Well this is a surprise bittersweet treat from Laura Zakian: a very late night kind of record brief as it is contained in a five song EP. With Steve Lodder, bassist Simon Thorpe, drummer Nic France and Laura’s husband baritone saxophonist Paul Bartholomew and percussionist/composer Martin Pyne whose tunes Laura writes lyrics for, the pervasive style lands somewhere between the atmosphere of an Anthony Newley or Fran Landesman song, thoughtful and melancholic and above all full of a certain regret. Well worth your time.
As a big band singer Doris Day, who has died aged 97, was happiest she once said when she was travelling with Les Brown and his band. Inspired by Ella Fitzgerald she impressed the now forgotten jazz band leader Barney Rapp with the way she sang Day After Day and she moved on to sing with Bob Crosby and with Brown. In the movies a 1955 role saw her play a jazz singer Ruth Etting and she excelled performing with Harry James and his Orchestra. RIP.
• Obituary in The Guardian.
Not much around at the moment release-wise but fear not Phalanx Ambassadors changes that... new from pianist/keyboardist/composer Matt Mitchell leading a great band of avant explorers in a pulsating set. Mitchell’s fourth release as a leader for the Pi label, the pianist has appeared on Pi releases by Steve Coleman, Dan Weiss, Jonathan Finlayson and Anna Webber, and is possibly best known for his work with Tim Berne.
Ah, Pigfoot are back with new album The Pigfoot Shuffle some five years on from their debut, a slight tweak in the personnel notwithstanding... check a slice of it above.
Apparently this is what is in store... re-workings of a range of classic material; Led Zeppelin’s Black Dog, Curtis Mayfield’s Pusherman, the South African township transformation of a Mozart aria from The Marriage of Figaro and, “typically, a medley of Elvis Presley and Wagner material.” Look for it in June.
Following on from last week’s story that Concord have announced details of a new Chick Corea album this summer, here is the lead off pre-release track the flamenco flavoured ‘The Yellow Nimbus, Part 2’ from Antidote by Chick’s nascent Spanish Heart Band, the great pianist revisiting songs from his albums My Spanish Heart and Touchstone with a multi-cultural octet, plus new compositions and guest appearances by vocalists Rubén Blades, Chick’s wife Gayle Moran Corea, and Maria Bianca.
The band is Flamenco guitarist Niño Josele and saxophonist/flutist Jorge Pardo who both hail from Spain and have both worked with the late flamenco master Paco de Lucía. Bassist Carlitos Del Puerto was born in Havana, Cuba and played on Chinese Butterfly, Corea’s 2017 collaboration with legendary drummer Steve Gadd – as did Venezuelan percussionist Luisito Quintero with Trumpeter Michael Rodriguez and trombonist Steve Davis plus Marcus Gilmore who follows in the footsteps of his grandfather, the great Roy Haynes, as a master drummer (and close collaborator with Corea). The band is augmented by flamenco dancer Nino de los Reyes.
Look for the album in late-June. Chick and the Spanish Heart Band are playing the Love Supreme festival this summer.