animated video of the track Epiphany : Details of album launch and live dates.

 

 

 

 

 

Alvin Roy and Digby Fairweather - Alvin Meets Digby
(Oxford Jazz Label) - Released: 11th April 2019

Alvin Roy (clarinet and soprano sax); Digby Fairweather (trumpet); Tony Milliner (trombone); George Oag (guitar); Danny Padmore (bass); Roger Marsden (piano); Alan Rushton (drums)

Alvin Meets Digby

 

 

'On March 3rd 1980, the Alvin Roy Band and guest trumpeter, Digby Fairweather met in a recording studio in Wood Green, North London to play some jazz together and to record the music just for their own pleasure. With no rehearsal and just head arrangements, the result of that session can now be heard on this CD. It has taken nearly 30 years to release this music because the tapes were put away and forgotten until a clearing out of Alvin's cupboard revealed their existence. Sadly Tony and George are no longer with us and this album is dedicated to their memory' (album notes). Tracks include: Ode To Billy Joe, Portrait Of Willie Best, Gone With The Wind, Like Someone In Love, I Can't Get Started, Funky Carp, I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face, Now You're Here, Tengo Tango and Gee Baby, Ain't I Good To You.

Details : Listen to Ode To Billy Joe :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ben Crosland Quintet - The Ray Davies Songbook Vol II
(Jazz Cat Records) - Released: 12th April 2019

Ben Crosland (bass); Dave O'Higgins (tenor and soprano sax); John Etheridge (guitar); Steve Lodder (piano and keyboards); Sebastiann de Krom (drums)

Ben Crosland Ray Davies Songbook II

 

 

'Ray Davies was every bit the songwriting genius that Lennon and McCartney were. Even without the lyrics, the music still stands on its own two feet.The Ray Davies Songbook Volume II arrives almost three years on from the release of the first volume, and effortlessly reinforces that opinion.Saxophonist Dave O'Higgins is at his finest on both B flat horns, John Etheridge reinforces his position in the top echelon of jazz guitarists goosed along by a rhythm section that's just Dandy! Not all of the tracks are numbers that hit the top twenty, several were B-sides which, in retrospect, had they been given the same amount of airplay that the A-sides received back in the day when pop fans studied the MM/NME charts as avidly as stockbrokers consulted the Financial Times then some of these gems would have had the recognition they deserved. They certainly get that here. Think of it as a hardbop blast. Who cares that the songs are not originals written by a Guildhall graduate or standards played at every jam east of Birdland? Ray Davies' songs and the Postmodern Jukebox has proved that there's still plenty of material out there to blow on and these guys certainly do that' (album notes).

Details : Introductory Video by Ben Crosland :

 

 

 

 

 

Branford Marsalis Quartet - The Secret Between The Shadow And The Soul
(Sony Music Classical / Okeh / Marsalis Music) - Released: 1st March 2019

Branford Marsalis (soprano and tenor saxophones); Joey Calderazzo (piano); Eric Revis (bass); Justin Faulkner (drums)

Branford Marsalis Quartet The Sectret Between The Shadon And The Soul

 

 

'After the success of their previous album, 'Upward Spiral', the internationally acclaimed Branford Marsalis Quartet return with their sensational new album 'The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul'. The Branford Marsalis Quartet has been one of the most prominent jazz ensembles over the past three decades. The album features compositions from the veteran members of the group' (album notes). 'If this isn't a candidate for record of the year from many reviewers, I'll be very surprised. It's an object lesson in how an established group can dig deeper into musical and emotional resources than many a short-lived ensemble, however starry the personnel .... this is one of the most compelling live bands on the planet' (Alyn Shipton in Jazzwise *****)

Details and Samples : Introductory Video : Listen to Snake Hip Waltz : Video of Cianna played live :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

James Brandon Lewis - An Unruly Manifesto
(Relative Pitch Records) - Released: 1st February 2019

James Brandon Lewis (tenor saxophone); Jamie Branch (trumpet); Anthony Pirog (guitar); Luke Stewart (electric bass); Warren Trae Crudup III (drums).

James Brandon Lewis An Unruly Manifesto

 

'An UnRuly Manifesto, the new album by well-versed saxophonist James Brandon Lewis, is a call into action dedicated to Charlie Haden, Ornette Coleman and Surrealism. With a quintet configuration in mind, he convened electrifying musicians to be part of the project, namely, trumpeter Jamie Branch, guitarist Anthony Pirog, and the members of his soulful trio, bassist Luke Stewart and drummer Warren Trae Crudup III. After the amiable unison melody of “Year 59: Insurgent Imagination”, the opening one-minute prelude, the title track erupts confidently with a continual static groove in six underpinning short meet-and-greet sentences from trumpet and tenor. Smeary unison lines precede an infectious solo by Lewis, who, blowing with the force of a tornado, conveys a mix of vehement protest, inspirational spirituality, and fervid urbanity. His remarkably fiery tone calls up Pharaoh Sanders and Archie Shepp, while his language is cathartic and sharp-edged as John Coltrane and Marion Brown. Branch follows him, throwing in ideas that perfectly match the context, and the tune doesn’t finalize without the horns merging together in pure ecstasy ..... Wrapping up the session is “Haden is Beauty” (for the late bassist Charlie Haden), which allows you to sail in tranquil folk waters, gaining collateral jazz and rock intensity as it progresses. This thoroughly engaging album integrates horn-driven articulations and timbres with a supple rhythmic section. You will feel the groove!' (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review : Listen to the Title Track : Listen to The Eleventh Hour :

 

 

 

 

 

Laurence Hobgood - tesseterra
(Ubuntu Music) - Released: 26th April 2019

Laurence Hobgood (piano); Jared Schonig (drums); Matthew Clohesy (bass) with the ETHEL string quartet Ralph Farris (viola), Dorothy Lawson (cello); Kip Jones, Corin Lee (violins).

Laurence Hobgood tesseterra

 

'Pianist/composer/arranger extraordinaire Laurence Hobgood was Kurt Elling's music partner for nearly two decades. Now, as leader, Tesseterra is Laurence's new program of standards re-woven for jazz trio and string quartet - innovative arrangements of iconic selections by Cole Porter, Sting, Jimmy Webb, Hoagy Carmichael, Stevie Wonder and more' (album notes). 'The word tesseterra is Hobgood’s invention. It is an amalgam of terra, the Latin for 'earth', and tessitura, meaning 'texture' in Italian but it is also a technical musical term for the range of a voice or instrument. The publicity notes for the album suggest two possible meanings for the composite word: “the sonic fabric of the world” or “the world’s most pleasing musical textures”. In a nod to Gunther Schuller, Hobgood also calls the music of tesseterra, “third stream nouveau” …… On tesseterra, Laurence Hobgood successfully weaves written arrangements for the string quartet with improvisations from the piano trio. To the listener, it is often difficult to work out where improvisation ends and written orchestration starts but it doesn’t really matter since all the pieces are thoroughly enjoyable pieces of music in their own right ….. With tesseterra, Laurence Hobgood has managed that rather rare beast, a successful integration of classical and jazz styles of music. But there is something more important: in an introductory video to the album, Hobgood quotes Duke Ellingtonin saying that there are only two categories of music, good and bad. In the end, these are the only two categories that matter; and tesseterra is undoubtedly good music’ (Robin Kidson).

Details and Samples : Full Robin Kidson Review Article :

 

 

 

 

 

Matt Brewer - Ganymede
(Criss Cross Jazz) - Released: 8th February 2019

Mark Shim (tenor saxophone); Matt Brewer (bass); Damion Reid (drums).

Matt Brewer Ganymede

 

 

'First-call bassist Matt Brewer has a new outing on the Criss Cross label as a leader. It’s called Ganymede and features ten compositions, four of which he penned with an insightful perspective. On his former releases, he approached the sextet and quintet formats, but now he convenes a robust trio with Mark Shim on tenor saxophone and Damion Reid on drums. As mentioned above, Brewer’s originals are extremely interesting with the elegant title track opening the album in a quiet mode and then transitioning to a rhythmically daring strut. The bassist’s agility is impressive ....... An additional array of inspirations ended up in rapturous renditions of post-bop and avant-garde tunes, including Ron Carter’s “R.J.”, which was popularized by Miles Davis and Wynton Marsalis and here burns in a fervent swinging motion, Ornette Coleman’s elated “Eos”, a showcase for the bandleader, and Dewey Redman-penned “Willisee”, a hell-bent free-bop that ramps up the temperature with some blazing Mark Shim on tenor. After the storm, nothing better than a gentle standard to appease the rugged textures and the haunting melody of “When Sunny Gets Blue” vouches for that. You’ll find a lot of provocative sounds here. Whether if the trio is swinging or rocking, they act completely natural in these environments' (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review : Listen to R J : Listen to When Sunny Gets Blue :

 

 

 

 

Q4 - Uphill Struggle
(Hey!jazz) - Released: 15th January 2019

Tini Thomsen (baritone saxophone); Nigel Hitchcock (alto saxophone); Fiete Felsch (alto and soprano saxophone); Björn Berger (tenor saxophone)

Q4 Uphill Struggle

 

 

'The saxophone quartet is a rarity in the world of jazz music. The World Saxophone Quartet, the 29th Street Saxophone Quartet, the Rova Saxophone Quartet and the Kölner Saxofon Mafia are among the few notable exceptions. The common theme connecting the bands mentioned above is that their music has a somewhat intellectual element to it and can often be said to have greater appeal to the brain than to the heart of the listener. What a treat therefore, that with Q4 a Saxophone Quartet has burst on to the scene that touches the listener’s soul and intellect equally with its phenomenal music. Founded nearly two years ago, four reed players combine their stupendous virtuosic skills, their artistic expertise honed over long years of playing and their powerful creativity to produce an idiosyncratic sound that can't be compared to any other group working on the circuit today' (album notes).

Details and Samples : Brife Introductory Video : Listen To Never Again : Listen to Panda Gets Funky :

 

 

 

 

 

Fat John Sextet - Honesty : The Unreleased 1963 Studio Session
(Turtle Records) - Released: 22nd February 2019

Fat John Cox (drums); John Pritchard (trumpet); Ray Warleigh (alto sax, flute); Dave Castle (alto sax, tenor sax, clrinet); Tony Roberts (tenor sax, flute, bass clarinet); John Mumford, Chris Pyne (trombone); Bix Duff, Pete lemer (piano); Vernon Brown, Danny Thompson (bass); Andy Azaria (percussion).

