OKeh

Things change. Since the last time I looked around which was a while back now many labels have become either dormant or fairly inactive.

One thing is for sure, however, is that online tactics are more important than ever. Offline is nowhere, just like print magazines are now overshadowed by their online counterparts.

If a label does not put up a promo track and just lists tracks then it will not get written about as much as those albums which are listenable, at least in part. We like to try before we buy now more than ever and the technology enables this better than ever.

Some labels put the whole album up for a short time beforehand for a limited period and I can see the merit of this particularly if the release is avant garde and hard to sell. After all tracks can be made unavailable again when sales kick in. 

A few thoughts: 
Babel: very quiet at the moment. The new Emilia Mårtensson record coming up should re-ignite interest in the label.
Basho: not much output now, just a few records per year. The latest Trish Clowes album was excellent. However, the label could do with a better online presence, maybe using YouTube and Bandcamp more. 
Blue Note: most of the interest this year has been on the heritage of the label. The signing of Joel Ross however has picked up a lot of attention. Don Was and co also love their veterans at the label and I would love it if they could bring back Herbie Hancock and release his next album, especially as he turns 80 next year. Universal have the big bucks to do this. 
Brownswood: at the heart of all the hype about UK jazz dominated by Gilles Peterson’s DJ-centric beats laden taste. 
Cleanfeed: could do with more public-facing promo tracks. Otherwise a reliable avant garde label.
Concord: far more active recently on the jazz side and excellent at getting the word out. Can be too stodgily mainstream at times however. New albums coming up by Hiromi and Jazzmeia Horn.
Criss Cross Jazz: pretty invisible online in terms of buzz. Not always that interesting a label because it tends to stick to the same sort of thing all the time but Noah Preminger’s After Life was a revelation recently.
ECM: Not a great year so far although the Touchstones reissues have delighted fans of the label. Many releases however fall into a nebulous folk or chamber no man’s land and this has been more to the fore in recent batches. However, on safer ground albums by Giovanni Guidi and Bill Frisell/Thomas Morgan were superb. The label has also become far better at using YouTube to its advantage.
Edition: lots of new signings including a foray into US jazz this year with albums by Chris Potter, Jeff Ballard, Dave Holland and Zakir Hussain etc. Also interesting to note that the label is reissuing Julian Argüelles’ superb album Home Truths, originally out on Babel, soon.
Gearbox: It gets better all the time. Albums by Dwight Trible, Theon Cross and Abdullah Ibrahim have all succeeded. The label probably has the best sound of any UK indie, has a firm graphic identity and is web savvy.
Gondwana: Quiet at the moment. Could do with some new signings. However, I really enjoyed their release by the unknown Hania Rani this year.
Impulse! Well, this is as much part of internal big record label branding (as part of Universal) and how they deal with the classic past as anything. However, bringing some of the various groups of Shabaka Hutchings on board (Sons of Kemet, The Comet is Coming) was a masterstroke. Contrast that with how Verve is still not branded correctly to align with its heritage.
Jazz Re-freshed: Fashionable UK label which has made giant strides this year. Loves EPs.
Jellymould Jazz: gone dormant this year, which is a pity.
Lyte: inactive mainly this year.
Mack Avenue: Could do with better online promo, I do forget about this leading US label a little too often. Good to see Herlin Riley on the label recently.
Motéma: Hasn’t been the same since Gregory Porter left! However, Melissa Aldana has done the label proud this year.
OKeh: what’s happened there, then? Sony seem to have lost interest. 
Sunnyside: could do with some videos [even audio tracks put on YouTube at a basic level] to promote their output. I did enjoy their Lucian Ban record earlier in the year.
Ubuntu: Signing loads of new artists, taste chops seem to be improving, and their strike rate is getting better. Very good at promo via social media and online but could make better use of Bandcamp.
Whirlwind: lots of activity. One of the best at promoting their wares via news items on their website. I am surprised how few labels do just that. However, their output is quite variable in terms of quality at the moment with the exception of the recent Partisans album Nit de Nit, which was a blast. Stephen Graham

Harriet Tubman

Near you? Well if you can make it along Harriet Tubman promise an access all areas listen.

Completely not absolute beginners guitarist Brandon Ross, bassist Melvin Gibbs and drummer JT Lewis have been together as a band some 20 years and know where they want to be more than most and maybe they have just achieved what they have been searching for all along on The Terror End of Beauty which was released last year.

