EMPIRICAL ARE back with an EP, sounds very much business as usual for the stimulating UK hard bop band that began way back in very different fashion powered from piano but revolving for some time now around the twin axes of alto ace Nat Facey and drummer Shaney Forbes but flavoured by the vibes.

IT WILL be interesting to hear the full music when it is all available next month... don’t expect however a full scale reinvention of their approach going on what is swirling around so far.

I GUESS a release on paper that ticks more boxes than one is Long Ago And Far Away to look forward to, a live unreleased recording from 2007 by Charlie Haden, above, who was in on the birth of free jazz with Ornette Coleman and whose influence on contemporary jazz remains vast playing in duo with pianist Brad Mehldau seen as the Jarrett of his generation, and which will be issued shortly by Impulse. Recorded in a Mannheim church the duo were playing together in that combination for the first time. Yes some of the standards listed are not exactly ultra uncommon however both these players have on their own records, sadly Haden is no longer with us, always found new things to say cast from the familiar and remade extraordinary.

FINALLY for now fair play to the Jazz Cafe for putting together Carla Bley and Elliot Galvin on the same bill at the end of the month... the venue is well and truly out of the doldrums these days but this also confounds the trend driven complacency that some jazz clubs fall into. Camden is no longer that happy a neighbourhood for jazz particularly since the Forge shut up shop but this kind of booking is to be applauded and offers a relatively rare opportunity in a UK club to hear one of the most imaginative pianist composers in Bley on the planet.