Fat John Sextet Honesty

 

'Continuing Turtle Records exploration into previously un-released historic British Jazz..The unsung band leader and drummer (Fat) John Cox led several modern jazz line ups through the 1960s, and rather like Alexis Korner in the Blues and John Mayall in R&B, his bands were incubators of young and talented English musical performers. With the likes of Alan Skidmore, Art Themen, Harry Beckett, Dave Castle, John Mumford, Ron Mathewson going through the ranks....Inspired by the Afro Cubists led by Kenny Graham whom Cox would watch regularly in native Bristol, and the BeBop movement in general, John Cox eventually set up his first band in 1962. The bonus tracks on disc two were recorded by one of the early line ups in mid-1962, at this time playing mainstream compositions by Miles Davis, Ray Bryant and Ernie Wilkins, on the cusp of finding their own sound, these three tracks being the only recordings of a Fat John Cox band that ever got released. By the end of 1963 Cox had shaped his group into a sextet with a mainstream sound. The line-up of Chris Pyne: trombone, Ray Warleigh: alto sax, flute, Tony Roberts: tenor sax, flute, bass clarinet, Peter Lemer: piano, Danny Thompson: bass, John Cox: drums. In December 1963, this sextet were invited to PYE Studios to make a demonstration recording, testing the studio and its equipment, not the band. The results, which turned out to be over 90 minutes of capture-the-moment-or-you'll-miss-it early British mainstream jazz, subsequently lay in a dusty attic for 55 years until now. The session includes two compositions, 'Fictive' written by Pete Lemer and 'Blues For Snorty' written by Tony Roberts which are heard here for the first time. With the help of Peter Lemer and Tony Roberts, both of whom at the time were on the cusp of notable careers in music, augmented by a definitive contextual essay by Simon Spillett, and photographs by Henk Visser, we have reconstructed that snap shot in time' (album notes). '....the booklet affords enough space to give the full background to what is a fascinating discovery. Not a world beating album, but a truly engaging signpost of British jazz development après-Tubbs and co.......' (Simon Spillett in Jazzwise ***)

Details :

 

 

 

 

The Dudley Moore Trio - Have Some Moore!
(Harkit) - Released: 8th March 2019 [2 CDs]

Dudley Moore (piano); Pete McGurk, Jeff Clyne (bass); Chris Karan (drums)

Dudley Moore Trio Have Some Moore

 

'Much loved as half of the Peter Cook & Dudley Moore television comedy duo, Dudley was before the call of Hollywood one of British piano jazz's most popular exponents. This anthology takes a serious look at his back catalogue much of which has been unavailable for many years - in a sparkling newly remastered collection. With a new and comprehensive appreciation and insights by noted jazz writer Simon Spillett, this wonderful DOUBLE CD collection features hand-picked tracks that amply show off Dudley's all-too-brief career as ... ...masterful pianist, composer and arranger, playing several standards as well as some of his own compositions. A spirited rendition of Jimmy Cahn's 'I Should Care' in front of a highly appreciative audience rounds off the twenty-two tracks in a live performance that has never previously been released. Great stuff!' (album notes). 'This 2 CD special edition culls material ranging from Moore's first 1961 EP to a previously unissued track from a 1977 session. Mostly, however, it focuses on the trio's heyday in the early to mid-1960s ......This anthology gives a very clear idea of why Moore's work was so popular even with a non-jazz audience. Standards are presented with an approachable melodic statement, before the inexorably logical and hard swinging choruses that follow ....' (Alyn Shipton in Jazzwise ****)

Details and Samples : Our page on Dudley Moore :

 

 

 

 

Clifford Jordan - Four Classic Albums
(Avid Jazz) - Released: 1st February 2019 [Remastered]

Clifford Jordan (tenor sax); Lee Morgan (trumpet); John Jenkins (alto sax); John Gilmore (tenor sax); Curtis Fuller (trombone); Ray Bryant, Sonny Clark, Horace Silver, Cedar Walton (piano); Paul Chambers, Curly Russell, Teddy Smith, George Tucker (bass); Art Blakey, Louis Hayes, J.C. Moses, Art Taylor (drums).

Clifford Jordan Four Classic Albums

 

 

'AVID Jazz continues its Four Classic Album series with a re-mastered 2CD release from Clifford Jordan, complete with original artwork, liner notes and personnel details. 'Cliff Jordan'; 'Blowing In From Chicago'; 'Cliff Craft' and 'Bearcat' What a great place for a jazzman to be born, Chicago, Illinois! That's where our under-rated tenor saxophonist Cliff, later Clifford Jordan was born in 1931. We feature all three of his Blue Note recordings and add the classic Bearcat from 1962. Jordan followed a well-worn path for many jazz men gigging with players who would go on to become legendary figures in jazz. Men like Horace Silver, Max Roach, Sonny Stitt, Kenny Dorham, Charles Mingus and Eric Dolphy to name but a few. For the 'Blowing' session he is joined by future Sun Ra regular John Gilmore also on tenor sax, you really need to hear this fine blowing set!' (album notes). '..... The real gem, however, is the saxophonist's 1962 set for Jazzland, Bearcat, the only quartet session heard here, which shows how Jordan was determined to stamp his own identity that was elsewhere becoming the property of one J. Coltrane ..... (Simon Spillett in Jazzwise ****)

Details :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bobo Stenson Trio - War Orphans
(ECM) - Released: 18th January 2019

Bobo Stenson (piano); Anders Jormin (bass); Jon Christensen (drums)

Bobo Stenson War Orphans

 

 

'Characteristically broad in its stylistic range, this 1997 recording begins with a tune by Cuban singer-songwriter Silvio Rodríguez and ends with Duke Ellington's "Melancholia". In between are original contributions by Anders Jormin and Bobo Stenson and two pieces by Ornette Coleman, including the deeply-felt title track. "There is great freedom in Ornette's melodies," says Swedish pianist Stenson, a masterful player who subtly explores the emotional atmosphere of every tune. "In all tempos, in all keys, in all musical situations, his notes hang in the air like existential moments of coming into being." Jazz Times' (album notes). '... number(s) among the finest of all Scandanavian jazz recordings ..... Like Jan Garbarek, with whom he shared a close musical relationship in the 1970s, Stenson draws inspiration from a wide range of influences but they ultimately become subordinate to each musician's overall style....' (Stuart Nicholson in Jazzwise *****)

Details : Samples from an original release :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kevin Mackenzie -The Ballad Of Future Joe
(Laundry Room Music) - Released: 1st March 2019

Kevin Mackenzie (guitar); Mario Caribé (bass); Alyn Cosker (drums)

Kevin Mackenzie The Ballad of Future Joe

 

 

'A contemporary, interactive and dynamic trio featuring three of Scotland's most respected jazz musicians. The CD consists of 9 original compositions and a version of Django Reinhardt's 'Nuages'. Kevin Mackenzie lives in Scotland. He has toured extensively and has recorded on many albums in a variety of styles. His groups have been featured along side guitarist Robben Fords power trio, Bob Berg and Mike Stern, the Crusaders and Seminal Jazz figure Ornette Coleman. In 2001 Kevin received the prestigious Creative Scotland Award , which he used to write and record music for his nine-piece band Kevin Mackenzie s Vital Signs. The CD gathered great reviews including album of the month in The Observer and CD of the week in The Guardian. Some musicians he has performed with include Boris Kozlov, Pete King, Benny Carter, Kenny Wheeler, Tommy Smith, Joe Locke, Bobby Wellins, Jim Mullen, David Berkman, Reid Anderson, Ari Hoenig ,Pettre Wettre. Jenna Reid, Alyth McCormack, John McCusker, Fiddlers Bid, Marie Fielding, Maggie Macinness, Sunhoney, Finlay Macdoald Band, Keep It Up, Karen Tweed, Brian Finegan, Gino Lupari, Loren Stillman, Peter Erskine, Randy Brecker , Kurt Elling and many others' (album notes).

Details and Samples : Listen to the Title Track : Visit our 'Jazz As Art' page and listen to If A Tree Falls : Kevin Mackenzie's Website :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gabriel Latchin Trio - The Moon And I
(Alys Jazz) - Released: 5th April 2019

Gabriel Latchin (piano); Dario Di Lecce (bass); Josh Morrison (drums)

Gabriel Latchin Trio The Moon And I

 

'Pianist, composer and bandleader, Gabriel Latchin has made a name for himself as one of the UK’s finest musicians, praised by critics and world renowned musicians alike. Known for his effortlessly swinging feel, deep repertoire and compelling performances, Jazzwise recently described his playing as “impeccable... the clarity of his lines evoking something of Hank Jones or Tommy Flanagan”. 2019 sees the release of The Moon and I, his second album as leader of the Gabriel Latchin Trio. Featuring a first-call London rhythm section - Dario Di Lecce and Josh Morrison on double bass and drums respectively - the set demonstrates the great strides taken both by Latchin as an individual and the trio as a whole since the release of his 2017 debut record Introducing. Of the number-one-selling CD, Renée Fleming said “Kudos to the Gabriel Latchin Trio for this first release. Elegant, tasteful and swinging!” Gabriel Latchin will be touring the music from his new release The Moon and I this spring. Taken from a lyric in Hubbell and Golden’s 'Poor Butterfly', the title is a tip of the hat to the opening tune he performed recently at Wigmore Hall with Christian McBride and Renée Fleming. Continuing with the trio format for his second album as leader, Latchin is supported by a first-call London rhythm section - Dario Di Lecce and Josh Morrison on double bass and drums respectively. Long-time collaborators, the trio have developed a unique sound: a hard-swinging 1950s aesthetic married with the contemporary vision of Latchin’s compositions. The Moon and I captures a moment in time from the composer’s evolving life. As a new father, his writing is inspired by his growing family: Arthur Go; Pippy’s Delight; Brigi, My Dear. Even the title of his Art Blakey tribute, Peek a Bu, has a childlike twist. These four originals are accompanied by seven unique arrangements of well known jazz standards in his inimitable style' (album notes).

Details : Introductory Video : Gabriel Latchin's website :

 

 

 

 

 

Trish Clowes - Ninety Degrees Gravity
(Basho Records) - Released: 26th April 2019

Trish Clowes (saxophones and vocals); Chris Montague (guitar); Ross Stanley (Hammond organ and piano); James Maddren (drums)

Trish Clowes Ninety Degrees Gravity

 

'Ninety Degrees Gravity, Trish Clowes' fifth album for Basho Records (and second with her current band My Iris), is inspired by the idea of a universal language and the images in Denis Villeneuve's acclaimed sci-fi film 'Arrival'. The album title is drawn from the scene in the film where the main characters enter the alien pod for the first time, forever changing their perception of reality - akin to the ongoing moments of revelation in the life of a musician. A music video to accompany the track 'Abbott & Costello' will also explore these themes. The notion of the vastness of space also inspires the track 'Dustlings' ("we are stardust" from Joni Mitchell's 'Woodstock'), with taking time out to contemplate the cosmos enabling us to liberate ourselves from the everyday. 'I.F.' celebrates new life by being dedicated to the sons of Ross Stanley and Chris Montague respectively. Initially developed through the activities of Emulsion VI (Clowes' ongoing cross-genre music festival), the recorded version incorporates samples of her band members' babies. Other compositions on the album have roots in musical influences or ideas. 'Eric's Tune' is dedicated to Eric Gravatt, drummer with Weather Report between 1972 and 1974. Some of the rhythmic ideas for this piece, and also some of the other music on the album, were inspired by the Live In Tokyo 1973 album. 'Lightning Les', included here in a dynamic live recording, explores some of the musical ideas Clowes and the bandmembers were working on at the time of writing, including saxophone multiphonics and 'western swing' on the guitar. With its title referencing the fast setting on the Hammond organ Leslie tremolo unit, it also seeks to reclaim the organ sound from the cliched seaside perception as a means of creating atmosphere and texture in creative, improvised music. 'Free To Fall', in which Clowes incorporates lyrics, was written after the band's successful 2017 tour, speaking to the trust between musicians and a nod to the Wayne Shorter Quartet and their album 'Without A Net'. 'Ninety Degrees Gravity' finds Trish Clowes exploring new musical settings, creating compelling atmospheres and using music to explore a range of wider concepts and ideas. It also captures My Iris continuing to evolve as a band (album notes).

Details and Samples when available :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pete Oxley and Nicolas Meier - The Alluring Ascent
(MGP Records) - Released: March 2019

Pete Oxley, Nicolas Meier (guitars); Raph Mizraki (acoustic & electric basses, darbuka on track 6); Paul Cavaciuti (drums); Keith Fairbairn (percussion on tracks 2,3,5,7,8)

Oxley Meier The Alluring Ascent

 

'The Oxley-Meier Guitar Project has continued to be highly productive: following nearly 100 concerts on the back of their 2017 album, ‘The Colours Of Time’, they have now recorded an album of brand-new, original pieces in their quartet format, but also featuring the great multi-percussionist, Keith Fairbairn. As ever, all of the pieces have been arranged so that they can be performed live in either duo or quartet line-ups. On the album, Pete and Nick have continued to use many varying types of guitars: Fretless 11-string (Glissentar), acoustic and electric 12-strings, slide, 7-string nylon, sitar guitar, fretless guitar, jazz guitars etc. The Oxley - Meier Guitar project began working in earnest, following their second release in 2015, ‘Chasing Tales’, which was supported by three tours, totaling 90 dates. Pete and Nick then toured the UK and Europe a further three times, promoting ‘The Colours of Time’, also performing at several major jazz festivals over this time. Expect a dazzling display of contemporary fare, ranging from Turkish panache to soundscapes of latin America to English pastoralism. Hear this played on nylon string, steel string, electric, 12 string, fretless, slide, guitar-synth, glissentar guitars and more! (album notes).

