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How did he remember them all, packed into his memory with all that music? Happy Birthday John! The phrase 'prince of the guitar' may have plagued his early career but John Williams surely deserves to be dubbed 'king' of his instrument as he celebrates his 80th. John's childhood as an only child growing up in Melbourne was stimulating to say the least. His first guitar teacher was his father, London-born Len Williams, a distinguished jazz and classical guitarist who was an evangelist for his instrument.
He eventually founded the London Spanish Guitar Centre in One of his students Sadie Bishop, who went on to start the guitar department in Canberra, recalled that Len was "the pioneer of the instrument in Melbourne - there was no [classical] guitar scene to speak of before Len arrived. Len became popular in dancehalls and clubs around Melbourne and held the guitar chair of the ABC Dance Band, broadcasting regularly, though the job wasn't particularly lucrative. When John was 4, his father gave him his first guitar.
It's hard to believe now, but guitars were hard to come by in those days. Len found a small Martin in the end, building up the neck with a plastic wood filler, so it became more like a classical than a steel stringed instrument. Len's teaching style was founded on the technique of Segovia. His idols were Segovia and Django Reinhardt, and their music was part of the soundtrack to John's early family life in Melbourne.
They also shared fairly radical left-wing views and actively supported causes like foreign aid for China and workers' rights. One of their frequent haunts was Melbourne's Speakers Corner. John gained his own strong sense of social engagement from his parents. John was taught by his father into his early teens and despite Segovia often being dubbed his most important teacher and his father's uncompromising and strict approach, his gratitude to his father has always been unstinting.
He was a great teacher. He wanted me to make that beautiful Segovian sound and spent a lot of time on hand position and being relaxed. He also wanted no unnecessary hand movement. He taught about control of tone colour and that technique is not about speed, but is for control of dynamics.
That is where I learned music, not from Segovia. My father was very strict with me, perhaps too strict, but I am really happy with the results. Len must surely have been happy too. Sadie Bishop once said, "For three weeks I was a better guitar player than John Williams, but then I was 32 and he was nine. In , in part because Len had personal ambitions beyond Melbourne and also because they wanted to give John the best opportunities, the family moved to London, sailing on the RMS Orontes of the Orient Line.
Len had even taken an additional job as a hippo-keeper at Melbourne Zoo to fund the move! In London, Len established the Spanish Guitar Centre, a successful school that also presented concerts and master classes by Segovia and others, which gradually helped build London into a centre of the guitar world. Then in the Piccadilly Hotel, year-old John played for Segovia who immediately recognized a rare talent. Between and John worked with the Spanish master both in London where he also pursued more general musical studies at the Royal College of Music and every summer, at the Academia Musicale Chigiana Institute, in Siena, Italy, where his classmates included Zubin Mehta and Daniel Barenboim.
There was opera, orchestral music, chamber music; and when you're young and impressionable, and you have a lot of friends who play other instruments, you become influenced in different ways. When John made his professional debut at Wigmore Hall in , the concert program included Segovia's now famous quote: "A prince of the guitar has arrived in the musical world. God has laid a finger on his brow, and it will not be long before his name becomes a byword in England and abroad, thus contributing to the spiritual domain of his race.
Those oft-quoted words haunted Williams during the early years of his career. His father's response gives us an idea of John's very grounded childhood. After the concert he said to friends in the local pub: "Touch his brow? During this period John began touring widely whilst still studying at the Royal College but in the s he pulled back, limiting himself to three weeks travel a year, much to his agent's chagrin.
I don't even tour in England. For years, many of his fans believed his few lessons with Segovia were pivotal to the success of his career. John famously denied this, announcing "I am critical of the legacy of Segovia's teaching. He was fantastic to me and a great inspiration to a whole generation but he was also a very difficult human being and he behaved in personal terms abominably toward me and my father.
In his biography Strings Attached , published in , he called Segovia "'a musical snob' who wanted everyone to play the way he played. But as time passed, I found my interpretive approach becoming more direct, more linear, whereas Segovia's was often shaped by the beautiful resonant qualities of his Hauser, which didn't suit either my personality or musical inclinations in either solo or chamber music. John Williams made his first classical recording in This is a very-well judged collection and one to which I keep returning.
