Friday 13 September will be the release date of the upcoming live album Reflections, Transformations, Improvisations by flautist bandleader Eddie Parker’s Debussy Mirror Ensemble. Tracks are: La Chevelure, De Soir, Little Shepherd, Claire de Lune, X-Boite a Jou Jou, Eventail, Syrinx, si doucement perdue, and Il Pleut. The ensemble made up of a dozen players spanning the classical and jazz disciplines was put together last year to mark the centenary of the death of Debussy for a series of gigs and spawned this recording made into their debut album.  

Have a listen to the deeply soulful brutally honest ‘Simple Man’ a cover of a number by Pops Staples & the Staples Singers. Close your eyes you may also want to go to dig out your old Bill Withers records suitably inspired, believe me.

The latest promo made publicly available on YouTube by the issuing label is drawn from the upcoming Robert Randolph and the Family Band album, Brighter Days which is to be released on 23 August.

I enjoyed ‘Have Mercy’ put out in May which remains a bit of a must and the more engrossing of the two tracks, a heartfelt take refuge message song because it is gospel after all shaped by a laidback groove to die for. Sacred steel specialist Randolph and his band worked with producer Dave Cobb on Brighter Days. The Family Band features Robert’s cousins bassist Danyel Morgan and drummer Marcus Randolph along with his sister, vocalist Lenesha Randolph. Both tracks are utterly convincing even beyond the gospel genre (maybe within, people have their own notions so it is hard to gauge reaction there) and for sure appeal to jazz fans if I am at all typical. 

— Stephen Graham