Details and Samples (scroll down the page) and Tour Dates 2019 : Introduction to the album :

 

 

 

 

 

Blazing Flame Quintet/6 - Wrecked Chateau
(Leo Records) - Released: February 2019

Steve Day (voice, hand-percussion); Peter Evans (electric 5 string violin); Mark Langford (tenor saxophone, bass clrinet); David Mowat (trumpet); Julian Dale (double bass, cello, voice); Marco Anderson (drums, percussion)

Blazing Flame Wrecked Chateau

 

'This new line-up of Blazing Flame exudes quality.  Wrecked Chateau is an exploratory album containing eight tracks harbouring words of targeted power - "…so roams the wolf pack through the Landfill of Eden"; instrumentally this is structured improvising of a high order.  Mark Langford's tenor break on Flaming Gershwin is a precise instant signature running abstraction very deep. The UK has a unique six piece quintet; part basking in non intentional 'jazz-rock', yet at the same time imploding such a description by delivering cutting edge song/poetry.  In its own way, a breakthrough revelation.' (album notes). 'A Wrecked Chateau is open to the elements. The cover photograph captures a moment of temporary residence in France. This old habitat has access to the sky. Ruin is not always the end of the road. There are many journeys within these songs, as well as in the improvisations that describe them .... Global travel over long distance creates wreckage. Money trails carbon without counting the environmental fallout. People with little money trek continents to find shelter in an attempt to build a safe haven, whether long term or an interim encampment. Sometimes we wreck the best of what we have. The title song has a line that reads: Light up the world with what you see. It is possible to find hope within the rubble' (Steve Day). ''The thoughtful notes of the bass clarinet accompanied by the double bass played with the bow introduce Snap Shots of the Boy…… In the middle of engaging solos, comes the violin entwined with the trumpet played with a mute, then the verses of a poet who truly has so much to say within the current contemporary music scene'  (Music Zoom, Italy).

Details and Sample : Listen to He's Crazy : Website :

 

 

 

 

 

Sarah Tandy - Infection In The Sentence
(Jazz re:freshed) - Released: 8th March 2019 [Download and Vinyl]

Sarah Tandy (piano, Fender Rhodes); Binker Golding (saxophone); Sheila Maurice-Grey (trumpet); MutaleChashi (bass); Femi Koleoso (drums)

Sarah Tandy Infection In The Sentence

 

'Swiftly rising to become one of the most in-demand players of her generation, Sarah Tandy has performed on keys for Jazz Jamaica, Nu Civilisation Orchestra, Maisha, Where Pathways Meet, Camilla George, Nubya Garcia, Nerija, Daniel Casimir, Binker Golding, Clark Tracey and many more. She is also a member of Ronnie Scott's House Band, the W3 Collective. On 'Infection in the Sentence', Tandy's technical virtuosity and rhapsodic playing showcase a fearless approach to her own individual brand of piano-led jazz. 'The music developed gradually through many years playing on London's underground music scene, and immersing myself in the myriad musical languages surrounding me. In the album I'm seeking to find a continuum between the jazz music which I grew up listening to, and the multi-faceted, genre-melting sounds of present day London', she says. A finalist in BBC Young Musician of the Year, she also held a residency at Servant Jazz Quarters in Dalston where she met band members Femi Koleoso (Ezra Collective, Jorja Smith), Mutale Chashi (Kokoroko, Jorga Smith), and Binker Golding (Binker & Moses), who were pivotal to her development. The inimitable Sheila Maurice-Grey plays trumpet in the band. Tandy has performed at Love Supreme, Berlin Jazz Festival, and twice with her her trio at Ronnie Scott's International Piano Trio Festival supporting Robert Glasper. In an earlier incarnation, she has also appeared as a classical soloist with the BBC Symphony Orchestra' (album notes). '.... This debut doesn't, though, shake off Tandy's devotion to Hancock and co. Instead, it encourages the London scene's own engrained hard-bop schooling ...... It's on Fender Rhodes, where she was also outstanding on SEED Collective's debut, that Tandy truly draws you in ...' (Nick Hasted in Jazzwise ***)

Details and Samples : Listen to Nursery Rhyme : Listen to Timelord :

 

 

 

 

 

Nate Wooley - Columbia Icefield
(Northern Spy Records ) - Released: 22nd February 2019

Nate Wooley (trumpet); Mary Halvorson (guitar); Susan Alcorn (pedal steel); Ryan Sawyer (drums).

Nate Wooley Columbia Icefield

 

'The Columbia Icefield is an imposing behemoth, the largest icefield in the Rocky Mountains. Its alien, unapproachable, and yet, somehow, a striking metaphor for man's relationship to nature. On Nate Wooleys soaring, Columbia Icefield, the Pacific Northwest bred trumpeter tries to reckon with his relation to the Icefield and humanity in the face of the unapproachable. But this alien entity is laced with contradiction and imposes itself onto Wooleys music in a magnificent way. This record really came down to trying to build structures that have a feeling of being really large and slightly disturbing, but also, natural, Wooley explains, before adding, its earthbound, it comes from a natural place; its not an attack on our senses. We understand it. And this became the chief task for Wooley and his superlative band Mary Halvorson on guitar, Susan Alcorn on pedal steel, and Ryan Sawyer on drums namely, how to express what is most natural and most foreign to us simultaneously?' (album notes). 'American trumpeter-improviser Nate Wooley writes cleverly configured music for a new experimental ensemble featuring guitarist Mary Halvorson, pedal steel guitarist Susan Alcorn, and drummer Ryan Sawyer, who doubles on vocals. All three compositions on Columbia Icefield.. run between 10 and 20 minutes. The quirky quartet builds structural blocks according to Wooley’s arrangements, in a demonstration of versatility and imagination. The bandleader pictures the inaccessible ice field as a metaphor of man’s relationship to nature, many times suggesting sonic mystery. “Lionel Trilling” starts off with concurrent guitar ostinatos filled with acerbic atonal intervals and subtle chromatic shifts, a relentless cadence sustained by a sort of obsessive thrust. As the tune progresses, surprising rhythms erupt, bringing Sawyer’s unpredictable drumming to the forefront. You must wait around for controlled moments of chaos as well as intervals of reflective stillness. Both invite us to picture vast hyperborean landscapes in our minds. Rasping, vibrating slides on the guitar and vocal effects help to magnify the milieu, which, near the final, shapes into a waltzing, electronic-like passage with rhythmic patterns atop. Refraining the dynamics, the group embraces a certain languidness for most of the duration of “Seven in the Wood” ... The music orchestrated by Wooley might not move a mountain, but has the power to shake it (JazzTrail)

Details: Listen to Lionel Trilling : Listen to Seven In the Woods : Full JazzTrail Review :

 

 

 

 

Russ Lossing - Motian Music
(Sunnyside Records) - Released: 22nd February 2019

Russ Lossing (piano); Masa Kamaguchi (bass); Billy Mintz (drums).

Russ Lossing Motian Music

 

'Drummer/composer Paul Motian was brilliant at creating subtle, singable melodies and rhythmically ambiguous, floating forms. Former Motian collaborator and pianist Russ Lossing chose to honor Motian and his work by recording Motian Music, a collection of Motian's idiosyncratic pieces played by Lossing's trio' (album notes). 'Pianist Russ Lossing dabbles in the fascinating musical universe of Paul Motian, an artist he knew very well. For 12 years, they were friends and collaborators, and Lossing decided this was the time to honor the late genius whose tunes fall somewhere between the lyrical and the abstract. Paraphrasing the pianist: “this music plays itself.” On Motian Music, his debut on Sunnyside, he teams up with longtime associates bassist Masa Kamaguchi and drummer Billy Mintz, a pair of creative minds with an elevated rhythmic sensibility. The first couple of pieces, “Asia” and “Abacus”, date from the late ’70s, but their shapes are unlike. The former, carrying some folk connotations and emotional grandeur, mirrors the splendor of this piano trio; in turn, the latter comes enveloped by a magnetic abstraction and instigates free exploration. During the first minutes, Mintz offers us tonality, having the round, somewhat pinched bass notes from Kamaguchi dancing at his side as well as Lossing’s resolute, if perplexing, melodic lines ......The recording couldn’t have ended in a better way, with the seraphic “Psalm” expressing a levitating simplicity that touches the sublime. Without subverting the art of Motian, Lossing puts a personal touch in this startlingly intimate album. The results are more than satisfactory and fans of the drummer will instantly relate to the music' (JazzTrail)

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ehud Asherie Trio - Wild Man Blues
(Capri Records) - Released: 15 March 2019

Ehud Asherie (piano); Peter Washington (bass); Rodney Green (drums)

Ehud Asherie Trio Wild Man Blues

 

 

'The New Yorker calls Ehud Asherie 'A master of stride and swing' and his latest recording 'Wild Man Blues' showcases his mastery of these styles. You can hear the influences of James P Johnson, Fats Waller and Bud Powell in his playing. Joining him are Peter Washington on bass and Rodney Green on drums. Asherie imbues his performances with musical surprises and a sense of humor as he weaves through music from all eras of jazz, from Louis Armstrong to Charlie Parker. Also included are two pieces influenced by time spent living in Brazil. Asherie is a first call pianist for many New York musicians for both recordings and gigs (album notes).

Details : Listen to the Title Track : Video of Wild Man Blues live with Ehud Asherie and different personnel :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Norman Johnson - The Art Of Life
(Pacific Coast Jazz) - Released: 21st January 2019

Norman Johnson (guitar, bass, piano, vocal); Chris Herbert, John Mastroianni (sax); Bill Holloman (horns); Jeff Holmes (trumpet); Steve Davis (trombone); Matt Dwonszyk (bass); Grayson Hugh, June Bisantz, Atla DeChamplain, Poller Messer, Lisa Marien (vocals); Mitch Chakour (piano and organ); Alex Nakhimovsky (piano)

Norman Johnson The Art Of Life

 

'Norman Johnson's The Art of Life is a beautifully crafted recording. Featuring five songs penned by Johnson and one written by his longtime friends and music companions, Alex Nakhimovsky and June Bisantz. We are given groove, beauty, and a message. Changing directions from projects of the past, Johnson has included in this recording, two vocal songs which show a different side of his writing and playing. Johnson always keeps it smooth and this recording is no exception. Slide is a slick, groove-oriented song which features Chris Herbert on alto sax. Moving to a different sound for Johnson is his song Sing On, which features the wonderful vocals of Grayson Hugh. In what has always been a troubled world, this song is Johnson's message of hopefulness for all of us. Old Skool brings a 70's vibe with a modern sound. It's totally guitar driven swing. The title cut, The Art of Life, was inspired by Stewart Stephenson's painting Sassy Wildflowers. It is amazing how visual art and music can elicit the same emotions. The song is a picture in sound and includes the beautiful background vocals of Atla DeChamplain. It's You is sung by Johnson's longtime friend, June Bisantz. When Johnson first heard the song, he knew that it had to be included on his next recording. It's infectious. This song offers so much - a latin groove with Bisantz's lush vocal and Johnson's sweet guitar. Summer Dance is what the title says, a song that just makes you think of warmth and movement. Johnson says I wrote this song in the summer of 2016 while on vacation in Florida. Driving along the coast in Sarasota and heading over the bridge to St. Armands Island, the view was so beautiful. This melody came to me that day. Art and music, sight and sound, The Art of Life is for all of your senses. This recording brings a variety of sounds to your aural palette and like a good painting, can make you think, imagine, and maybe, smile (album notes).

Details and Samples : Listen to the Title Track : Listen to Old Skool :

 

 

 

 

 

Jeremy Pelt - Jeremy Pelt The Artist
(HighNote Records) - Released: 8th February 2019

Jeremy Pelt (trumpet); Victor Gould (piano); Frank LoCrasto (Fender Rhodes, effects); Chien Chien Lu (vibraphone, marimba); Vicente Archer (bass); Allan Mednard (drums); Ismel Wignall (percussion).