Here, with long-time band mates Roger Arntzen on bass and Pal Hausken on drums, he explores a thoughtful free-flowing music that ranges where it will, taking in some funky bass figures that seem to loop ever lower while never quite getting there like Escher staircases , unhurried countryish piano improvisations that sometimes have a very subtle electronic edge to them, and drum sounds that range from brushed beats to distant clanging chimes.
Overall the band sounds as strong as ever and this is a prime example of their art. The third album from this Finnish band comprises music originally written for four independent films. Everything We Hold is filled with these solid melodies and compelling hooks, and the playing, as well as the singing, is exemplary. And that is just as it should be because this is how the music is intended.
Maalouf plays a quarter-tone trumpet, so it only takes a few quarter-tone notes to move from West to Middle East. The Sirens is a triumph from a playing point of view, but it shows how strong Potter the composer has become down the years.
This is possibly his finest achievement yet. The latest is Julian Lage, whose remarkable style combines an old-school, sometimes gipsyish feel with very modern harmony. Drummer Antonio Sanchez brings a Latin tinge and the firm centre of the band is bassist Scott Colley.
Composer Eleni Karaindrou has devoted herself to writing predominantly for films and theatre, but if the music has usually been heard along with moving pictures, it still stands perfectly well on its own. For this concert Karaindrou plays piano and shares her stage with the Camerata Orchestra and three special friends: Kim Kashkashian on viola, Jan Garbarek on tenor saxophone and Vangelis Christopoulos on oboe.
Robson adds the maturity and lovely comping, but Cohen shines brightest with seemingly effortlessly melodic and naturally flowing improvisations. All are good friends and this comes through in the music which really is the product of a shared jazz philosophy and shared experiences. And the mood is distinctly North African, the attitude punky. Richly varied album and passionate all the way. Trumpeter and leader Ralph Alessi has a tone and concision of expression that is just sublime.
There is emotion in his playing but it is never trite; there is intelligence in it that is never over-intellectual. His compositions are strong, too. Sometimes he repeats the same verse but it sounds more like a mantra than lazy.
The title track is built on what sounds like an introductory riff to Poinciana , but then goes in a different direction. Ten minutes of sheer, light-stepping bliss. The mood is remarkably sustained over nearly two hours. This album, recorded in July , features a whole bunch of other graduates, with trumpeter Percy Pursglove as featured soloist. The tunes are nearly all by Silk and they are rich with material both for written charts and for improvising. Silk underpins it all with great flair and lithe fluency.
And if you want to hear music that challenges the way modern life wishes to commodify art, then you have come to the right place. It flows through with an optimism — a joy in creating — that lifts the spirits. It focuses on writing for these particular players and giving them lots of room to solo.
The young Cape Town-based pianist is a great respecter of the tradition and his broad two-handed approach on Fanfare recalls McCoy Tyner and another Tyner disciple, the late, lamented Bheki Mseleku. There is an expansiveness and an earthiness in the sound of the band that sets it apart from the jazz is that is currently being made by musicians of the same age in this country — it evokes open skies and wide horizons in the relaxation of the beat, the shimmering of the chords and the burnished tone of the brass.
Lovely recording, too. This album also has a DVD of some of the tracks and reveals the musicians at the top of their game — taking risks, flying free and soaring. Banjo just the arty side of pastiche, a particularly fruity trombone melody interrupted by punky thrash, a sudden left-hand turn into Spike Jones bump-joint cabaret before segueing neatly into a pull-up-a-sand dune, desert soprano saxophone solo, in turn giving way to an hysterically funny rising riff which just goes on and on like one of those awkward sequences in Family Guy.
Then, he called in a few old mates to bring to further life what he had written. That this one is a band name is recognition that this is, crucially, a four-angled affair, despite the fact that one of those angles is occupied by one of the contenders for greatest living jazz musician. This is a band with history as well as pedigree. Pianist Danilo Perez, double bassist John Patitucci and drummer Brian Blade have been with the saxophonist, who turned 80 in August, since and have toured extensively.
And there are still 10 tracks to go. Neset reminds us of the saxophone acrobatics he can perform on a tune called Boxing and there is a distinctly pugilistic and competitive feel to its urgent mood. The young Norwegian has the Anglo-Scandinavian Phronesis as his core band with more help from vibes player Jim Hart and his sister Ingrid This is exuberant, celebratory music. It makes an old man dance around the house in ecstatic joy.
