Works like a charm. From Gris Gris by Shake Stew to be released by Traumton Records in November. Great groove. One to wig out to. Initial impressions: sort of surfy guitar... later changing when the blissed out horns take up the response. Hipster flute then moves the whole thing into cruise control and a mighty vamp ensues. Kicks in completely when the flautist starts sort of simultaneously vocalising and deliberately overblowing. The jam feel is then really on and then steps back effortlessly by the end. 

Jam Music Lab Uni logo

Interested in participating in the International Artistic Jazz Research Symposium this autumn in Vienna?

To be held in partnership with the Institute for Jazz Research at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz and the Jam Music Lab Private University for Jazz and Popular Music Vienna you have until 19 August to submit your ideas. 

Inaugurating a network and according to its website looking at a range of academic interests including specifics of artistic jazz research and best practice models, proposals for contributions should include: title, name, institutional affiliation, country, type of contribution, abstract and a short CV.  Speakers/panelists for the October event include Andrew Bain and Mike Fletcher from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Full details via the symposium website. 

From the upcoming Matt Johnson-produced Higher Ground of which this is the title track. 

Anthony Braxton

The great composer, saxophonist, professor, innovator Anthony Braxton appears with in his band in Dalston, east London at Oto: the acclaimed Sun Ra-inspired Alexander Hawkins on piano; Neil Charles, a member of Seb Rochford’s new band Pulled By Magnets, who also plays with Hawkins in his own acclaimed trio, on double bass; and, completing the line-up, the influential multi-directional Bourne-Davis-Kane player Stephen Davis on drums featured on each of the three nights. Dates are 19-21 January 2020. A series pass for all three nights is available. Anthony Braxton, above (Photo: Wikipedia). Tickets and full details.  

As previously noted in these pages back in 2015, Ríoghnach Connolly let the music do the talking on Matt Owens’ The Aviators’ Ball with her spine-tingling version of the Appadlachian folk song ‘Black is the Colour (of My True Love’s Hair)’ covered famously by Nina Simone and Joan Baez in the 1960s, Cara Dillon and Christy Moore more recently. Ríoghnach [pronounced “ReeOna”] and The Breath (her duo with Stuart McCallum) have picked up BBC Folk Awards nominations. From County Armagh, and for some years since part of the Manchester music scene, she entered the spotlight for real as part of a duo on Carry Your Kin, which was her highest profile release and appeared on jazz-friendly world music label Real World and on which she teamed up with one of the north of England’s most creative jazz-into-electronica guitar stars Stuart McCallum who is pictured with Connolly, above.  

Full list of nominations, below. (The awards ceremony will be held at The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester on Wednesday 16 October during the Manchester Folk Festival.)

Folk Singer of the Year

•              Gwilym Bowen Rhys

•              Lisa O’Neill

•              Olivia Chaney

•              Ríoghnach Connolly

Best Duo or Group

•              Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita

•              Stick in the Wheel

•              The Breath

•              The Rheingans Sisters

The Horizon Award

•              Brìghde Chaimbeul

•              Kinnaris Quintet

•              Kitty Macfarlane

•              The Trials Of Cato

Best Traditional Track 

•              Factory Girl by Lisa O'Neill ft. Radie Peat

•              Ffoles Llantrisant by VRï

•              The Foggy Dew by Ye Vagabonds

•              The Reedcutter’s Daughter by Jimmy Aldridge & Sid Goldsmith

Best Original Track

•              Blackbird by Lisa O'Neill

•              I Burn But I Am Not Consumed by Karine Polwart

•              Spells Out by Kathryn Tickell & The Darkening

•              Scapa Flow 1919 by Kris Drever

Best Album 

•              Ancora by Flook

•              Heard a Long Gone Song by Lisa O’Neill

•              Hide and Hair by The Trials of Cato

•              Soar by Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita 

Musician of the Year

•              Jenn Butterworth

•              Mohsen Amini

•              Sam Sweeney

•              Seckou Keita

Worth getting on LP. Great interview, above, which ECM have put up to chime with the release of the 1998 album Khmer now reissued on vinyl.

Khmer is a bona fide classic it goes without saying but there it is anyway: said. Now on vinyl a format that does lend itself to the style and will enhance its organic characteristics given the format’s tactile and kinetic abilities. Khmer spawned the term “futurejazz”.

Once again the future is present tense given the way technology allows us to an extent certainly with reissues and format changes to imagine better and better.

TS Eliot sums up such thinking without making too much of a leap yet altering the context, place and era in Four Quartets, a classic of literary modernism, and it is worth quoting the first three lines: “Time present and time past/Are both perhaps present in time future,/And time future contained in time past.” A great work of art has that ability to hang in the air in a state of timelessness and Khmer certainly does exactly that and makes the listener alert in this instance to its, yes post-modern, world of sound and silence as a unity and enables a vanishing of the self to fully grasp its impact.  

• Also perhaps of interest, this Nils Petter Molvær feature ‘Legends of the Fall’ published in 2013 when marlbank visited western Norway and Ålesund near the island of Sula (where NPM is from) ahead of the release of 1/1 and Switch and we went into the Ocean Sound Recordings studio at Giske, also met the great painter Ørnulf Opdahl, visited the Opdahl studio, and looked at some of Ørnulf’s paintings.