Jeremy Pelt The Artist

 

'Composing music inspired by painting dates back as far as the 12th century (Hildegard of Bingen) and, in Jazz, Duke Ellington's "Degas Suite" comes to mind along with Branford Marsalis's "Romare Bearden Revealed." But on his new album, Jeremy Pelt may be the first jazz artist to examine the relationship between music and sculpture. The five-movement "Rodin Suite" muses not only on works the French sculptor August Rodin left us, but how his art might have evolved if he were still with us today. Added to Victor Gould, Vicente Archer and a few other of his "regs," Pelt has added the guitar of Alex Wintz, the vibes and marimba of Chien Chien Lu and the exotic percussion of Ismel Wignall for an ensemble sound capable of delicacy and color as well as full-on modern jazz shouts. A thoughtful and thought-provoking recording from, you guessed it, Jeremy Pelt, the artist' (album notes). 'Jeremy Pelt is a terrific trumpet player and bandleader whose records offer enough consistency to make us search for new material. He is also an extremely reliable sideman with important contributions in projects by Vincent Herring, Ralph Peterson Jr., Wayne Escoffery, and more recently, bassist Ben Allison. His new outing, Jeremy Pelt The Artist, finds him fronting a dynamic group with Victor Gould on piano, Frank LoCrasto on Fender Rhodes and effects, Chien Chien Lu on vibraphone and marimba, Vicente Archer on bass, Allan Mednard on drums, and Ismel Wignall on percussion. The album’s first five tracks constitute The Rodin Suite, a compositional effort inspired by the work of French sculptor Auguste Rodin. Like the sculptor himself, Pelt doesn’t rebel against the past, but arrange everything in a clever way, introducing new elements that shape the music with a winsome modern feel. ...... This is deftly composed material put in practice with taste by a sophisticated new group that works pretty well together' (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review : Listen to Feito : Listen to The Rodin Suite :

 

 

 

 

Marton Juhasz - Discovery
(Marton Juhasz) - Released: 25th January 2019

Marton Juhasz (drums, composition); Yumi Ito (vocals, text, track 8): Sergio Wagner (trumpet, flugelhorn); Paco Andreo (valve trombone); Enrique Oliver (tenor saxophone); Szymon Mika (guitar); Olga Konkova (piano, fender Rhodes); Danny Ziemann (upright bass)

Marton Juhasz Discovery

 

'Award-winning drummer Marton Juhasz presents Discovery, his debut album as a bandleader. Featuring 8 musicians from 4 continents, the record is the result of a year of rehearsing and performing as part of Wolfgang Muthspiel’s pioneering Focusyear Program in Switzerland. Under the tutelage of some of the most respected names in jazz including Django Bates, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Avishai Cohen and Joshua Redman, the musicians spent 12 months together, focused on developing both individually and as an ensemble. The result: this beautiful, daring album of originals, inspired by the artist’s search for a more personal compositional voice and an effort to make sense of the dissonance that is part of human existence' (album notes). 'In September 2017 I moved to Basel, Switzerland to take part in a newly created artistic diploma program called 'Focusyear'. The idea behind the programme was to create an ensemble of international musicians who would then rehearse and perform together for a year under the tutelage of about a dozen of visiting artists, an incredible opportunity to develop musically and artistically. The final octet chosen for the program was truly international, featuring musicians from the USA, Argentina, Spain, France, Hungary, Switzerland, Poland and Norway. Typically we would learn a new concert repertoire every two weeks and then perform the music with the visiting coaches at the hosting school's club at Jazzcampus, Basel. Since we were rehearsing and performing almost every day, the connection within the ensemble was developing very fast. I’ve played in many bands before, but I’ve never had luxury of getting to know the other musicians on such a deep level. I saw that this would be probably a once in a lifetime opportunity to record with such a tightly knit group. A couple of months into the program I decided to go for it and asked my bandmates to play my music. This recording became ‘Discovery’, my debut as a composer (Marton Juhasz).

Details and Samples : Introductory Video : Listen to Run : Marton Juhasz's Full Focus article for Sandy Brown Jazz on the tune Little Prayer : Marton Juhasz's website :

 

 

 

 

Marilyn Mazur - Shamania
(Rare Noise Records) - Released: 22nd February 2019

Marilyn Mazur (percussion, balaphone, kalimba); Lotte Anker (saxophone); Josefine Cronholm (voice, percussion); Sissel Vera Pettersen (saxophone and vocals); Hildegunn Oiseth (trumpet, goat horn); Lis Wessberg (trombone); Makiko Hirabayashi (keyboards); Ellen Andrea Wang (bass); Anna Lund (drums); Lisbeth Diers (percussion).

Marilyn Mazur Shamania

 

'In 1978, Danish percussion master Marilyn Mazur founded the bold, innovative Primi Band, an all-female music-theater ensemble that drew from a deep well of primal energy and experimental audacity. Four decades later, Mazur reinvents the core concepts in an adventurous new fashion with Shamania, a gathering of ten of Scandinavia's most inventive and respected female musicians. Whereas Primi Band culled its members from risk-taking but nonprofessional musicians, Shamania comprises ten highly respected (but equally daring) artists from the Danish, Swedish and Norwegian avant-jazz scenes. Their stunning debut album is a vivid combination of primeval forces and virtuosic musicianship, fiercely original imaginings and deeply organic emotions, communal energies and singular voices (album notes). 'Percussion mastermind Marilyn Mazur gathers a 10-piece ensemble composed of female Scandinavian musicians and amazes us with 16 tremendously rhythmic numbers in her new project, Shamania. A former collaborator of Miles Davis and Jan Garbarek, Mazur alludes to instinctive, primitive rituals in a buoyant session that establishes eclecticism as a priority. The power of women in jazz is reflected here, and saxophonist Lotte Anker just confirms it through fiery exteriorizations full of timbral color on the opening and closing tunes, “New Secret” and “Space Entry Dance”, respectively. The impeccable voice of Josefine Cronholm invites us to an Eastern litany on “Rytmeritual”, a liberating free-verse poem denoting the entrancing rhythm as a fundamental agent. Beautiful exotic sounds also emerge from “Shabalasa” and “Kalimbaprimis”, ecstatic Afro-style celebrations that bring Mazur to the center ...... Shamania made me travel many miles through a colorful folklore that appeals to multiculturalism. It’s an important exertion that celebrates music in its entire dimension' (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review : Listen to Crawl Out & Shine :

 

 

 

 

 

Scopes - Scopes
(Whirlwind Recordings) - Released: 29th March 2019

Ben van Gelder (alto saxophone); Tony Tixier (piano); Tom Berkmann (double bass); Mathias Ruppnig (drums)

Scopes album

 

'The contemporary sound is strong in this sparkling, eponymous debut from new European quartet Scopes, led by Austrian drummer Mathias Ruppnig and German bassist Tom Berkmann. Originally meeting up when based in New York for several years, performing there in various projects with French pianist/keyboardist Tony Tixier, they created the basis of a striking collaboration completed by acclaimed Dutch alto saxophonist Ben van Gelder. Their roots in jazz tradition are evident, yet Scopes' quest for a "sense for the pulse time" has shaped a young, sleek sound world incorporating wider influences - a melting pot of original, melodic composition and improvisation infused with textural synthscapes and liquescent sax. It's a confidently joyous partnership, Tom Berkmann describing their band name as "a frame inside which we can be endlessly creative - a 'musical playground' where we are able to open up in different ways." The freshness of Ruppnig's "Echo of Their Own Prejudices" is a great indicator of the environments which the band inhabit, an ebullient groove underpinning van Gelder's characteristically mellow, tumbling tones, complemented by Tixier's portamento synth lines and rapid piano runs. Other tracks include the almost Weather Reportian sax-and-synth pairing in eager "Balance". The analogous swan-like atmospheres in "Whistle" find Ruppnig providing its percussively busy undercurrent as synth auras glide over, contrasted by the seductive samba-swing of "Alter Ego". (album notes). 'SCOPES is an Euro­pean jazz en­semble rooted in Berlin, Pa­ris and Am­s­ter­dam. The group consists of Ben van Gelder – alto saxophone, Tony Tixier – piano, Tom Berkmann – bass and Mathias Ruppnig – drums who met in New York, where they each spent several years and developing their individual musical style. These four individual composers have joined to form a whole and create a distinct band-sound. While their music is deeply grounded in the jazz tradition, their songs serve as a platform to explore new realms through improvisation. Like a kaleidoscope, their music evolves through each concert and creates a unique experience for the listener. The acoustic quartet produces a transparent, modern sound that stands out from the classic line up of alto saxophone, piano, double bass and drums' (Whirlwind Recordings).

Details : Introductory Video : Listen to Balance :

 

 

 

 

 

Pat Metheny - Watercolors
(ECM Touchstone) - Released: 18th January 2019

Pat Metheny (6 and 12 string guitars, harp guitar); Lyle Mays (piano); Eberhard Weber (bass); Danny Gottlieb (drums)

Pat Metheny Watercolours

 

 

"Metheny's compositions are perfect vehicles for his guitar, which blends smoothly with the breathtaking ensemble work." The recording is the first of Pat's albums to feature Lyle Mays, an important partner for the work ahead: "You can hear them reaching toward the sound that would burst forth a year later on the Pat Metheny Group album", Down Beat would later note. And with Danny Gottlieb on drums, three quarters of the Metheny Group is present here. The personnel of Watercolors is completed by Eberhard Weber, with whom Metheny had already collaborated creatively in Gary Burton's band. "Guitar wonder Metheny has made an astoundingly tasteful and free flowing record here" the Massachusetts Valley Advocate declared. (album notes). '..... refreshing to hear Mays on piano before synths took hold ... Those choirs of different-voiced guitars are also there .... And, of course, there's his love of a feel good 'let's all be chums' melody .... a typically unfussy ECM reissue: no extras: but that's what you get from Metheny of the time: lyrically fresh and unburdened' (Andy Robson in Jazzwise ****).

Details and Sample :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Django Reinhardt - Diminishing Blackness: The Compositions Of Django Reinhardt
(ACME / El) - Released: 25th January 2019 [3 CD box set]

Django Reinhardt (guitar) with other various personnel

Django Reinhardt Diminishing Blackness

"Like Ravel or Berlioz, Django was truly a composer who imagined a composition down to its smallest detail. If he was above the other musicians he played with, it's precisely because he thought like a composer. When he went into the studio to accompany, say, Jean Sablon, he didn't merely play specific chords or notes, but an orchestral structure. The key to his style was that he was an orchestra in reduction." Stephane Grappelli..A three CD box set comprising more than 60 pieces that represent the broad spectrum of Django Reinhardt's compositional skill; whether as a solo guitarist, in the context of the famed Quintet of the Hot Club of France, in later aggregations perhaps under the increasing influence of be-bop, or during the years of maturity when Django's playing found an extraordinary new depth of expression. .From the swing classics of the Hot Club to such masterpieces of sensuality as Nuages, Manoir de mes reves, Troublant Bolero and Anouman, to the long melodic lines of the highly attractive, perfectly logical musical sculptures that are the Improvisations, the presentation seeks to illustrate the scale of Django's musical ambition. To appreciate him as a significant composer and a wonderful guitarist. The music from Django's own timeless sessions is complimented by Gypsy guitarist Matelo Ferret's splendid interpretations of the waltzes (which were not recorded by Django himself), and other fine recordings made in homage to Django in the decade after his death; by his close friend Henri Crolla, and by four more virtuoso guitarists from very different musical fields in Julian Bream, Pierre "Baro" Ferret leading Trio Ferret, Chet Atkins and the young Sacha Distel. And by Milt Jackson, both solo and accompanying the French saxophonist Barney Wilen. The anthology is completed by John Lewis' eternal tribute 'Django' performed by the Modern Jazz Quartet' (album notes). '..... it is welcome to have a box with a different perspective, homing in on Django the composer .... The first two records of the three are chronological ... The third finishes the chronological sequence, but then becomes truly fascinating with interpretations of Django's writing by other instrumentalist ... to be reminded that Reinhardt's music is a body of standards, easily equivalent to the American Songbook writers, and fertile ground for jazz improvisation, just listen to (Barney) Wilen's magisterial take on 'Vamp' or 'Nuages' and marvel' (Alyn Shipton in Jazzwise ****)

Details :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keith Jarrett - Standards Vol.1
(ECM Touchstone) - Released 25th January 2019

Keith Jarrett (piano); Gary Peacock (bass); Jack De Johnette (drums)

Keith Jarrett Standards Vol 1

 

 

