When Sting guitarist Dominic Miller was first signed to ECM I must confess a sharp intake of breath. Nowadays on his second release for the label, a Mediterranean baked wistful affair, it just seems so obvious. Manu Katché on drums adds beef to the mix which includes the gorgeously evocative bandoneon of Santiago Arias. Miller has plenty of personality up front, the bass of Nicolas Fiszman laidback enough to give him room while Mike Lindup’s spacey keyboards do not intrude. Recorded in a French studio a year ago tracks are kept quite short, at just under six minutes tops, all the tunes are Miller’s and they fall into what I’d call Metheny pastoral, nothing too twee or sweet but certainly provided with enough melodicism to tug the heartstrings. All in all? A really pleasant album that grows on every play and shows Miller’s writing as much as his superlative playing touch in the very best light. SG
Interesting tour coming up this... a UK premiere combining sound art, video, free improvised music with influences of minimalism, shockwave electronica and what the organisers refer to as “an unforgettable, immersive experience.” Fall-Out are World Service Project leader Dave Morecroft on keyboard/electronics plus Marco di Gabarro – drums/electronics and Simone Memé – video/visuals. Dates are: 27 April Take Over Festival, Colston Hall, Bristol; 30 April Number 39, Darwen; 2 May – Tin Arts Centre, Coventry; 3 May – The Regal Theatre Bar, Minehead; and 5 May Vortex, London.
Jazz singer Dwight Trible’s moves label on this his latest record just out to London jazz indie Gearbox (who have just signed Abdullah Ibrahim). Quite a gathering of musicians here including Kamasi Washington, Mark de Clive-Lowe and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson the sound is very much within the AfroFuturist mood at the moment and could sit just as easily as an Impulse record released in the 1970s because it has such a Pharoah Sanders/Leon Thomas vibe. The set includes a treatment of ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ one of The Beatles’ most groundbreaking releases. There is plenty of power throughout not least because Trible, which another UK label Gondwana has done much to champion, is a very powerful singer. Trible is also a very involved singer who values tenderness, and he gives songs like ‘Brother Where Are You’ his all. And there is also something very reverent about the way he approaches his material, again part of the spiritual jazz sound he develops so effortlessly. The presence of Kamasi Washington is a big plus but by no means is this just a collection of star names. Think of it instead as easily one of the best jazz albums to date in 2019.
Pianist composer Andrew McCormack switches labels to UK jazz indie Ubuntu, the label has announced. His album Graviton: The Calling will be released this summer. McCormack’s group for the project has Noemi Nuti on vocals, Josh Arcoleo on tenor saxophone, Tom Herbert on electric bass and Josh Blackmore on drums. Check the video above.