It's a 26 April release for new album Ninety Degrees Gravity by acclaimed saxophonist composer bandleader Trish Clowes. Fronting her My Iris band the album is released by UK jazz indie Basho.
Oblique, a little reminiscent of the style of Iain Ballamy, this complicated music, prog-like in places always pushes ahead and Clowes has plenty of firepower at her disposal plus lots of timbral resource complete with a careful command of contemporary jazz language that besides Ballamy also is reminiscent of some of Wane Shorter’s methodology.
Strong on both group interplay and compositional skill this is one of the most outstanding new UK jazz albums to be released this year.
Clowes has been selected to perform at the Made in the UK series to be held in New York state later in 2019 and she will be touring the album in May and June in the UK. SG
Ross Stanley, above left, James Maddren, Trish Clowes and Chris Montague.
This is all about romanticism and beauty, a naturalistic arc at play always with the Italian pianist Giovanni Guidi, this latest studio album recorded in France extending his core unit by adding sax and guitar on a few tracks. Opening with the Léo Ferré-penned title track immediately we are in richly melodic territory and Guidi has that impossibly persuasive touch that invites us warmly in, the bass of Thomas Morgan almost desultorily picking out wistful ideas towards the end. Most of the tunes are Guidi’s and while the extra players bring variety I think the charm of the album lies in the trio tracks. A nice touch is the homage to the late Tomasz Stanko at the end. SG
There is an elegiac mood in this remarkable two-piano album from Iyer and Taborn, certainly in the spread of memorialising pieces, the choice of Cecil Taylor’s words in the title, and the all-pervasive sombre mood. But instead of grim endeavour carried through in a spirit of worthiness there is an alert, spirited life force at play and a great understanding that the two demonstrate of each other’s method and ideas. Recorded live in Budapest the live setting gives this a taut electricity and strength, all the tunes are Iyer and Taborn’s with a treat at the end reserved for Geri Allen’s ‘When Kabuya Dances’. If you want to know what the state of the art of jazz piano is look no further than this fine achievement by two masters at work. SG
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.