'The protagonists had already recorded together on Gary Peacock's Tales of Another in 1977, but Jarrett's Standards project, with its dedication to the Great American Songbook, proposed a new sphere of operation, one that would make this trio among the best-loved bands in all of jazz. This New York Power Station recording from January 1983 established the simple blueprint: honour the standards as compositions and discover where the material can lead a creative improviser. There is fabulous playing here, including a wildly inventive "All The Things You Are", and heart-rending versions of "Meaning of the Blues" and "It Never Entered My Mind" (album notes). 'This is part one of a trilogy of album recorded in January 1983 ... the others being Standards Vol 2 and Changes. The comprise the opening chapter of what would become known as Jarrett's 'Sytandards Trio' ...(they approached) the American Popular Song repertoire ... from a contemporary improvisational perspective .... creating chemistry based on mutual respect and trust that stood the test of time ....' (Stuart Nicholson in Jazzwise ****)

Details and Samples :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Helen Merrill - Four Classic Albums
(Avid Jazz) - Released: 5th April 2019 [2 CDs]

Helen Merrill (vocals) with various musicians

Helen Merrill Four Classic Albums

 

'AVID Jazz continues with its Classic Album series with a re-mastered 2CD release from Helen Merrill, complete with original artwork, liner notes and personnel details 'Helen Merrill'; 'Dream Of You'; 'You've Got A Date With The Blues' and 'The Nearness Of You' We got another live one! We music fans at AVID are delighted to present our tribute to one of the greats, perhaps slightly and unjustly unsung greats of the jazz vocal world. Miss Helen Merrill born 1930, just 89 years old and by all accounts, remarkably and wonderfully, still touring and performing. Miss Merrill, we are honoured to present four of your greatest albums for our listener's pleasure. Noted for her emotional and sensual performances, Helen began her singing career at the tender age of 14 years in 1944 when she began singing in jazz clubs in the Bronx. It is surely a great testament to her wonderful talent that for her debut album 'Helen Merrill' she was accompanied by none other than The Clifford Brown Sextet. And if that weren't enough for her second outing 'Dream Of You' she was joined as arranger and producer by the legendary Gil Evans who would soon be moving on to produce and arrange the legendary Miles Davis classic Kind Of Blue. Just a few other great names heard here on Helen's fine quartet of albums include Quincy Jones, Barry Galbraith, Oscar Pettiford, Bill Evans, Jerome Richardson, Hank Jones, Art Farmer, Frank Wess, Kenny Dorham and Bobby Jaspar. The sound of Helen Merrill is admirably described in the liner notes of her fourth release 'You've Got A Date With The Blues'... 'Every performance by Helen Merrill whether in an intimate East Side night club or in a recording studio is charged with a full heated surging emotional content that communicates immediately to every sensitive listener'. (album notes).

Details :

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Bley - Ballads
(ECM Touchstone) - Released: 25th January 2019

Paul Bley (piano); Gary Peacock, Mark Levinson (bass); Barry Altschul (drums)

Paul Bley Ballads

 

 

 

'First released in the spring of 1971, these historic recordings from March and July 1967 capture the sound of a genre being born in the free ballads of Annette Peacock, played with extraordinary sensitivity by Paul Bley's trio. Annette Peacock: "Critics introduced new terms, describing this music as sparse, understated, minimal, radically lyrical. The free ballad captured the imagination of listeners for ECM and became requisite for the transformation of accomplished players." (album notes). ' .....despite the considerable activity of Altschul and the theoretically discordant piano gestures. it's all taken very slow and indeed out-of-tempo. So the net reult is easy to listen to, alhough definately not 'easy listening' (Brian Priestley in Jazzwise ***)

Details and Sample :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harold Land - Four Classic Albums
(Avid Jazz) - Released: 1st March 2019 [2 CDs]

Harold Land (tenor saxophone) with various musicians.

Harold Land Four Classic Albums

 

 

'... a re-mastered 2CD release from Harold Land, complete with original artwork, liner notes and personnel details 'Harold In The Land Of Jazz'; 'The Fox' 'West Coast Blues' and 'Eastward Ho! Harold In New York' AVID jazz continues its mission to re-instate some of the lesser known or perhaps under-appreciated jazz musicians from the golden age of jazz. Here we feature tenor sax giant, Harold Land who started his musical career as a fiercely hard be-bop player with the Clifford Brown / Max Roach quintet of the early 1950s. Moving out to the west coast he hooked up with bassist Curtis Counce for a series of Counce led albums in the late 1950s (AMSC1196). He can also be heard as sideman alongside such names as Elmo Hope, Herb Geller, Gerald Wilson, Gerald Wiggins, Victor Feldman, Shorty Rogers and Thelonious Monk. Our featured 'Land-mark' albums come from his late 1950s, early 1960s period and include such fine jazz players as Elmo Hope, Leroy Vinnegar, Frank Butler, Carl Perkins, Wes Montgomery, Louis Hayes, Joe Gordon, Kenny Dorham and another fine trumpet player, the rarely heard and enigmatic Dupree Bolton' (album notes).

Details :

 

 

 

 

 

Benjamin Croft - 10 Reasons To .....
(33JazzRecords) - Released: 8th March 2019

Benjamin Croft (piano, keyboards), Benet McLean (violin), Henry Thomas (bass), Tristan Mailiot (drums) with guests: Andy Davies (trumpet), Saleem Raman (drums), Mario Castronari (bass), Peter Miles (spoken word)

Benjamin Croft 10 Reasons To'UK pianist Ben Croft has created a significant album, a musical journey through the past, present and future. An exploration of a unique musical mind featuring some of the U.K's finest Jazz and the unique voice of the actor Peter Miles. Benjamin Croft is a Graduate of Leeds College of Music in Jazz and Classical Piano. He has toured around the world performing with artists as diverse as Belinda Carlisle and the Temptations. Since moving to London Ben has performed and acted on the West End stage and is an up and coming name on the London jazz scene, playing regularly at Ronnie Scott's in Soho'. (album notes). 'The sounds and styles on this album reflect the slow processing of all that captured my imagination since I was a child. Written over a period of two years, the compositions were inspired by the passing of several legends. Tracks are dedicated to Allan Holdsworth, Keith Emerson, Christopher Lee and Gustav Mahler...... I didn't want this to be a typical acoustic jazz sounding album as my ideas tend to be more orchestral. I wanted the sounds to be a combination of keyboard instruments and have always had a love of 70's and 80's analog synths. The Mini-Moog, Prophet 5 and Mellotron  among others all feature on the tracks. The synths were recorded by Andy Whitmore at Greystoke Studios. Andy has one of the largest collections of vintage synths in the UK! Tracking for the piano and other musicians was recorded by Sonny at Livingston Studio 1. It was important to me to also have a great sounding piano and Livingston has a world class Steinway. After the recording was completed it was mastered at Air Studios by Ray Staff. Ray is a living legend and was the chief mastering engineer at Trident Studios during the 70's. His work can be heard on many of the albums that have influenced me over the years. This album also marked the final work of a great friend of mine; I have been a Doctor Who fan almost since day one and I was very lucky to call Peter Miles a friend. Peter can be seen in many classic episodes acting alongside Tom Baker and Jon Pertwee. Peter reads two extracts of poetry that book-end the album. The Doctor Who connection was kept with the artwork. Andrew Skilleter, famous for a multitude of book covers and video releases for the BBC, contributed an amazing album cover'. (Benjamin Croft)

Details : Video of Bad Reputations : Listen to The Sycophant :

 

 

 

 

Madwort's Menagerie - Madwort's Menagerie
(Madwort Records) - Released: 9th February 2019

Alex Bonney (cornet); Tim Fairhall (double bass); Julie Kjær (flutes); Cath Roberts (baritone saxophone); Adam Spiers (cello); Tom Ward (bass clarinet, compositions)

Madworts Menagerie album

'Madwort's Menagerie is the self-titled first recording from Tom Ward's strings and winds sextet, and the second release on Tom's new Madwort micro-label. After a momentary glimpse in a misfiring big band rehearsal, Tom Ward was bugged by an overheard snippet of a weird quartet comprising bass clarinet, flute, trumpet and trombone. Transmogrifying some of his compositions for sax quartet, hybridising this with his free improv duo Ti/om and finally balancing woodwind, brass and strings with the addition of a cello, led to the creation of the distinctive line-up of Madwort's Menagerie. It features some incredible improvising musicians with a full spectrum of credits ranging from the London Improvisers Orchestra through Brass Mask, Favourite Animals, the Overground Collective, Sloth Racket, London Vocal Project and The Imaginary Delta to Sinfonia Cymru and the London Tango Orchestra. The album was beautifully recorded at IKLECTIK in London in June 2017 by Alex Bonney. The album opens with Fish Biscuit Standoff, in which a sonic tussle between Tom's bass clarinet and Alex's cornet gives way to a multi-way fist-fight improvisation. This disintegrates into a heap, with the winner of the cat food stockpile negotiations remaining unclear. The calmer Islands in the Green follows, featuring the deep tone of Julie's alto flute over a long Bulgarian influenced rhythmic pattern and a heartfelt double bass solo from Tim. Revolution (about Axis) is built on long harmonic series that revolves through four key centres, and tips a hidden wink to the band Alas No Axis. It features solos from Adam on cello and Tom on bass clarinet, and a space for Julie to stretch out towards the end of the track. Next is Human Eyes Humanise, a reference to the phenomenon of pareidolia, and reminds us that although we may see a face in a plug socket (for example), what we're actually seeing is our own humanity looking back at us. This is a feature for Alex Bonney on cornet.Tribute to Tau was inspired by Michael Hartl's Tau Manifesto, which proposes that everyone's favourite irrational number π would be far better represented as τ, equal to the value of 2π. The irrational time signature is a mix of 6/8 and 7/8, the running average of which tends towards the value of τ (6.2831853071) as the composition progresses, and the harmony embeds these digits within its structure, which makes for a complex structure for the bass clarinet improvisation. Unfortunate Interaction with a Chair flips between two different rhythmic feels, featuring a duo dialogue for the cello and cornet on the first, and a bass clarinet improvisation on the second. The groove of Dangerous Slumberer sidles slowly into view next, leading to solos from Tim on double bass and Cath on baritone sax. The final tune on the album is the open-ended Handbuilt by Robots. This was also featured on the Madwort Saxophone Quartet album, and allows the ensemble more freedom to shape the composed material than some of the more structured pieces on this record. Madwort's Menagerie have performed at the Vortex Jazz Club, the LUME free stage at the Barbican as part of the London Jazz Festival, and at Out Front's The Week festival in Derby' (album notes).