The absorbing track above according to the label “refers to The Negro Motorist’s Green Book, which informed black auto travellers of locations that would and would not be accepting of their presence.” A version of Bob Marley’s ‘Redemption Song’ also on the album has never seemed so relevant as right now as the trio decode its inner workings and strip off all the cosy layers the mindless branch of Marley music tourism cloaked usually inappropriately as advertising has coated it with over the decades.

Raw, ballsy, and vital, are you ready to listen? If so dates coming up include Band on the Wall, Manchester on 9 August and the Kilkenny Arts Festival, Ireland on 14 August.

Eagle Vision will be releasing the much praised Sophie Huber-directed Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes on DVD, Blu-ray and digitally on 6 September, Universal have announced. Blue Note celebrates its 80th anniversary in 2019.

Seb Rochford has released details of fascinating experimental album NDYA by Kutcha Butcha.

The Pulled by Magnets drummer-composer has written, played, produced and mixed everything on the album and it is the first of four limited edition releases this year. Listen to tracks above. Kutcha Butcha, or “half baked bread,” is a phrase sometimes used in India for mixed race children.   

Music Declares Emergency

Music Declares Emergency, a new group of artists and music companies, has been launched to highlight the climate emergency and work collectively towards a greener industry. Over 1,000 artists, music companies and organisations, and industry workers, have already signed up to the group’s aim of a carbon neutral music scene. Artists are encouraged to take steps such as having a “Green Rider” and greening their merchandise. Festivals, promoters and labels are asked to nominate someone responsible for greening their activity and put in place an environmental policy and action plan, including ditching plastic and cutting waste. EFG London Jazz Festival, Universal Music UK, Kings Place, the Galway Jazz Festival and  Nitin Sawhney are among those signing up. For more on Music Declares Emergency, and to sign up, visit www.musicdeclares.net.

A RIFF THAT NILE RODGERS WOULD BE PROUD OF (OR COULD NOT EXIST WITHOUT HIM) from funky guitarist Cory Wong’s Motivational Music for The Syncopated Soul out on 2 August. The album features guitarist Charlie Hunter, pianist Jon Batiste, guitarist Tom Misch, singer-songwriter Caleb Hawley, singer Emily Browning Birdman on screen drummer Nate Smith and Antwaun Stanley. Be warned, you will be playing ‘Cosmic Sans’ all day.

LOOKING AHEAD TO HIS DEBUT Only 18, pianist Matthew Whitaker is something special. He releases the Brian Bacchus-produced Now Hear This via the Resilience Music Alliance label in August. First thing I thought when listening to him was a proximity to the Ahmad Jamal sound in his bright voicings and percussive touch (Jamal’s ‘Tranquility’ is on the album) but he has been compared to other players notably McCoy Tyner and Herbie Hancock. The point in all this is he sounds a major player already. In the live version above listen to ‘Emotions,’ one of the pieces featured on the album.

Whitaker, who also plays Hammond organ and Moog on the record, is the first blind undergraduate student to join Julliard's jazz programme, becoming a student at the famous New York conservatoire this autumn, appears with guitarist Dave Stryker, bassist Yunior Terry, drummer Ulysses Owens Jr., and percussionist Sammy Figueroa + guest slots from keyboardist Marc Cary and flautist Gabrielle Garo are slotted in. Tracks on the album include originals, the Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil song ‘Black Butterfly’ and Eddie Harris’ ‘Freedom Jazz Dance.’ 

 

A big deal in Germany with his trio Martin Tingvall switches to solo piano once again with The Rocket. Pretty easy listening to be fair, too much so. Tingvall and his accessible compositional touch draws on space themes in the titling of many of the tracks, the lilt of Swedish folk traditions and the language of contemporary Eurojazz and have a certain inescapable charisma as well as tunefulness. Personally I prefer his trio, still too underknown in the UK, which has a lot more drama to it than the Ludovico Einaudi-like easy going trajectories here. The surprising thing is how little jazz vocabulary Tingvall chooses to use here. Disappointing.

Binker Golding has a new quartet album out in September. Titled gnomically Abstractions of Reality Past & Incredible Feathers it was recorded at Abbey Road studios in London and alongside tenorist Golding features Daniel Casimir on double bass, Joe Armon-Jones on piano and Sam Jones on drums. Compositions are by Golding and the release is on Gearbox. Check out ‘Exquisite She-Green’ from the album, above.