This is the kind of thing the Norwegian seems to be able to manage on the trumpet. If you missed what must surely have been a contender for gig of the year at Birmingham Town Hall in November, then this is the next best thing. The most magical ancient cathedral ruins in sound. Finn Peters is on alto, Liam Noble is on piano, and the rest of the album is just as good.
I recommend it heartily to absolutely everyone, irrespective of how conservative or radical your jazz taste might be. It is invigorating, inspiring, deeply joyful, life-affirming — it does mean all those things it does have all those swings. A triumph! The instrumentation and some of the influences may be the same, but whereas Trio VD put the accent on the scary, Roller Trio mix some lyricism in with their highly competent, rock-inclined technical playing.
And it seems to work a treat. Perhaps less tightly focussed than Trio VD, but more inclusive. Mercury Prize short-listers. More here. But this is not a jazz quartet with strings — it feels more like an integrated octet, with the rhythm team often laying back in favour of the strings. The Scottish influences in all this music are subtle, but they are there in the skirl of some of the melodies and the decoration both players add to the their lines.
The title is a nod to the fact the pair came together to play some of the music from the Stan Getz with strings album, Focus. Guests include Ruth Goller on bass and Alex Bonney on trumpet. And the prize for most original use of a Hammond organ goes, once again, to Kit Downes. The playing is straight-ahead in the best sense — it eschews the fancy and the gimmicky for a marvellously direct and personal interpretation of the classic jazz piano style. The opening tune reminds me strongly of one Julian Arguelles might write — it has a lovely, long, loping melody which has a certain undefinable English lyricism to it — and his saxophone sound is in the Arguelles tradition, too.
The rest of the band is, of course, the Kit Downes Trio, so Crowley has a fully integrated, three-thinking-as-one band already formed to make the most of his compositions. Having a real tenor romantic on the scene is cause for loud hurrahs. That this is the debut of a year-old currently studying at Trinity College in London is extraordinary.
There is an added confidence and and exuberance that leaps from the speakers with this one that suggests here is a musician who really has found his voice. The rhythms tend to be jumpy and urgent but Neame has always had the ability to lay a more serene mood on top of the fidgets.
Oh, and one of the guitarists is Kurt Rosenwinkel. One of those charming albums that arrives unexpected on my desk from time to time, and ends up getting played an awful lot more than some of the big-name releases. Music for the New Frontier, indeed. Surman still keeps the digital accompaniments pretty simple and very much in the style we have grown accustomed to in his previous solo discs. Over them he plays soprano, tenor and baritone saxophones, alto bass and contrabass clarinets and harmonica.
A beautiful and heartfelt album. At the beginning the album alternates the string quartet playing heart-achingly on Before and the jazz quartet building intensely on Polaroid , before things settle down and the two foursomes blend for the absorbing and reflective two-part Henryk. The opener, Rarebit , is from the scarier end of their repertoire, mixing rock power with jazz complexity. Though, of course, it sounds nothing like a conventional organ trio. Flying the flag for Paul Desmond and similar slow movers, the Dutch Yuri Honing sets out his stall from the opening title tune which opens at a plod and sticks there — no, actually plod is not correct — rather the kind of stately processional pace held by men in tights and bejewelled shoes while holding the symbols of state aloft.
Playing so slowly leaves you nowhere to hide. The phrasing must be meticulous, the tuning perfect and the tone just right. And Honing has all of those. What is most striking is how Cottrell has stayed true to both 20th-Century big band principles and 21st-century Indie attitudes without compromising either.
In jazz Herbie Mann changed all that, especially with his Memphis Underground album which placed the instrument in a rock context. Gareth Lockrane achieves a similar thing by using his various flutes at the heart of a band full of muscle and edge. The arrangements are modern and not restricted to the heads, working the tasty timbral blend of flute, saxophone and guitar in throughout.
These are players who entertain and educate simultaneously. He might feel a long way from home but he has a bunch of Icelandic musicians to play with and they, and the location, have clearly inspired him. The accent is on melodies. Sometimes the most rewarding musical experiences come not from the tried and trusted names whose complete back catalogues you own, but from a bunch of musicians you have never heard before.
