Amazing stuff here on a rare Irish warts-and-all jazz speckled 1970s compilation, entering a world few from this vantage point even knew existed. Buntús Rince: Explorations in Irish Jazz, Fusion & Folk is available via All City records in Dublin, and online through Bandcamp. Pick of the set for me are the tracks by Louis Stewart, Taste, Granny’s Intentions and Joe O’Donnell and what about that great mellow opener from Noel Kelehan...?
Pretty unusual instrumentation first off, a trio of drums & electronics/trombone/guitar & electronics. And a pretty unusual start too, lots of airy intrigue giving way to a more driving sound. A studio album recorded in Italy in January last year, the tunes are mostly arrived at cooperatively among the three players, the style is more about mood and texture than ferocious flurries of notes. I am not sure if it all hangs together and certainly you need patience which is not always rewarded. However on the plus side Aarset is as compelling as ever and drummer Rabbia, whose approach reminds me of Marilyn Mazur’s a little, challenges the listener to move beyond the orthodox to embrace a wide range of new sounds. An album that poses as many questions as it provides answers for. SG
This dreamy sweep of a title track from the upcoming Warner Music album by Swedish pianist Jacob Karlzon has been the marlbank go-to track these last few days. Shaped around a trio and strings there is a lot of complexity in the writing and a bittersweet rather than overly lush mood hovering in the air. Augurs well for the album by a pianist who is no newcomer but whose profile certainly in the UK and Ireland deserves to be higher. Maybe this project will be a prompt in this direction.
Karlzon appears at the Edinburgh jazz festival this summer.
There is something very intimate and thought provoking about this duo album from Welsh pianist Huw Warren and his former Perfect Houseplants colleague saxophonist Mark Lockheart. New Day — Live at Livio Felluga Winery just released on the Italian CAM Jazz label was recorded last year. Full of Warren originals plus compositions by John Taylor there is a pervasive stately presence throughout that gives what they produce a gravitas that you do not always find on a contemporary jazz record but notwithstanding this there is also a playful joy to Warren’s spirited runs which Lockheart, like his fellow saxophonist and contemporary Iain Ballamy, also manages to conjure in playful spirit delivered with great control and tone to die for. I will be surprised if this does not turn up on many end of year best-of lists. It’s that good. SG.