 

Check the live version above of the opening track of upcoming Leo Richardson album Move to be released in August by Ubuntu. With eight original compositions included on the release Richardson has Rick Simpson on piano, Tim Thornton on bass, and Ed Richardson on drums + a guesting Alex Garnett. Richardson launches the album at the Pizza Express Jazz Club on 6 August. Tickets.

 

Called Spectrum and only the charismatic jazz-rock Japanese pianist Hiromi’s second solo piano release after Place to Be a decade ago this will be out in October on Telarc and tracks include ‘Mr. C.C.,’ an imaginary score for a Charlie Chaplin film.

Hiromi will be in the UK in November playing Bridgewater Hall, Manchester on 1 November and Southwark Cathedral, London on 2 November. 

Boisterous and free spirited the clunky title is a homage to Ornette Coleman album To Whom Who Keeps A Record

Pretty pared down throughout, drummer Gard Nilssen with bassist Petter Eldh and saxophonist André Roligheten have been playing together for years. The spirit of Albert Ayler is firmly to the fore as well but to be honest this is nothing as hardcore as the full Ayler experience.

Actually it is pretty accessible in a heritage free-jazz spirit and the three have real rapport ripping along merrily to chunky scraps of melody chased down by a throaty dose of the blues in a syncopated dash through a bunch of tunes unencumbered by keyboards or a guitar. 

In a word: Enjoyable! 

Prepare for a big change in the super talented bass guitarist here. Maybe it is John Patitucci producing, maybe it is a new much more mature sound but for whatever reason there is a lot less bombast, a lot more expressiveness and some great tunes all factored in.

Gwizdala has gathered a fine band around him on The Union [****] (issued on his own label Gwizmon Productions) with Clarence Penn on drums, Philip Dizack on trumpet, and Ruslan Sirota (who appeared with Gwizdala on the excellent Bob Reynolds album Quartet) on pianoOn ‘The End of the Story’ there is a pared back almost-Steve Rodby Metheny-esque feel to the tender ballad and this track is at the heart of the album which relies for a lot of its best effects on a thoughtful, more meditative and less-is-more mentality. In a sea of music this is the kind of message in a bottle we all need that defies the odds to reach out and communicate. SG

Alice Zawadzki

Alice Zawadzki will have a new album called Within You Is A World Of Spring released this autumn, it has been announced. Five years since her debut China Lane, this new album according to issuing label Whirlwind “is about the tiny seed within every person that promises realisation, change, and rebirth.” Her band is completely different this time around, with Fred Thomas – piano, drums, Hammond, percussion, cello, double bass; Rob Luft – guitar; Misha Mullov-Abbado – double bass; Hyelim Kim – taegum; Simmy Singh – violin; Laura Senior – violin; Lucy Nolan – viola; and Peggy Nolan – cello joining the vocalist/violinist. Look for the album in October.

It is not often hip-hop spills into the pages of marlbank but hey this is just great, superstar rapper Nas on his previously unreleased track, ‘Jarreau of Rap (Skatt Attack),’ featuring Al Jarreau and trumpeter Keyon Harrold, best known for his work with Robert Glasper, which will be on Nas’ upcoming compilation, The Lost Tapes 2, to be released on 19 July via Mass Appeal and Def Jam. Jarreau’s treatment of Dave Brubeck’s ‘(Round, Round, Round) Blue Rondo à la Turk’ is the core sample on the song. 

More from Nérija on the promo trail. Nubya Garcia (tenor saxophone), Sheila Maurice-Grey (trumpet), Cassie Kinoshi (alto saxophone), Rosie Turton (trombone), Shirley Tetteh (guitar), Lizy Exell (drums) and Rio Kai (bass) release Blume on 2 August, having signed to Domino. Check out the hard blowing ‘Last Straw’, above. 

Poncho Sanchez

A September release is on the cards for conga great Poncho Sánchez returning with his first new album in seven years, a tribute to John Coltrane.

The album features trombonist and musical director Francisco Torres, trumpet and flugelhorn master Ron Blake, saxophonist Robert Hardt, pianist Andy Langham, bassists Rene Camacho and Ross Schodek, and percussionists Joey DeLeon and Giancarlo Anderson.

