Michel Reis

Not a lot to go on so far about Short Stories by Michel Reis, the cover of which is above. To be issued in mid-October by Italian label CAM Jazz it is solo piano only and of the pieces eight were written before going into the studio, the remaining six are free improvisations. Reis is from Luxembourg and studied classical piano, jazz piano, composition and theory in Luxembourg and Boston at Berklee before moving to New York. He will be playing in trio mode under the Reis Demuth Wiltgen auspices in Liverpool at the Capstone theatre on 15 November. Tickets.

 

Image result for jumoke marlbank

Ten shows from across the BBC, Jazz FM, NTS, RTÉ and NPR. Tune in.

Jumoké Fashola: link 

Ruth Fisher: link 

Linley Hamilton: link

John Kelly: link   

Jez Nelson: link 

Gilles Peterson: link 

Christian McBride: link 

Helen Mayhew: link 

Phil Smith: link 

Clare Teal: link 

Jumoké Fashola, above, pictured at the EFG London Jazz Festival launch in 2018. photo: marlbank

Scott Flanigan et al

“The album,” the Belfast scene pianist, composer and organist Scott Flanigan, pictured above second from right, says, asked about his latest plans “will be called Clouded Lines, and it’s named after the suite of music co-commissioned by Moving On Music and the PRS Foundation. After a successful tour of Ireland in March, it’s now ready to be recorded. The suite, in three parts, was written with guitarist Ant Law in mind, and reflects an interest in hard swinging jazz… with a few noisier tunes in there too. The rest of the band includes two of Ireland’s finest rhythm section players: Dave Redmond on the bass and Kevin Brady on the drums.”

photo: courtesy Scott Flanigan 

Coming up in Band on the Wall, are: Sarathy Korwar (26 September), Kurt Rosenwinkel Bandit 65 (29 September), Joe Armon-Jones (11 October) and AKA trio (21 November). Tabla player Sarathy Korwar released his second studio album in July titled More Arriving, which marked a switch from Gearbox Records to the Leaf Label. Korwar’s website noted ahead of release: “This is not necessarily a record of unity; it is an honest reflection of Korwar’s experience of being an Indian in Britain, and as such is a leap forward from his previous releases, incorporating rappers from Mumbai and New Delhi, spoken word and his own Indian classical and jazz performances. More Arriving is a record born of confrontation; one for our confrontational times.” Click to book ahead via the Band on the Wall, Manchester website.

A new chapter begins. Historic first Hancock institute competition. Details via the press release: 

2019 Guitar Competition To Take Place December 2-3 in Washington, D.C.

Applications due October 11, 2019

Washington, D.C —The Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz International Competition will be presented on December 2-3 in Washington, D.C. Open to musicians age 30 and under from across the globe, this year’s competition will shine a spotlight on the guitar.

For over three decades, the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Competition played a pivotal role in identifying and empowering the next generation of jazz musicians, educators, and influencers. Building upon this important legacy, the newly minted Hancock Institute Competition represents a changing of the guard for one of the jazz world’s most renowned institutions.

The Semifinals of the 2019 Guitar Competition will be held on Monday, December 2nd, from noon to 5:00 p.m. at the Smithsonian Institution. The semifinalists will compete before an all-star panel of judges including jazz guitarists Stanley JordanRussell MalonePat MethenyChico PinheiroLee Ritenourand John Scofield. Each semifinalist will perform for 15 minutes accompanied by a professional rhythm section.

From this group, the judges will select three finalists who will perform in the final round at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday evening, December 3rd. At stake is more than $150,000 in scholarships and prizes, including a $30,000 first place scholarship and guaranteed recording contract with Concord Music Group; a $15,000 second place scholarship; and a $10,000 third place scholarship.

According to Institute Chairman Herbie Hancock, whose career epitomizes the ideals of the jazz tradition and innovation, “We look forward to discovering and hearing from the next generation of young jazz guitarists, with their innovative styles and unique approach to the music. We are particularly excited to pay homage to the guitar, which has a rich and colorful history that continues to play a pivotal role in the development of jazz. I have no doubt that this year’s Competition will show that the future of this instrument, and of our music, is in good hands.”

 

One of the biggest jazz festivals of the autumn is held each year in Barcelona. Check out the line-up for the 2019 running via its website. Herbie Hancock for instance appears on 26 October... Dave Douglas and Uri Caine on 29 October... Lizz Wright on 3 November... Makaya McCraven on 7 November... Joe Lovano and Trio Tapestry are in the Catalonian capital on 12 November... Angélique Kidjo appears on 19 November.

From Cream to Fela to Jazz Confusion. One of the greats, obviously. Listen again, again. And — again. 

Victoria Geelan

The Fermanagh Live Arts festival launch events are on 20 September to be headlined by trumpeter Linley Hamilton who will the following month be appearing as a headliner at the Cork jazz festival. Fermanagh Live festival highlights include the Dawn to Dusk poetry celebration, John Kelly reading from Notions + Irish traditional music star Gaby McArdle, jazz singer Victoria Geelan, a chess championship, jazz brunch, and the launch of Notes From Africa by Jenny Cathcart. Victoria Geelan, above, publicity photo. Festival website. Dates are 2-10 October.

Courtney Pine touring coming up includes three nights at the Boisdale Canary Wharf restaurant venue in London from 2-4 October; the sold out Ronnie Scott’s 60th Albert Hall concert on 30 October; and on 31 October an appearance at St George’s, Bristol


The erudite Anthems is to be released at the end of September on the Sunnyside label. Seems a significant release although there is only one track from Caroline Davis and Rob Clearfield’s Persona to go on so far — delivered in for want of a better term, a “New Melodic” style: let’s shrink the wait for more somehow by repeated play and a little contemplation. That heard pedal point framework is a siren to an essence of song. 

