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.