Details and Samples :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rosie Turton - Rosie's 5ive
(Jazz re-freshed) - Released: 11th January 2019

Rosie Turton (trombone); Johanna Burnheart (violin); Maria Chiara Argirò (piano/wurlitzer); Twm Dylan (bass); Jake Long (drums); Ben Hayes (synthesizers on Orange Moon); Luke Newman (vocals on Stolen Ribs)

Rosie Turton Rosies 5ive

 

 

'London based trombonist and composer Rosie Turton is one of the up and coming voices on the UK jazz scene. Expressing herself through a variety of different musical outlets, from composing and playing with septet Nerija (Domino Recording Co), Sun Ra space influenced Where Pathways Meet to recording with Jitwam and Hollie Cook. After exploring the eclectic music scenes of London and New York to the Himalayas of India, Rosie’s ‘5ives’ release with Jazz Re:Freshed showcases her individual and unique voice as a performer, composer and producer' (album notes). '.....Rosie Turton, a promising trombonist and composer who also plays with the septet Nerija. Her compositions are understated, grooving and in a spiritual jazz vein ..... There's an intoxicating feeling of dazed melancholy about the whole set .... This isn't a flashy, "look at me" debut, its a sofly spoken "hello" and that makes it all the more compelling' (Thomas Rees in Jazzwise ***)

Details and Samples : Review : Listen to Butterfly : Listen to Orange Moon :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEED Ensemble - Driftglass
(Jazz re:freshed) - Released: 8th February 2019

Cassie Kinoshi (alto sax); Miguel Gorodi, Sheila Maurice-Grey (trumpet); Chelsea Carmichael (tenor sax, flute); Joe Bristow (trombone); Theon Cross (tuba); Joe Armon-Jones, Sarah Tandy (piano, Fender Rhodes); Shirley Tettah (guitar); Aana, Cherise Adams-Burnett, Mr. Ekow (vocals); Rio Kai (bass); Patrick Boyle (drums)

SEED Ensemble Driftglass

 

'jazz re:freshed are proud to present the long-awaited debut album from emerging London-based collective SEED Ensemble. Formed in 2016, SEED Ensemble is a ten-piece project led by composer, arranger and alto saxophonist Cassie Kinoshi. Already a giant on the UK jazz scene, she is known for her work with all-female jazz septet, Nerija, and afrobeat jazz group, Kokoroko. Combining jazz with inner-city London, West African and Caribbean influenced groove, Cassie Kinoshi’s SEED Ensemble explores a blend of genres through both original compositions and arrangements. “SEED Ensemble is my way of celebrating the vibrant and distinctive diversity that has significantly influenced what British culture has become over the centuries. Projecting this new musical vision are some of London’s most up-and-coming young jazz musicians essential to the modern identity of British jazz including tuba player Theon Cross, trumpeter Sheila Maurice-Grey, tenor saxophonist Chelsea Carmichael and one of London’s leading guitarists, Shirley Tetteh. Across ‘Driftglass’, Kinoshi embraces styles both past and present to create something that we can call modern. Band members cut across race and gender with original compositions inspired by the social issues of our times' (album notes). 'After decades in the shadow of its American parent, British jazz is finally coming of age. A community of young, London-based musicians is forging a rebooted style which reflects both the Caribbean and African musical heritages of the majority of its vanguard players and also locally created musics such as grime and garage. Jazz was created by black musicians. The new London scene is by no means racially exclusive, but there is no doubt it is black musicians who are once more leading the way .... As 2019 begins, the heavenwards trajectory continues with the debut album from alto saxophonist and composer Cassie Kinoshi's 10-piece SEED Ensemble. Driftglass is an untrammelled wrap-around delight' (Chris May allaboutjazz ****).

Details and Samples : Listen to Afronaut : Listen to Mirrors : Video of Album Launch (1hr 43mins) :

 

 

 

 

John Turville - Head First
(Whirlwind Recordings) - Released: 22nd February 2019

John Turville (piano), Julian Argüelles (tenor and soprano saxophone), Robbie Robson (trumpet), Dave Whitford (double bass), James Maddren (drums)

John Turville Head First

 

'Pianist and educator John Turville has established himself as a mainstay of the UK and European contemporary jazz scenes in his varied roles as sideman, co-leader and trio/quartet leader. This debut quintet release, 'Head First', includes the estimable names of saxophonist Julian Argüelles, double bassist Dave Whitford, drummer James Maddren and versatile trumpeter Robbie Robson. Available on a high quality, 6 panel digipack with a velvety soft-touch laminate finish and 180 gram, 12" LP - comes with download code containing the digital album in multiple formats. Inspired greatly by the music of mentor John Taylor, as well as Kenny Wheeler, Turville was one of many artists who came together for the Jazz Piano Summit concert of 2015 dedicated to Taylor's immeasurable musical legacy. There, Turville presented his own homage, "A Perfect Foil" (which appears on this album), igniting a desire to realise originals and interpretations for an expanded line-up. The resulting collaboration, featuring Julian Argüelles, is a radiant celebration of British jazz creativity which also confirms the pianist's mastery of composition and performance. Turville's sound world is informed by the likes of Fred Hersch (the album title a playful though gracious twist on his name) and Bill Evans, yet is frequently imbued with the harmonic colouring of classical composers such as John Ireland, Federico Mompou and the French Romantics. Other tracks include the bustling "Fall Out", with strong horn motifs and driving, bass-propelled rhythms and turbulent, piano-figured "Seahorses" recalls a stormy sea trip off Seahouses, on the wild Northumberland coast, reflected in billowing, improvisatory freedom. "Almagro Nights", for piano trio, is full of Buenos Aires hustle, spotlighting Turville's brightness at the keyboard, while impressionistic soprano-and-piano "Interval Music" finds Argüelles waltzing oh so elegantly into the sublime, descending phrases of 'A Perfect Foil' (album notes).

Details and Samples : Listen to Fall Out : Video extract of A Perfect Foil :

 

 

 

 

Tom Bancroft's In Common - Love And Stillness
(Interrupto Music) - Released: 15th March 2019

Tom Bancroft (drums and bodhran), Sharat Chandra Srivastava (violin), Graeme Stephen (guitar), Gyan Singh (tabla), Sophie Bancroft (voice), Gina Rae (voice) and Inge Thompson (voice)

In Common Love And Stillness

 

'This new project by Tom Bancroft starts with the bodhran and the tabla and a drone, adds Indian Classical Violin and improvising jazz guitar, and continues adding layers and voices from different traditions, in a creative new project that focuses on the common ground between Scottish music, jazz, Indian music and electronica. Strip away the surface features and jazz, electronica, Scottish traditional music and Indian classical music all share: drone, groove & rhythm, collective and individual improvisation, melodies and scales / ragas, vocal rhythmic patterns. Tom Bancroft is a drummer, composer, bandleader and educator. Trained as a doctor Tom now makes a living from music. He has played with musicians ranging from Sun Ra & Martyn Bennett to Geri Allen and Bill Wells. He is a key member of the 80 piece Grit Orchestra that features many leading Scottish jazz, folk, and classical musicians and plays with Graeme Stephen in the award winning Playtime collective that performs every fortnight in Edinburgh, and the Go Get It Trio. Tom is a founder member of the Pathhead Music Collective where he curates (with Martin Green from LAU) the PIE series of improvised/experimental concerts in a village hall. He leads other occasional creative projects like big band Orchestro Interrupto, and the non-jazz electronic/experimental group Vincent - with Japanese avant-grade pianist Satoko Fuji, and In Common - a project finding common ground between Indian Classical and Scottish Jazz musicians, and jazz and traditional singers. After running Scottish Jazz record company Caber Music for 7 years between 1998 and 2005, he now runs the music education company ABC Creative Music with his twin brother Phil' (album notes).

Details and Samples : Introductory Video : Listen to Donald, Willie and His Dog : Read Howard Lawes article on this website :

 

 

 

 

Trevor Watts - Life & Music
(HI4HEAD Records) - Released: February 2019

Trevor Watts (alto, soprano saxophone, wooden flute, Percussion, Piano, Synth, mbira); Jamies Harris (percussion, voice); Geoff Sapsford (guitar, voice); Roger Carey (bass guitar), Giampaolo Scatozza (drums); Amy Leake, Rob Leake (tenor sax); Anna Watts (voice)

Trevor Watts Life & Music

 

 

'Life & Music is a glimpse into a new renaissance musician. Over sixty years of serious endeavour cannot be complete on one recording. The album doesn't example the Trevor Watts duets with pianists Veryan Weston and Stephen Grew, nor the vast catalogue of his 'sound' cynosures. What this collection does demonstrate is a unique 21st century virtuoso tracking his own muse to the limit. He denies nothing, he gives everything. Trevor Watts (1939 to the present) does not act his age, he soundtracks it. Celebrate with him' (album notes).

Details and Samples :

 

 

 

 

 

Quinsin Nachoff's Flux - Path Of Totality
(Whirlwind Recordings) - Released: 2nd February 2019

David Binney (alto saxophone, C melody saxophone); Quinsin Nachoff (tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone); Matt Mitchell (Piano, Prophet 6, modular synthesizer, Novachord, harpsichord, Estey pump harmonium); Kenny Wollesen (drums, Wollesonic percussion); Nate Wood (drums) plus guest musicians.

Quinsin Nachoff's Flux Path Of Totality

 

'Quinsin Nachoff's Flux communicates an extraordinarily colourful palette of conceptual reasoning and musical expression in the effulgent release, 'Path of Totality'. ... Saxophonist/composer Nachoff's overarching inspiration arose from the moon's total eclipse of the sun in 2017. That event became a dramatic, natural metaphor for the band's evolutionary creative process, plus a reminder (especially amidst current political and environmental discord) of light's assured emanation from and triumph over transitory darkness. The Toronto-born, New York-based saxophonist's compositions each begin from a clear-cut kernel of an idea, with their own set of parameters, which are then developed into stories of differing landscapes, all crafted from the ground up for these specific players to interpret and improvise across. Tracks include the progressive yet cyclical impetus in giant-stepping title track "Path of Totality", explored through thunderous, phased double-drum patterns and far-reaching saxophone figures; and "Bounce" takes motivic ideas and rhythmic structures from a bouncing ball's motion (studied through mathematical programmes), manipulating them to create elasticized environments, the two saxophonists' extemporizations eventually narrowing against the full swell of a 1924 Kimball Theatre Organ. As you immerse yourself in its narrative, on whatever level you connect with its story, Path of Totality's artistic journey continues to intrigue, fascinate and enthral'. (album notes).

Details : Samples : Review 4.5* :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wadada Leo Smith - Rosa Parks: Pure Love
(Tum / Broken Silence) - Released: 15th February 2019

Wadada Leo Smith (trumpet); Min Xiao-fen (voice, pipa); Karen Parks, Carmina Escobar (voice); Shalini Vijayan, Mona Tian (violin); Andrew McIntosh (viola); Ashley Walters (cello); Ted Daniel, Hugh Ragin (trumpet); Graham Haynes (cornet); Pheeroan akLaff (drum set); Hardedge (electronics).

Wadada Leo Smith Rosa Parks Pure Love

'Wadada Leo Smith's latest album features 'Rosa Parks: Pure Love. An Oratorio of Seven Songs,' another extended composition by Smith inspired by the civil rights movement in the United States. This new major work is composed for the iconic civil rights hero Rosa Parks (1913-2005) and performed by three vocalists, a double-quartet and a drummer with electronics. The album is released in February 2019 to celebrate Rosa Parks' birthday on February 4' (album notes). 'The creativity of trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, a dominant figure of the avant-jazz scene, boasts unlimited musical boundaries, crispness of sound, and resolute leadership. Besides mirroring these capabilities in his attractive way of playing, Smith is a conscious man and activist. His new outing, Rosa Parks: Pure Love - an oratorio of seven songs - consists in a set of triumphal hymns presented like an extended suite and arranged according to his unique style and vision. Paying tribute to the iconic civil rights activist mentioned in the title, the album features a double quartet, three female vocalists, a drummer and an electronics wizard, as well as samplings of recordings by Anthony Braxton, Leroy Jenkins, Steve McCall, and Smith. It’s a philosophical type of narrative where the bandleader experiments his own musical language, Ankhrasmation, on top of the traditional oratorio form ..... With quizzical parts and curious editing, this is a record with both polished and rugged chamber surfaces, feeling more earthly rooted when compared with the stunning America’s National Parks (TUM, 2016). Even less impactful than the latter, Rosa Parks: Pure Love breathes confidence and deserves attention for its musical and political statements' (JazzTrail).