And, gosh, how much do I like the sound of tenor player Oskar Gudjonsson? There is a lovely relaxed feel to the album, despite the complexity of some of the material. There is, as Burton has indicated, the feeling of a film or play developing here, with different characters and moods emerging in the course of the suite. The instrumentation and the playing styles of all four guarantee lots of lovely space, and their ability to build intensity without ever shouting or getting rowdy makes for an absolutely compelling listen.
So, In Libertango , we get puffing flutes against Fender Rhodes with minimalist horn patterns; in the ten-minute long mix of Chiequilin de Bachin and Balada Para Un Loco we get tenor saxophone against a precise bass guitar pulseat the start and some well-orchestrated chaos near the end. Just simply brilliant. In fact this is a hallmark of the CD as a whole — the energy levels of a Janisch band are always that little bit higher, the players pushed to play intensely.
This album is the glorious result. Nikki is a strong composer herself, but chooses just three of her own tunes here, preferring to interpret music by Kenny Wheeler, Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck, Ralph Towner and Julian Arguelles, as well as linking two jazz standards.
It all sounds like a warm state of grace — translated from studio to your speakers. With Larry Grenadier on double bass, the band is in the studio again for this set of original Mehldau songs. You might find yourself singing along with a lot of this album. And there is a reason for that. Mehldau explains that he wrote the music very much as tunes that could be sung. What, no bassist? The joys lie not primarily in jazz solos — nice though they are — but in the combinations of timbres over catchy grooves, and the drummer seems to have a bottomless pit of both timbral and rhythmic ideas, as well as a knack for a sweet tune.
This is a duo affair with year-old Tel Aviv pianist Nitai Hershkovits. The pair might not have been playing together that long but they already show an extraordinary unity of spirit and a common vision. With their Lighthouse trio, they bounce ideas off each other with the kind of delight that Messi, Ronaldo and Xavi might show if they could just get together for a quiet kick-about. Both Garland and Simcock provide the tunes, and the scope is wide, from funkified groovers to something approaching chamber jazz.
There are musicians who can play the most complicated stuff, and there are musicians who make their instruments sound just gorgeous. And then there are those who do both those things and also make perfect sense out of it all. There are three such musicians here. He co-produced her Concert In The Garden and Sky Blue albums, and is her music copyist as well as being a composer and arranger himself.
He was granted full access to the Gil Evans archive and as a result he has produced a terrific album of hitherto lost works — either compositions or arrangements — by Evans, and has a top-notch band to play them. As you would expect, it includes some familiar names from the Schneider Orchestra, including saxophonist Donny McCaslin and pianist Frank Kimbrough. There are also players like vibraphonist Joe Locke along for the ride. Ballamy has always been a favourite of mine, right from Loose Tubes days, but it is Stronen who strikes me as the epitome of the 21st century jazz musician.
He is just so talented. A beautiful and richly rounded album, and a masterclass in how to incorporate all the technology into the most organic sounding music, as well as a stunning example of how modern musicians can create in the moment in the most original ways.
Just look at the soloists: they include electric hurdy gurdy, theremin, electric zither, live electronic processing and African e-bow. They make a fabulous sound, full of rock-influenced spacey grooves and with strong African overtones. The tunes have the accessible melodies implied by the album title — these are indeed urban folksongs, as eclectic as our urban areas in the 21st century, and just as full of excitement.
And you do get your fair share of blasting brass, too. He is also a classic songwriter in the sense that the melodies and harmonic progressions of his compositions follow all the right rules that Arlen, Gershwin, that other Porter, and Berlin developed. And yet, his songs also sound modern and fresh, not like some pastiche of the American Song Book. Turner is often in particularly rhapsodic mood on tenor. Iverson does a pretty amazing solo intro to his own Ohnedareth , seeming to have his hands moving independently of each other, not only in rhythm but in harmonic material too.
Ben Street is a beautifully nuanced bassist. Hart is just a master, having some of the quiet musicality of Paul Motian but with his very personal tonal palette and rhythmic feel. A very rich album, full of absorbing musical musings that give more insight on each listen. He begins with a whisper in your ear and a lush bed of strings behind the acoustic guitar for Humanos — this is smooth Cantuaria.