Trane’s Delight features ‘Liberia,’ from 1964’s Coltrane’s Sound; ‘Blue Train’ done as a cha-cha-chá; and according to the issuing label Concord Picante “a rumba twist” on ‘Giant Steps’. The album also includes a version of ‘Soul Bourgeoisie,’ a Hubert Laws composition originally recorded by the Jazz Crusaders on their 1965 album Chile Con Soul. Photo: Estevan Oriol/Concord

This is what issuing label Ropeadope say about the release, which will be released in August:

Tim Ries has held down the saxophone and keyboard chairs with The Rolling Stones for the past 21 years, all the while espousing his love of Jazz on his own projects and shows. In 2005 he hit the studio with a cast of greats - Jack DeJohnette, Bill Frisell, Larry Goldings, Grégoire Maret, James Genus and Scott Colley - and recorded a master work. Tim waited to release it as his mother was very ill during the recording, and sadly passed soon after its completion. And now, fourteen years later, Life Changes from Tim Ries is ready for release. The title speaks to the events that brought him to this point, with reference to his daughters Bella, Eliana, and Jasia (who performs on the album), and the dedication to his mother Edith Ries. The story is unique, and we all get a glimpse into the past with some of the best players on the planet. And yet the story quickly moves away as you listen; Life Changes could well have been recorded yesterday in its adventurous and grand style. 

Everything seems like an ad these days... this is from a YouTube ad and yet it is also news, well certainly striking anyway, because who puts out a 24-disc box set any more anyway? Bill Bruford led in Earthworks one of the best small jazz groups by a famous rocker ever. Earthworks Complete released by Cherry Red surely is the fullest story conceivable of a great group and by the look of it was put together with a lot of love and attention to detail. The entire back catalogue across the band’s 20-year career is chronicled. Earthworks featured Bill Bruford with Iain Ballamy, Django Bates, Patrick Clahar, Laurence Cottle, Tim Garland, Steve Hamilton, Tim Harries, Mark Hodgson, Mick Hutton and Gwilym Simcock among its cast members over the years. Its style was far from the bombast of prog rock and managed to harness that bittersweet Englishness lurking within Bruford’s compositional ideas while at the same time providing a relatively high profile platform for a range of up and coming jazz musicians many of whom are now very well known as leaders in their own right. Bruford always showed great taste in putting together his bands and the records are the hard and fast evidence. Oh, the artwork still looks a treat and Bruford remains a magnet for drummers everywhere.

No date yet but an interesting one this confirmed as an upcoming release by Babel label’s Oliver Weindling. Duarte is a Portuguese composer and guitarist on the London scene for over a decade and a half. I do not know the confirmed personnel for the recording that Babel will put out but the orchestra has included, as you can spot above in the video, an extraordinary array of top talent coming up with a sound that strikes me as Loose Tubes-meets-Sun Ra.

Look: on alto saxophone/soprano/flute there’s Chris Williams from Led Bib; Alto saxophone/flute/piccolo – Julie Kjaer; Tenor saxophone – Rachel Musson; Tenor saxophone – Dan Mays; Bass clarinet – Tom Ward; Baritone saxophone – Joseph Stout; Trumpet – Noel Langley; Trumpet – Yazz Ahmed; Trumpet – Andre Canniere; Trumpet – Henry Spencer; Trombone – Paul Taylor; Trombone – Ed Reiband; Trombone – Raph Clarkson; Bass Trombone – Olivir Haylett; Tuba – Ben Kelly; Bass – Ben Bastin; Keyboards – Danny Keane; and Drums – Jon Scott.

 

Well, The People I Love by Steve Lehman looks like a kind of event. It does not sound like a reheated version of the past, does not try to be a ‘classic jazz’ record and from what I’ve heard is far more immersive a listen and gets right inside you like few new releases at the moment. In other words this is not fake.

The altoist has a tart slightly dour sound that has a certain gravitas to it without being at all self-conscious, and in the past he has run his fertile imagination over a broad range of music from African hip-hop to French spectral music.