Details : Listen to Mercy: Music For Double Quartet : Full JazzTrail Review :

 

 

 

 

 

Ralph Alessi - Imaginary Friends
(ECM) - Released: 8th February 2019

Ralph Alessi (trumpet); Ravi Coltrane (tenor, sopranino); Andy Milne (piano); Drew Gress (bass); Mark Ferber (drums)

Ralph Alessi Imaginary Friends

 

'Trumpeter Ralph Alessi's first two ECM albums as a leader – Baida (2013) and Quiver (2016) – justly earned him high praise. The New York Times lauded the "elegant precision and power" of Baida, while The Guardian extolled Quiver, pointing to the leader's "flawless technique and ability to draw on jazz tradition while avoiding its clichés." After those quartet discs, Alessi's third ECM album, Imaginary Friends, presents him fronting a longtime working quintet in its first recording since 2010. Alessi's bandmates include a kindred spirit in saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, a studio and stage partner of the trumpeter's since they were students together at the California Institute of the Arts in the late '80s. They are joined by pianist Andy Milne and drummer Mark Ferber, both making their ECM debuts, plus bassist Drew Gress, who played on Baida and Quiver. The nine Alessi compositions of Imaginary Friends include an irresistible highlight in "Iram Issela," with its rich seam of bittersweet melody and exceptional soloing by Coltrane setting the scene for an album of quicksilver beauty' (album notes). 'Trumpeter supreme Ralph Alessi reconvenes his longtime quintet, known as This Against That, for its third ECM album. Imaginary Friends comprises nine mature originals fully developed while touring in Europe. Saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, pianist Andy Milne, bassist Drew Gress, and drummer Mark Ferber are the remaining members of the group. They make a wonderful first impression on the soulful opening track, “Iram Issela”, whose strange title consists of the name of Alessi’s eight-year-old daughter spelt backwards. Piano and trumpet set up reserved moments of pure beauty, after which Alessi flies in a solo full of brightness and expression ...... The methodical, unfolding narrative arc of Imaginary Friends makes it an exceptional collection of impassioned, free-shimmering tone poems where the musical personality of Alessi shines through' (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples :

 

 

 

 

 

Matthew Shipp Trio - Signature
(K7 / ESP Disk) - Released: 1st March 2019

Matthew Shipp (piano); Michael Bisio (bass); Newman Taylor Baker (drums)

Matthew Shippp Trio Signature

 

'Pianist Matthew Shipp reunites with trio mates, bassist Michael Bisio and drummer Newman Taylor Baker, to bring his bewitching signature into a new album, the follow-up to the magnificent Piano Song (Thirsty Ear, 2017). This collection of inventive tunes, precisely called Signature, exhibits the title song as the opening sentence. It's a peaceful exploration of melodic lines crafted with intervallic curiosity in the middle register and liberally anchored by left-hand conductions. Bass and drums sneak in nicely and softly, tinging the scenario with an opalescent luster without ever overriding the pianist’s moves .... Alluding to Chick Corea, “This Matrix” runs over 16 minutes, spinning with rhythmic fulgor and glistening with creative patterns and boppish lines soaked in extravagance and chromaticism. It comes with a bass monologue and turns out charmingly lyrical in its last section. Shipp remains faithful to freer forms of expression and Signature gives you another chance to dive into the magical complexity of his resourceful music' (JazzTrail).

Details : Samples : Full JazzTrail Review : Listen to This Matrix :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Am Three & Me - Mingus' Sounds Of Love
(Leo Records) - Released: 21st January 2019

Maggie Nicols (vocals) ; Silke Eberhard (alto saxophone); Nikolaus Neuser (trumpet); Christian Marien (drums)

I Am Three & Me Mingus Sounds Of Love

 

 

'In the wake of hugely successful CD "I AM THREE," The Music of Charles Mingus, the three Germans invited Maggie Nicols to further explore his music. Mingus, the poet. From loving quotes to ironic breaking, from homage to deconstruction, from historic reminiscence to an expression of the current state. With this recording the collective "I am Three & Me" simultaneously moves closer and away from Mingus, resulting in a present-day reflection. "Music is life, magic, spirit, healing, liberation, communication, an international language beyond words" (Maggie Nicols) (album notes).

Details and Samples : Listen to Various Tracks :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Still Light - Minua
(Traumton Records) - Released: 1st February 2019

Fabian Willmann (bass clarinet); Kristinn Kristinsson (guitar); Luca Aaron (guitar)

Still Light Minua

 

'..... the cryptic album title, Still Light, refers to the little remainder of daylight after sunset and the minimal, calmly and slowly increasing light show that Minua have devised for their concerts.  When Luca Aaron, Kristinn Kristinsson and Fabian Willmann played together for the first time in a rehearsal room of the Academy of Music Basel in 2014, they immediately felt a strong bond. “It was almost like salvation from the daily college-routine, to find people who also wanted to play something different,” Luca Aaron grins. The trio’s creative drive feeds on various influences. Some of them have inspired all members and others are more personal. To name the most important: post-rock, minimalism à la Steve Reich, Nordic melancholy and Scandinavian folk, as well as unusual tonal colors, created by extended playing techniques and well applied electronics. In the poetic pieces on Still Light the aforementioned influences are sometimes subtly, sometimes more distinctly discernable. Listening to “Waterlines” you hear swelling guitar chords, lyrical bass clarinet and a romantic-epic aura reminiscent of Sigur Ròs, without celebrating their monumental emotionalism ......... Luca Aaron and Kristinn Kristinsson now live in Berlin, but Minua’s sound deliberately stands out from the capital’s scene and its often fast, rhythmic, at times harsh sounds. Instead of playing with rapid cuts and staccatos, the band rather relies on textures and long installations. In this way Minua leaves ordinary boundaries of genre behind in favor of a decisively independent, international aesthetic' (album notes).

Details and Samples :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seamus Blake - Guardians Of the Heart Machine
(Whirlwind Recordings) - Released: 15th March 2019

Seamus Blake (saxophones and vocals), Tony Tixier (piano), Florent Nisse (double bass), Gautier Garrigue (drums)

Seamus Blake Guardians Of The Heart Machine

 

'Guardians of the Heart Machine' - the debut Whirlwind release from tenor saxophonist Seamus Blake - symbolizes and protects the importance of creating music with feeling, blending his considerable experience in contemporary jazz with three exciting players originally from the French scene - pianist Tony Tixier, double bassist Florent Nisse and drummer Gautier Garrigue. Available on a high quality, 6 panel digipack with a velvety soft-touch laminate finish and 180 gram, 12" 2x Gatefold LP (4 sides of music - A, B, C, D) - comes with download code containing the digital album in multiple formats. Born in London, raised in Vancouver, and a student of Berklee, Blake has released eight albums as leader and contributed to numerous other recordings. Back in 2002 as winner of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition, he delighted in playing alongside Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter. Heralded as one of the most influential saxophonists of his generation, his extensive career has included collaborations with Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Dave Douglas, Antonio Sanchez, Michael Brecker; and as a member of John Scofield's Quiet Band, the guitarist hailed him as "extraordinary - a total saxophonist." Blake wrote and arranged especially for these artists: "My idea was to bridge what I consider elements of European and American styles, writing music I like to play, but also with a European sensibility, including classical harmony and certain types of groove." That verve is evident in the title track, whose anthemic drive and melodic hooks are informed by Blake's indie-rock interest; and the loping gait of "Vaporbabe" was inspired by the 9/8 hand-drum and clapping rhythms of a street band in Istanbul. Other tracks include the furtive "Sneaky D", which confirms the saxophonist's penchant for strong melody, sparking off his rhythm section's vitality' (album notes).

Details and Samples : Video Introduction : Listen to Vaporbabe :

 

 

 

 

 

Wandering Monster - Wandering Monster
(Ubuntu Music) - Released: 25th January 2019

Ben Powling (tenor saxophone); Aleks Podraza (piano, keyboards); Calvin Travers (guitar); Sam Quintana (double bass); Tom Higham (drums).

Wandering Monster album

 

'Well established on the northern music scene, the band features Sam Quintana on double bass, Ben Powling on tenor saxophone, Calvin Travers on guitar, Tom Higham on drums and Aleks Podraza on piano and keyboards. Wandering Monster received the Jazz North Introduces award for 2016/2017. The band has performed at a number of UK festivals including Manchester Jazz Festival and Liverpool International Jazz Festival. The music juxtaposes the harmonic sophistication and improvisational approach of jazz with the rhythmic complexity of modern rock and metal resulting in a sound that is intense, yet dynamic, sensitive and spontaneous. “My early musical experiences saw me playing bass guitar in rock and metal bands. In my late teens I developed a love for jazz, which intensified when I moved to Leeds and started studying the double bass,” explains Quintana. “The musicians that inspired me to start writing for a group were those who blend the jazz and rock genres, the likes of Dave Holland, Kurt Rosenwinkel and Tigran Hamasyan being at the top of my list of influences.”  Quintana’s compositions reflect the ‘inner monsters’ we can all possess at some point in our lives. “’The Rush Begins’ and ‘Tuco’ let the band show off their raucous side and explore themes of anxiety, anger and frustration, whereas in contrast ‘Sweetheart’, ‘Emöke’ and ‘Happy Place’ are gentler and more reflective, delving into themes of grief, loss and nostalgia,” says Quintana. ‘Samsara’, the opening track, takes us on a journey of re-invention that sees its initial motif reappear under a different guise after a passage of intense collective improvisation'. (album notes).

Details and Samples : Video of Samsara : Video of The Rush Begins : Sam Quintana's Wandering Monster website :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nick Malcolm - Real Isn't Real
(Green Eyes Records) - Released: 11th January 2019

Nick Malcolm (trumpet); Alexander Hawkins (piano); Olie Brice (double bass); Ric Yarborough (drums); Emily Wright, Marie Lister, Josienne Clarke, Lauren Kinsella (vocals).

Nick Malcolm Real Isnt Real

 

 

'Nick Malcolm releases his 3rd album with his 2010 core Quartet of Alexander Hawkins, Olie Brice and Ric Yarborough on 1st February 2019. The result of an extended musical process and journey, Real Isn’t Real materialises from recording studio in 2015, returning to the studio in 2017, and 2018 electronic overlays. Real Isn’t Real reveals, after only a few notes, the identity of each of these distinct players, and their ability to play with time and freedom, structure and improvisation. On ambitious compositional and lyric duty (apart from 'Grass Remembers'; words by W.B. Yeats), Nick has written a song to highlight the particular vocal and musical qualities of each of the featured vocalists, Emily, Marie, Josienne and Lauren – who he has worked closely with over the years in varying contexts, of jazz, soul, folk and improvisation respectively. Five Spiral pieces surround the four songs, deconstructing the musical material of the preceding through improvisation. The album finishes with Spiral V – Dissolve, a choral epilogue that dissolves into an electronic montage. Real Isn’t Real tracks Nick’s musical interests of recent years, and points his way ahead'. (album notes).

Details and Samples : Click here for an audio selection :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Ingham Quartet featuring Mark Crooks - Stan
(Downhome Records) - Released: 10th February 2019

Chris Ingham (piano); Mark Crooks (tenor saxophone); Arnie Somogyi (double bass); George Double (drums).

Chris Ingham Quartet Stan

 

'From the late 1940s to the early 1990s, tenor saxophonist Stan Getz was one of the great, individual instrumental artists in jazz. As jazz itself went through many phases, Getz as a player was remarkably consistent, producing album after album of poetic, swinging music. While his accompaniments were elaborately varied, Getz's playing was always unmistakeable, characterised by his singing, luminescent tone, his unmatched facility for elegance, passion and lyricism and an almost supernatural melodic creativity .... However, for a man who could have toured lucrative Greatest Hits shows for most of his career, his choices both in the material that he tackled and the musicians with whom he associated, show a notably intrepid attitude. Stan thrived on challenge and was dedicated to keeping his music fresh and vital, rarely taking the easy option. The result is a musical legacy among the richest in jazz. On Stan, the Chris Ingham Quartet presents twelve pieces associated with Stan Getz as a companion to their live presentation Getz: A Musical Portrait' (album notes).

Details : Video Introduction : Tour Dates :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patchwork Jazz Orchestra - The Adventures Of Mr Pottercakes
(Spark! label) - Released: 1st March 2019

James Davison, Adam Chatterton (trumpet, flugelhorn, piccolo trumpet); James Copus, Tom Dennis (trumpet, flugelhorn); Kieren McLeod, Tom Green, Jamie Pimenta (trombone); Yusuf Narçin (bass trombone); Matthew Herd (soprano saxophone, alto saxophone); Sam Glaser (alto saxophone); Alex Hitchcock, Sam Miles (tenor saxophone); Tom Smith (baritone saxophone, flute, clarinet, bass clarinet); Liam Dunachie (piano, Hammon Organ); Rob Luft (electric guitar); Misha Mullov-Abbado (double bass, electric bass); Scott Chapman (drums).