But with track two, Moca Fela , we get the subtly off-the-wall Cantuaria, too. Apparently he records in his own studio and works slowly building things — hence the subtle detail. But he must also be a ruthless editor, because there is nothing extraneous here. There are great riches here and many of them are to be found in contradictions: how can a man who uses such highly processed means of music making — his guitar on the opening track sounds more like a synth and his vocals are often electronically manipulated and overlaid — make it all sound so organic?
And how, working as he is here with that epitome of modern American music Robert Glasper, can his music turn out sounding even more strongly African in its character and ethos? Sounds, styles and rhythms come from Spain, from Portugal, from Brazil and Venezuela, but the overall mood and sound of the band is like nothing since the last Oriole album.
A lot of the magic comes from the gorgeous mix of timbre and texture of cello and tenor saxophone playing closely together, sometimes in harmony, sometimes in counter melodies, and sometimes in unison. Jarle Vespestad is on drums, Mats Eilertsen on double bass and Tore Brunborg on tenor saxophone, and it is a gorgeous sound they make, the interaction organic, the balancing of the notes and the spaces in between still kept crucially airy, the drive so quietly insistent.
Like the first one, Dancing On Frith Street , it is a rich recording full of great tunes and great playing, with the kind of energy that in person could feel almost physical. The richness of the influences that feed through the band include the Brazilian big band experimentalism of Hermeto Pascoal as well as African, Latin and Jamaican tinges. But this is also supremely British music, evoking tea dance orchestras, the English classical heritage and the folk music of these isles as well.
As the improvisation develops there are powerful, fisted runs up the keys and down, and the groove deepens further before easing off into lyrical playing, soon interrupted by yet more urgent block chord work. Jamal is 82 and this is a monument to the life-giving properties of jazz and the longevity of wit, risk-taking and sheer exhilarating experimentation from one the truly hippest men in the music.
But I think monumental is an accurate description of Ten Freedom Summers, a kind of personal history in music of the civil rights movement in America. There is nearly four and a half hours of music on the four CDs, ranging from the heart-achingly gentle to the incandescently enraged, from the formally composed and notated to the wildly free, from plangent string writing to some really heavily-grooved stuff. At its centre, of course, is the distinctive clear, almost vibrato-less trumpet sound of Wadada Leo Smith.
The material is a rich mix of jazz tunes, great American songbook standards and original Hersch compositions. And these latter pieces are exceptionally strong. The pianist does all his usual mix of revoiced harmonies, deconstruction and reconstruction of melody, slowing and speeding of tempi, worrying the theme this way and that, treating it as chewing gum with an extraordinary elastic mix of off-the-wall brilliance and jaw-dropping bravura technique.
This was just this amazing pair of musicians doing what comes naturally — combining awesome technique with great rhythmic complexity and doing it with great dollops of sheer musical exuberance. Pianist Ivo Neame can match the edgy hyperactivity when he wants to, but mostly he acts as the creator of a kind of arching stretch of relative calm to both contrast with and bring more long-term form to the intense busyness swirling and churning beneath. All are called Modul something, of course, and all have that heightened intensity that the musicians bring to a live performance.
Her singing style seems ideally suited to poetry where every word counts — she articulates wonderfully, there is no mumbling or slurring, and yet makes it all sound so natural and almost conversational. And the tonal richness in her voice means she can convey all manner of emotion, both subtle and powerful, without using any of the cliches or tricks of conventional jazz singing.
Great band, too, including Phil Robson on guitar. The accent is on the drums of Jamire Williams with the pushing guitar of Matthew Stevens also playing a major role. But the trumpeter leads from the front, playing with extraordinary power and intensity. He includes a track of knowing rebuttal of some of his commentators called Who They Wish I Was , in which he plays muted trumpet in the Miles manner; who he really is is abundantly clear on the rest of the tracks which show a bright, clean tone, some very high playing and a passion which is far from cool or introverted.
One can almost glimpse the silhouettes of the great musicians stretching back in time, back and back down the centuries. For not only does this music have a wonderful, dusty, ancient quality to it, while also being thoroughly modern and forward-pushing, but this particular recording celebrates an ancient goddess. The layering of drums and bass, then oud and buzuq, then saxophone and trumpet is just breathtaking in its richness.
