A LANDMARK recording. This solo piano album of Gwilym Simcock’s acts as his own dedication to players he loves and reveres (Billy Childs, Brad Mehldau, Egberto Gismonti, Russell Ferrante, etc) but also and just as significantly represents a one stop visit to the remarkable style and sound of this astonishing pianist’s artistry. Simcock has a big technique but that never gets in the way of his torrential flood of melodic ideas which often land never far from a rhapsody and at all times are delivered with tenderness and skill. Jazz does not get any better than this in 2019.
The Ubuntu label have announced the fact that they will release a second album by trumpeter Mark Kavuma and his band the Banger Factory, a collective from Brixton, south London which along with Kavuma features Mussinghi Brian Edwards and Kaidi Akinnibi (saxes), Artie Zaitz (guitar), David Mrakpor (vibes), Reuben James (piano/organ), Deschanel Gordon (piano), Michael Schrimpling (double bass) and William Cleasby (drums). Kavuma is quoted by the label: “As Keith Richards once said, ‘Good music comes out of people playing together, knowing what they want to do and going for it. You have to sweat over it and bug it to death’.” More here.
Partisans’ first live album: there is undeniably a real snap of excitement about this, recorded in intimate circumstances in the Vortex, clean lines, lots of meaty soloing, and Gene Calderazzo sounding as up for it as you will ever hear him. Journeying through nods to Charlie Parker, Steely Dan and David Bowie the tunes ring out, Julian Siegel sounding like a British Michael Brecker and Phil Robson steady and astute as his front line partner, this is one of the best albums of the year to date: no doubt about it.