Patchwork Jazz Orchestra The Adventure of Mr Pottercakes

 

'The Adventures of Mr Pottercakes is the debut album by Patchwork Jazz Orchestra, a London-based millenial big band that has no leader but various composers; it includes influential young musicians on the UK jazz scene such as James Copus, Tom Green, Alex Hitchcock, Rob Luft and Misha Mullov-Abbado. Ideas for the group began forming in early 2014 and in November that year the 17 piece band made its debut to a sell out audience at the EFG London Jazz Festival. After winning the Peter Whittingham Award in 2015, the band has hosted their own 'Patchwork' nights, engaging new audiences at unusual spaces across London such as The Others in Stoke Newington. "Many of us grew up listening to and playing big band music, but opportunities to perform new material are few and far between," explains Spark! label boss and trombonist Tom Green. "Patchwork Jazz Orchestra was born from a desire of a number of us to write and play new music in a regular group, and the band has since evolved an identity of its own, both collaborative and completely diverse in musical styles." The music ranges from luscious and sweet melodies to broad walls of sound, from drum and bass to funeral marches, from fairytale ballads to calypso. "All eight tracks on the album have different stories and influencies behind them and are the musical visions of seven composers, but all share the same excitement and joy we get out of communal music making," says Green. Drawing on the wealth of history of the big band format, Patchwork Jazz Orchestra has revamped it into a well-oiled machine that embraces a modern day philosophy of music making'. (album notes).

Details : Video of Badger Cam played live : Video of The Boy Roy played live : Patchwork Jazz Orchestra Website : Upcoming Live Gigs :

 

 

 

 

 

Duncan Eagles - Citizen
(Ropeadope) - Released: 15th February 2019

Duncan Eagles (tenor and soprano saxophones), David Preston (guitar); Matt Robinson (piano); Max Luthert (bass); Dave Hamblett (drums).

Duncan Eagles Citizen

 

'Last year’s release from Ollie Howell was sublime and powerful, so it was a no brainer when band member and saxophonist Duncan Eagles hit us up about his solo project. Classically trained on piano, Duncan picked up the sax at 16 and has only looked forward. His new studio album is titled Citizen, a reference to his feeling of inclusion in a global society. The vibe is relaxed as the album opens, and soon builds in complexity as Duncan tells his story on the sax with clarity and feeling. The band brings seemingly effortless communication as the compositions flow like water across the countryside.' (Ropeadope records). '.... Eagles first came to prominence with his trio Partikel. Four albums and extensive worldwide touring provided a platform for Eagles to find and develop his musical voice ..... Riad was written after a week in Marrakesh. "One of the most striking things about that place is the peace of the riads (town houses built around a courtyard or garden) in the middle of the carnage of the souks. I used this as the basis for the tune. An intense melody builds and builds to a sudden drop of calm that comes from nowhere and then before you realise you are back into the carnage again." ....In the title track Eagles endeavours to capture the feeling of what it means to be someone living on this planet and the responsibilities that come with that. ".......When performing and improvising on this song, and throughout the album, I'm looking to create something that is hopeful and optimistic within a challenging and dense framework." (album notes). Duncan Eagles is on tour through February and March performing music from the album with David Preston (guitar), Matt Robinson (piano), Max Luthert (bass) and Dave Hamblett (drums).

Pre-order details and sample : Details on Amazon when available : Listen to the title track Citizen : Video of Folk Song with the quartet : February and March Tour Dates :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greg Ward presents Rogue Parade - Stomping Off From Greenwood
(Greenleaf Music) - Released: 11th January 2019

Greg Ward (alto saxophone); Matt Gold (guitar); Dave Miller (guitar); Matt Ulery (bass); Quin Kirchner (drums).

Rogue Parade Stomping Off From Greenwood

 

'Saxophonist Greg Ward has been a ubiquitous presence in the Chicago jazz scene for some years now. He is a terrific bandleader, composer, and arranger and his sophomore Greenleaf album, Stomping Off From Greenwood, features a new quintet with guitarists Matt Gold and Dave Miller, bassist Matt Ulery, and drummer Quin Kirchner. Together, they are Rogue Parade. The record opens with “Metropolis”, an exciting ode to New York and Chicago, cities that are in the heart of the bandleader. Things are kept intensely contemporary throughout the route, and from its epicenter, located midway between a busy free-funk and floor-filling electronica, branches out guileless breakbeats, rolling guitar ostinatos, and expressive melody. The quieter passages resemble a melodic symphonic rock, oozing into atmospheric moments where the guitarists entwine textural work ..... The band transforms “Stardust”, a jazz standard, into a feel-good pop/rock experience with waltzing cadences. Its energy is extended to “Sundown”, whose initial languid tone is reinforced by a detached backbeat and guitar fingerpicking. The song rises amiably, setting a determined yet relaxed mood with circular harmonic movements and plenty of melodies ..... In this recording, Ward’s appealing jazz-centered music takes several directions, achieving cohesiveness as a whole. Regardless of the ambience, his improvisations stand out, eventually ramping up to elevated levels of adventure while seeking new outfits to dress the jazz according to our days' (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review : Introductory Video : Listen To The Contender :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joe Lovano - Trio Tapestry
(ECM) - Released: 25th January 2019

Joe Lovano (tenor saxophone); Marilyn Crispell (piano); Carmen Castaldi (drums).

Joe Lovano Trio Tapestry

 

'The great saxophonist Joe Lovano has appeared on a number of ECM recordings over the last four decades, including much-loved albums with Paul Motian, Steve Kuhn and John Abercrombie. Trio Tapestry is his first as a leader for the label. It introduces a wonderful new group and music of flowing lyricism, delicate texture, and inspired interplay. Lovano and pianist Marilyn Crispell are in accord at an advanced level inside its structures. “Marilyn has such a beautiful sound and touch and vocabulary,” Joe enthuses. Drummer Carmen Castaldi, a Lovano associate of long-standing, also responds to the trio environment with sensitivity, subtly embellishing and detailing the pieces. Lovano: “We play together like an orchestra, creating an amazing tapestry. I brought in the material, but there’s an equal weight of contribution, creating music within the music, and harmonizing it in a really special way.” Trio Tapestry, released on CD and on 180g vinyl with a free download code, was recorded at New York’s Sear Sound studio in March 2018, and produced by Manfred Eicher'. (album notes). 'Grammy-award winning composer/saxophonist Joe Lovano makes his debut on the ECM Records with Trio Tapestry, a new project that integrates the highly expressive pianism of Marilyn Crispell and the inspiring drumming of Carmen Castaldi. Adopting a democratic posture, the group has the pianist and the drummer contributing in an intense way to shape Lovano’s compositions into something uniquely intimate and beautiful. The opener, “One Time In”, a one-on-one conversation between saxophone and percussion, bristles with deliberately prayerful melodies, unpredictable percussive trajectories, and bright gongs ......... The creativity and adaptability of Lovano and his peers stimulate Trio Tapestry to endlessly pique our interest with a lucent musicality from which we don’t want to be apart'. (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review : Introductory Video : Listen to Samples from the Album :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jamie Saft, Steve Swallow, Bobby Previte - You Don't Know The Life
(Rare Noise) - Released: 25th January 2019

Jamie Saft (keyboards); Steve Swallow (electric bass); Bobby Previte (drums).

Saft Swallow Previte You Dont Know The Life album

 

'Over the last three decades, visionary keyboardist, producer and composer Jamie Saft has made a career out of reinvention. His genre-obliterating range is evidenced by the stunningly diverse innovators with whom he's collaborated a list that includes John Zorn, Beastie Boys, Bad Brains, John Adams, Iggy Pop, Donovan, and The B-52s. Now, on his third RareNoise outing with avant-jazz greats Steve Swallow and Bobby Previte, Saft shifts his iconoclastic focus to the organ trio tradition. You Don't Know The Life finds the trio engaging in uniquely electrified explorations of original compositions, free improvisations, and generation-spanning standards. (album notes). 'What an amazing sound Jamie Saft exudes from the Baldwin electric harpsichord on “Re: Person I Knew”. Rocking and grooving like if Sun Ra had joined forces with Deep Purple, this fresh take on the Bill Evans’ tune welcomes you to You Don’t Know Life, the third effort of the keyboardist with bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Bobby Previte. The organ-centered album is a tempting combination of improvisations, standards, and Saft originals. The three free improvisations almost don’t feel like such, considering that they naturally preserve backbone stability and follow a specific direction ........ This disc is a solid, accessible offering. It doesn't particularly feel like a shift in mindset, but rather a fun sculptural exploration of the organ trio format' (JazzTrail).

Details and Samples : Full JazzTrail Review : Listen to Ode To A Green Frisbee :

 

 

 

 

 

Jasper Blom Quartet - Polyphony
(Whirlwind Recordings) - Released: 25th January 2019

Disc 1: Jasper Blom (tenor saxophone); Bert Joris (trumpet); Jesse van Ruller (guitar); Frans van der Hoeven (double bass); Martijn Vink (drums)
Disc 2: Jasper Blom (tenor saxophone); Nils Wogram (trombone); Jesse van Ruller (guitar); Frans van der Hoeven (double bass); Martijn Vink (drums)

Jasper Blom Quartet Polyphony

 

'A lustrous double album showcasing just why Jasper Blom is one of the Netherlands’ most prominent, forward-thinking saxophonist-composers in contemporary jazz, Polyphony documents two sold-out live concerts from his quartet at Amsterdam’s BIMHUIS in collaboration with two special solo artists – trumpeter Bert Joris and trombonist Nils Wogram. Blom has been performing in different line-ups for over twenty years with guitarist Jesse van Ruller, bassist Frans van der Hoeven and drummer Martijn Vink; and as this band since 2006, they have released four studio albums. But Jasper Blom isn’t a musician for standing still: “A few years ago, I began experimenting with the idea of guest soloists, inviting US saxophonist Dick Oatts and the late Italian trumpeter Marco Tamburini. That started me thinking about the project in a more structural way.” His creativity is centered around a fascination with mediaeval polyphony. “It’s an intuitive process”, he reveals, “often starting with a fragment of, say, a 500-year-old manuscript, maybe only a couple of bars; and then I mold it, adding or removing elements.” The first set features the quartet’s longtime friend Bert Joris; and Nils Wogram, in the second set, has been on Blom’s radar for years as a particularly original player, composer and improviser: “I’m a fan, and his freer approach is a good match for my music.” The saxophonist revels in that extra voice to write for, more polyphonically, while maintaining improvisational space. “Most of my experimentation begins from the question, ‘What if…?’, with the band reinterpreting my ideas – an exciting way of getting beyond the realm of what I first imagined.” And that phrenology model on the album cover? Owned by a neuroscientist friend and displaying terms such as ‘ideality’, ‘contructiveness’ and ‘self criticism’, it’s seen by Blom as a metaphor or ‘road map’ for what musicians can encounter. ...................... “I now think about my band as a flexible unit, either as a quartet or moving in all kinds of directions”, says Jasper Blom, “so it feels natural to have a fifth person there, and to work with a variety of timbres. It’s great to have the opportunity to take the listener into these different worlds in Polyphony.” (album notes).

Details and Samples : Introduction : Listen to Decidophobia : Listen to Running Gag :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paolo Fresu, Richard Galliano, Jan Lundgren - Mare Nostrum III
(ACT) - Released: 25th January 2019

Paolo Fresu (trumpet, flugelhorn); Richard Galliano (accordion, bandoneon, accordina); Jan Lundgren (piano)

Fresu Galliano Lundgren Mare Nostrum III

 

 

'Twelve years ago, Sardinian trumpeter Paolo Fresu, French accordionist Richard Galliano and Swedish pianist Jan Lundgren, all from the upper echelons of European jazz, formed their trio. Each has his roots in the musical tradition of his home country, and each has used it to develop his own musical language. Mare Nostrum III completes a trilogy of albums. Right from the beginning of their decade-long collaboration, the group has had the idea of recording an album in each of their home countries. They made the first in Italy in 2007, and it took these busy musicians until 2016 to go to France and to record the second. Their third destination was Sweden, and the Nilento Studio in Gothenburg. "Once again," says Rene Hess, the Swiss producer of the album, "it was a pure pleasure to see the sheer ease with which Paolo, Richard and Jan can create such great music." With "Mare Nostrum III", Paolo Fresu, Richard Galliano and Jan Lundgren have once again created a wonderful ballad album. Through their music they rise way above that old discussion about whatever "jazz" might be nowadays. What they have achieved instead is to bring the sound of Europe to life' (album notes).

Details : Video Introduction :

 

 

 

 

 

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