But instead of singing Gershwin, Cole Porter et al, he has picked his set list from the mountain of great sheet music that emerged if not from the Brill Building itself. Elling starts fairly low-key and then, using the gentlest reworking of the tune and his full arsenal of varied tone, timbre, timing, phrasing, vibrato, melisma, emotional nuance and vocal range, he develops the song into what feels like a whole short story of complex longing and heartbreak. He mixes up styles and textures, including jazz, funk, Afro-beat, gospel, hip-hop, classical and pop.
League also chooses to record live with a small audience — a pleasing hybrid of studio sound quality and concert vibe. Many are hymn tunes, and they have prompted Douglas to add a singer to his band. The results — quiet, thoughtful, gently crafted, played with deep but held-in feeling — are sublime. They have been a couple for a long time now, and the near-telepathic interchange of the bass and piano throughout this album, their rising and falling as one to heighten the tension of a phrase and then to release it, is a joy to hear.
Just try the opening title piece for a taste. On some of the tracks Joe Lovano adds his similarly inimitable voice. The compositions, all by Johnson, Elias or the two together, are songlike, lyrical and have a country serenity to them. The music is a kind of all-round complex emotional sound picture of a close and romantic relationship. There is a timeless quality about the compositions which I rather like.
Mainly Baptiste plays tenor with a smooth, dry tone suited to his quietly intense improvisations. They are full of melodic and rhythmic freshness, and the band, especially Andrew McCormack, provides strong support. For more go here. She has a great sound, perfect timing and the ability to add just the right nuances and decoration without ever getting frilly or self-indulgent.
She is obviously a firm believer that the song is the thing and a singer does her job well if she draws attention to that rather than to herself. Gone are the banks of keys, gone is the huge drum kit — here we have Chick Corea at the grand piano, Stanley Clarke at the double bass and Lenny White behind a small jazz drum kit. Disc two is rehearsal sessions with guests. They tunes we are used to hearing sung, and there is a happy logic to this, because if any guitarist can almost vocalise his instrument it is Scofield.
Goldings is an especial credit to the whole for his ability on both keyboard instruments. The most crucial participant here is Calvert, who provides some deeply dubby bass lines but also envelops the whole thing in a large and dark, echoey soundscape. While that album risked falling into that debut album showcase syndrome, this time around Lage eschews the celebrity guests to thoroughly explore the talents of his own touring band.
He also brings his wide range of influences — jazz, Americana, bluegrass — into a much more cohesive whole. And his music now really does sound thoroughly personal and original, with an appeal that should extend beyond the jazz field. Here he works with Romanian acoustic guitarist Zsolt Bende and Irish bodhran player Cormac Byrne, and the results are truly lovely, taking inspiration from the music and landscape of Scotland, Ireland, Romania and elsewhere.
Imagine the views from all the country cottages of your dreams, translated into music. With the exception of the standard Stranger In Paradise , all the tunes are Blake originals, and the mood, down in that terrific little Greenwich basement with Louis Armstrong looking on imperiously from behind the bandstand, is luxuriously relaxed.
It has that slight rough-round-the-edges feel of a genuine Village night and musicians at ease, just having a ball. The next best thing to being there. The interlinking of all four instruments is fascinating, and even when one of them is soloing, one never feels they are stepping out from the quartet, merely leading the mood for a while.
On the nearby island of Corsica an all-male group called A Filetta has been developing an ancient vocal music with both respect for the tradition and a new vitality. Add the bandoneon of Daniele de Bonaventura and the result is a strikingly original disc. A song cycle that intersperses the sometimes strident, sometimes lush vocal septet with rich and gracious trumpet.
And better, therefore. He has a rich, modern guitar sound which can be clean and singing, and often has a tinge of Scofield distortion to add burnish to the gleam. This would be a fine album without Blake, But, as usual, the Anglo-Canadian tenor man does add the cherries. Together they record a debut album, and Wynton Marsalis writes the sleeve notes.