This new album is closer to his jazz roots than some of his previous records and finds Lehman with the Robert Glasper drummer Damion Reid, bassist Matt Brewer and pianist Craig Taborn. Tunes on the record include a version of Kurt Rosenwinkel’s ‘A Shifting Design’ and Kenny Kirkland’s ‘Chance’ and among the pre-release tracks you can hear on Bandcamp there is a remarkable version of ‘qPlay,’ by electronica mavens Autechre — I hear it as a non-literal translation which has a lot of depth to it and a great respect for the jazz ballad tradition even while dressed in such modernistic clothing. Look for The People I Love on the Pi label at the end of August. SG

Full of familiar standards: ‘All The Things You Are,’ ‘Blue In Green’ and ‘Dolphin Dance’ chief among them but don’t feel that you have heard it all before because with Kenny Werner there is a certain intricacy and resolution of familiar situations into something more approaching adventure and this is no different. The harmonic journeys he takes the themes on only he knows the map for, and that touch and intimacy he delivers time and time again makes this solo piano record such a fascination.

Fêted UK saxophonist and clarinettist Alan Barnes celebrates his 60th birthday by releasing a themed 1959 album.

Eleven classic compositions from 1959 arranged by trombonist Mark Nightingale are included, compositions by Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Horace Silver and Gerry Mulligan among others. 

On the record Barnes (alto and baritone saxophones, clarinet and bass clarinet) is joined by Pat White (trumpet), James Copus (trumpet and flugelhorn), Mark Nightingale, Gordon Campbell (trombone), Howard McGill (alto saxophone and clarinet), Robert Fowler tenor saxophone, clarinet and bass clarinet), Andy Panayi tenor saxophone, flute and clarinet), Mick Foster (baritone saxophone and bass clarinet), Robin Aspland (piano), Sam Burgess (bass) and Matt Skelton (drums).

Look for it on Woodville Records to be released on 12 July. Barnes plays this year’s Scarborough Jazz Festival on 20 September.

João Gilberto died in Rio yesterday at the age of 88.

The singer-songwriter/guitarist’s ‘Chega de Saudade’ in 1959 marked the beginning of the bossa nova style with which he became synonymous.

His Grammy-winning 1964 album Getz/Gilberto with Stan Getz sold in the millions and featured the long since ubiquitous Jobim classic ‘Girl from Ipanema’, sung by Astrud Gilberto, to whom Gilberto was then married. 

 

Ex-Miles Davis jazz violin fusion legend Michał Urbaniak pops up with his band Urbanator for a rare club visit to London in September.

Hugely charismatic, the former saxophonist, who also played with Krzysztof Komeda in the 1960s, will be appearing at Streatham club Hideaway on 14 September. The club say that it is Urbaniak’s first London show in five years. Tickets.

Interesting and cheering to see this pop up as a bestseller on Bandcamp at the moment. Why so? Well Price is not part of the currently much hyped group of UK bands, usually released by either the Jazz Re:freshed or Brownswood labels, to get a rush of hype behind him. And another thing, the style is pretty mainstream to an extent which rarely gets, rather unfairly, any hype at all. Nobody is going to be going around claiming like the wheel has been reinvented after all. Guitarist Price has a pristine highly mobile sound and close your eyes and he could be playing on a 1960s record, his sound landing a little between Kenny Burrell and Grant Green. With Matt Home on drums, the popular Hammond organist Ross Stanley, and hard blowing tenor saxophonist Vasilis Xenopoulos all playing as a supportive team, the impressive thing here is that this was made in front of a live audience, the band clearly are old fashioned in the sense that they can make it sound like the studio. Good meat and potatoes blowing jazz all in all and a bunch of tunes that know where the beginnings, middles and ends need to be.

Price is playing Annie’s in Southend on Tuesday 9 July.

Sad to report the death from the ravages of pancreatic cancer of the Norway residing Italian drummer Paolo Vinaccia at the age of 65. Vinaccia worked memorably with Tommy Smith and Arild Andersen on the Live at Belleville album. Smith, via Twitter, paid tribute, writing: “To my dear brother in music, Paolo Vinaccia, rest in peace, we love you forever. I’m a better human being for having known you. Paolo was the embodiment and definition of the word Art in its truest form, for that man dreamt, lived and breathed creativity.” 

 

Mark 29 and 30 July in your diaries... they make for a couple of chances to catch one of the most swinging soulfully bluesy jazz saxophone masters in the ideal circumstances of a small jazz club situation.

Now in his eighties Houston Person has more than 75 albums under his own name on Prestige, Westbound, Mercury, Savoy, Muse, and is currently with High Note Records. He has recorded with Charles Brown, Charles Earland, Lena Horne, Etta Jones, Lou Rawls, Horace Silver, Dakota Staton, and many more.