Except that this has actually happened. They really are living the dream. Because while some of the new pretenders can sing OK, none of them can back it up with such sophisticated instrumental prowess. The band includes legendary Brazilian guitarist Oscar Castro-Neves. Flautist Gareth Lockrane does some tasty stuff and the backline of Michael Janisch on bass and Cuban drummer Ernesto Simpson keeps things cooking.
His compositions are strong with not necessarily just one good tune apiece. While Smith will never really escape the electric Miles soundalike tag, he does it so well, and brings that atmosphere so expertly into the 21st century, we end up not really caring too much about the similarities. This double disc includes dedications to Don Cherry, Toni Morrison and Leroy Jenkins around the central part suite of the title.
Binney achieves a mixture of complexity and accessibility through combining tricky rhythmic figures and long-winding harmonic structures with folkloric melodies, highly singable and immediately engaging. The fact that three of the instruments can play solo lines or chords and that all can cover a similar range, means the can act almost like a mini orchestra, and can interweave their lines very closely, defined very much by their individual timbres.
Mostly contemplative and gentle, sometimes ominous and disquieting, yet always strangely, quietly exciting. They quickly give way to the sounds of trumpeter Harrell, tenor saxophonist Wayne Escoffery, pianist Danny Grissett, basist Ugonna Okegwo and drummer Johnathan Blake, as fine an ensemble as you can hear anywhere on Manhattan island, I reckon. The tune burns darkly, especially when Grissett is on Fender Rhodes and Blake and Okegwo are in processional mode behind the horn lines.
This album goes a long way to feeding that appetite. This is the debut of a new quartet, a band she assembled when artist-in-residence for the Molde Jazz Festival in Norway in If the basic instrumentation on paper looks like a singer and a piano trio, the nature of the individual musicians and the scope of the sounds they work with means the musical landscape is far more varied.
Rich and lasting music in which less is more and the depths are as lovely as the surfaces. The horns and voice move together and in overlapping patterns over a sinuous and inviting groove. There is a Yoruba chart of dot patterns on the cover, and Coleman has used these patterns to directly inform the rhythms of the central suite.
Here they are reflecting on disparate influences, from Steve Lehman to Monk, and on their own place in British society and in the international music world. There are some particularly strong compositions by bassist Tom Farmer, and the whole affair is infused with great energy within some pretty demanding structures. The alto, vibes, bass and drums format is distinctive and the playing amazingly integrated and tight — clearly this is a band with focus and a lot of hard work behind it.
The programme is brilliant, with two Leonard Cohen songs and a Nick Drake, worked in with the 17th-century stuff. They set off the trio rather than interact with it, and give Downes the chance to write some rich and strangely enigmatic charts against which he, Calum and Maddren can work their magic. Gorgeous cover art, too. The material is equally split between original tunes by Wasilewski and shrewd choices from a variety of sources.
Sometimes they can get quite busy and still there is space in the music. And then they can almost slow to a standstill and still maintain a flow and sense of structure. Certainly all three star names play their socks off here, and the Cubans are, of course, easily up to matching the chops and musicianship of their visitors. A supergroup is born, methinks. The publicity blurb refers to this band sounding like a rock band playing jazz, as opposed to E. Certainly the guitar, the song structures and the general feel are rockier, and Ostrom deserves a wide and vast audience for what is very accessible and attractive music.
There is quite a lot of fast and funky playing with tricky time signatures abounding, with Neset multi-tracking his saxophone lines and Django Bates often playing two lines at once. The material is, for the most part, unusual; the techniques Kurt uses are more expansive; the production is bigger and rounder.
They were written with one exception — the gorgeous Plain Song — specially for this recording. They are by turns lyrical and energetic, rhapsodic and light-hearted. The richness of a Beethoven string trio, the earthiness of a village band, and the overall impression that what we are listening to is not three musicians but the sound of the world in motion. The pair have leant increasingly towards classical music in their compositions in recent quartet recordings, and that feel is very much in evidence here on The Bard Lachrymose and La Valse Kendall, with Branford putting his exquisite soprano tone to good use.
On some tracks they are joined by Giacomo Ancillotto on guitar. All the music has that characteristic Rava mood of darker shadows within a generally sun-drenched Mediterranean landscape. It is both chic and at the same time deep with complex emotions. It is for the most part fairly quiet, fairly reflective and the barely-held fury of the Science Friction music is rarely even hinted at. At the same time that extraordinary precision of touch and tone that Taborn has, even when things are moving at quite a lick, is very much in evidence.
It has quite an echo when he needs to exploit it with hard-hit high notes, yet he can soften and smooth it too when he wants to. Each track is a fresh joy. Together the two men have turned their attentions to the Latin rhythms and traditions from Cuba, Puerto Rica, Colombia, Venezuala and Mexico that have found their way into the sound of New York. I think this one ranks with the best both musicians have made separately. A good hour and a half here of solo piano playing which never becomes samey or self-indulgent, which continues to surprise, delight, excite and comfort in turn.
Possibly the greatest melodist of our jazz age at a time when it sometimes feels like melodies are gems in short supply. To hear the band in full cry — saxophone quartet punching out staccato stabs, violins and flute adding a counter riff, horns sustaining a strange chord, drums and percussion rumbling beneath and marimba and Fx babbling constantly — is to see the full troupe piled pyramid-high and wide on the creaking but sturdy frame of a recycled bike making its way across a high wire.
Pohjola describes the pieces as short stories, and they have all that narrative and atmosphere. I suppose I should have been ready for the experience, due to the presence of Mark Turner on tenor saxophone on some of the tracks and Marcus Gilmore on drums. The tunes and performances conjure up images — a lovely virtual soundtrack to some unmakeable film. And hugely rewarding. So, a whole week of recordings to choose from, and in the end, what he chose, and what we have here is the final set from the final night, from first note to last.
Why is that? I think it has something to do not only with the individual musicianship — which is exemplary not only from a technical point of view but is also full of an often impossible to explain depth — but it has to do with the equally impossible to explain energy that is created communally by these four musicians. And, damn! One For J. This sea-themed second release on the Blue Note label is probably the most cohesive of his recordings to date.
He plays mostly double bass and sings quite a bit, but the music melds and merges jazz and world music styles in a more successful manner than he has ever achieved before. The decision to make the writing unashamedly unjazzy and then to take a jazzy approach to playing it, might give it the Marmite factor, but to my ears it sounds just delicious. There is also, for me, a particular joy in hearing Mike Walker finally getting some of the attention and acclaim he so thoroughly deserves.
What is remarkable about this concert — and you hear every note Jarrett plays — is its happy exuberance and clear contentment — not always a defining factor of Jarrett in his solo, most emotionally revealing, mode.
The breathiness, the apparently slurred articulation interesting because in fact the words are always clear despite the way she has of swallowing consonants , the incredibly controlled delivery, the calmness and almost slowing of time, the spaciousness of the arrangements — all these could come across as slightly too arty, too contrived and too self-conscious. The original compositions mark a real step forward on this disc. Lee sets the tone from the start with his improvised intro to Lover Man accompanied first just by Motian, with Mehldau and Haden joining in shortly thereafter.
The way he mixes improvisation in around even the initially stated theme, and then continues to circle the tune like a prowling but very patient lion is just fascinating. The man still has so much to say to us, and more wisdom to share with every passing gig in every passing year.
The band leans towards a slightly spooky atmosphere, too. Would suit the Swedish police TV series Wallander. Matthews lays down a strong rock groove, Morton has a Maceo Parker sound and feel, while Ilett is suitably greasy playing lead or rhythm. But the real powerhouse is Moore, who just steams on the mighty Hammond and never lets up.
Jazz records that have been rated but are awaiting final blog review.
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|Razboiul mutantilor download torrent filme||A few years ago John john his retirement from touring but he still plays every day and is still bringing out new recordings on his own label JCW Recordings. Abrahams, originally from New Zealand and based in Sydney, has tended to work in groups including the Necks another piano triobut Discogs lists click records since under his name. Three "Dreamer" parts follow, where the bass comes back into focus. Don't have an acronym definition of BLOB, so they williams maria just be fond of caps -- certainly fits their penchant for loud noise. This works. The title is a nod to the fact the pair came together to play some of the music from the Stan Getz with strings album, Focus. He combines a broad and muted, overtone laden trumpet tone that not only echoes Miles but nods towards the Norwegians farantouri torrent Arve Henriksen too, while, on this opener, using it in a blistering, attacking fashion.|
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