His latest record is I’m Just a Lucky So and So, from which his version of ‘Willow Weep For Me’ can be heard above, is released on High Note at the end of July. Hear him with his organ trio at Pizza Express Jazz Club, London. Remember: you only really learn deep down as a player or as a listener by hearing and experiencing the masters live. Tickets

Murmuring to a tech equivalent of a cicada behind him, saxophonist Rob Cope paints all over the minimal background as a Gods of Apollo scene setter on ‘Sputnik’ the first of what is planned to be a three-part trilogy inspired by space.

Spoken word from the NASA archives spool out of the speakers at the beginning of ‘Human Spaceflight’ with pianist Elliot Galvin suitably modernistic sprawlingly effective behind the speech. There is a lot going on throughout the album and there is a certain danger that the concept will overpower the playing itself but luckily this does not happen mainly because the production and compositional techniques seem to be so very well thought through. Cope has a very human Iain Ballamy-like sound and his bittersweet soliloquies make this quite a personal statement and with Galvin, superb particularly on ‘Magnificent Desolation’, guitarist Rob Luft and drummer Jon Ormston around him there is a strong group unity and direction. Cope and chums launch the album tonight at the Vortex. Get yourself down there if you can.

There is a lot of really firing latin-jazz around at the moment including this nimble new album from former Mongo Santamaria pianist Bill O’Connell and the Afro Caribbean Ensemble who make their debut release together with Wind Off the Hudson (issued by the Savant label) on 26 July. Quite a line-up of a band including Andrea Brachfeld, Craig Handy, Ralph Bowen, Gary Smulyan, Alex Sipiagin, Conrad Herwig, Lincoln Goines, Robby Ameen and Roman Diaz. Tracks are: Wind Off the Hudson, Gospel 6, Jerry’s Blues, I Don’t Have the Answer, Oye Como Va, Perdido, Got Cha, Transition, C Jam Blues and Discombobulation. 

Sketchy details so far but I found this, the beautiful closing track of From Baku to New York City by Shahin Novrasli, the brilliant Azeri pianist who has won the support of Ahmad Jamal, and which is to be released on the Jazz Village label in September. On one level the track, which was written by the great Azerbaijani composer Uzeyir Hajibeyov, is a conversation with the unnamed bass player; on another it is like a nocturne, and revels in the simplicity of modal study breaking eventually into the release of a natural bluesy display of virtuosity in the open improvisation drawn from the ingredients of what has gone before like a natural conclusion. Other tracks on the album are: Both Sides Now, 52nd Street Theme, Night Song, Shahin’s Day, She’s Out Of My Life, Salt Peanuts, Memories and Stella By Starlight.

ELEW

A SPECIAL HEADS UP for marlbank readers here, to be issued on Kurt Rosenwinkel’s independent label Heartcore Records, is a quite extraordinary record called ELEW plays Rosenwinkel: Cubism, a solo piano affair to be released on 19 July.

The title track dates back to Rosenwinkel 1990s album Yam Yam while other material includes selections from the guitarist’s 2001 album The Next Step.

ELEW, pictured above [photo: Anna Yatskevich], is a powerful, extravagant player. He does not tickle the notes: he slams into them and he manages to draw out the drama in all the thematic shifts and jolts he encounters while this former Monk competition-winning pianist has tremendous harmonic resource in store and a bluesy grasp of the bigger picture that transports the listener into his own individual world.

This is not a solo piano album where you are afraid to breathe for fear of upsetting the Trappist-like silence of proceedings but there is subtlety too. ELEW stood out on the recent Theo Croker album Star People Nation but this is so much deeper than that tantalising glimpse. Look out for it.

I keep a list of players I still have not seen live but would like to, a lot. Top of it at the moment is Noah Preminger whose After Life makes that desire even more urgent. Preminger is a powerful player and he has plenty of power to hand as well in his band playing a bunch of very coherent originals. With trumpeter Jason Palmer by his side — Palmer and Preminger together operate a bit like the way Dave Douglas and Joe Lovano communicate — Max Light is on guitar, Kim Cass plays bass, and Rudy Royston, best known for his work with Bill Frisell, is as vital as ever on drums. Preminger has another album out in the autumn... I will be keeping an eye out for it. But for now After Life is one of Criss Cross’ best releases in many a moon. SG.