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At last: to be released by DeepMatter on 20 September voilà PYJÆN: after a lot of promise on the singles so far. Leaning towards prog jazz-rock (Polar Bear at the jazziest end, Dream Theater the proggiest) on their latest sounds, but with a very individual and fresh attitude. 

The five-piece: Dani Diodato, guitar; Dylan Jones, trumpet; Ben Vize, saxophone; Charlie Hutchinson, drums; Benjamin Crane, bass; arrived first on the marlbank new band radar last year when they were touring. As mentioned back then: They can do hard blowing Brecker-esque tenor, Byron Wallen-like trumpet, wiry guitar, rapport, flow, ladlings of Afrobeat, an energetic pulsing undertow to boot: these guys are not afraid to wear their hearts on their sleeves. A London five-piece formed via friendship and study at the Trinity Laban conservatoire in Greenwich. Vize is a new star in the making. Surely his and their profile will soar given a bit of luck. There is also a lot of stimulating heat rising from the drums. Hutchinson makes me want to listen to a bunch of Greg Bissonette solos. Yep, it cooks.

While they can do all the above the direction is clearly more in a unique prog-jazz space and moves that style on a bit since the last innovations were made by World Service Project. Could PYJÆN be the Colosseum of 2019? Tremble at that crazy prospect.  

Concord are leading the way at the moment with release after quality release from quite a number of big and upcoming names. Long may it continue. The latest to drop online is promo for Mike Stern and Jeff Lorber Fusion with the deliciously incendiary ‘Ha Ha Hotel’ from Eleven, to be issued in late-September. Not at all smooth jazz by the way. There is a funky James Brown-like undertow in the response to the flying jazz-rock soloing here, the tempo completely ramped up.

Blue World cover

Blue World by John Coltrane will be released by Impulse! on 27 September. Featuring Coltrane with Jimmy Garrison, Elvin Jones and McCoy Tyner, recorded in 1964, this has not been issued commercially before by an official label. According to Pitchfork the album was: “Recorded at New Jersey’s Van Gelder Studios, the 37-minute session was made at the request of Canadian filmmaker Gilles Groulx, who had asked Coltrane to soundtrack his film Le chat dans le sac.” 

Press release follows:

An unreleased and never-before-heard 1964 recording by John Coltrane and his Classic Quartet, Blue World, will be released by Impulse!/UMe on 27 September. It features new recordings of earlier works which, in an almost unprecedented move, they reinterpreted for this session, recorded at Van Gelder Studios.

The album will available on CD, vinyl LP and digitally, and is previewed by the release of the title track, which is now available:

The recordings were made in June 1964, in between the sessions for Crescent and A Love Supreme. Coltrane had been approached by a filmmaker in Quebec, Gilles Groux, who was planning to make his film Le chat dans le sac, a love story set in Montreal that had political overtones.

Groulx was a devoted Coltrane aficionado, and via his connection with bassist Jimmy Garrison, he approached the great jazz figurehead with the idea of Coltrane recording the film’s soundtrack. Remarkably, he agreed.

Sp it was that he went into the studio with Garrison, Elvin Jones and McCoy Tyner to revisit and reinterpret some of Coltrane’s earlier works. The session was recorded on quarter-inch analog mono tape and mixed by the great jazz engineer Rudy Van Gelder on 24 June. Groulx, who had been present at the session, took the masters to Canada to use in Le chat dans le sac, but only included ten minutes from the 37-minute recording.

Kevin Reeves at Universal Music Mastering in New York has now mastered Blue World from the original analog tape. The lacquers for the new release were cut at Capitol Studios by Ron McMaster.

Devotees and new admirers will hear both Coltrane’s creative progression and the consistent, interactive sound that had become the signature of the Classic Quartet by 1964. The album is also a window into a fascinating and hugely significant period in Coltrane’s musical evolution, set in between two of his most transcendent recordings. Crescent was released in July, and A Love Supreme the following January.

 

Crepuscule In Nickelsdorf (Intakt Records) by Trance Map+: Evan Parker, Matthew Wright, Adam Linson, John Coxon and Ashley Wales, is a seven part mix of field recordings, samples from cassettes, turntable scratching and live processing of Evan Parker saxophone recordings. Think of the tracks, recorded in Austria on 22 July 2017, if you like as somehow figuratively conjuring a 21st century Turner electroacoustic seascape transmogrified to forest in a void far from home because all sense of reality is upended in the churning turbulence of dreams. Quite brilliant, especially in the practically patented use of upper beyond-ledger line partials by Parker — all sounds are hugely organic in the mix. SG *****

It only begins when you listen to... Robbie Robertson. ‘Let Love Reign’, the terrific latest from Sinematic, has a Chris Rea feel to it.

The Love Stories opener is a version of Frances Lai’s theme song from the 1966 Claude Lelouch directed film Un homme et une femme — in English A Man and a Woman. The Brazilian Elias remains firmly and even more resolutely an easy listening jazz singer on this latest album. At concerts it is also, worth noting, her pianism, an effortless Evansiana, proved overwhelmingly on Something for You: Eliane Elias Sings & Plays Bill Evans that can and often does steal the show. However, her singing style is a masterclass in softness. The bossa absorbs her. 

Hear Eliane Elias at the EFG London Jazz Festival this year. She appears at the Barbican on 22 November. 

Having been longlisted it has just been announced that the Fergus McCreadie trio have made the shortlist for the Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award. The full shortlist is:

Aidan Moffat and RM Hubbert: Here Lies The Body

Andrew Wasylyk: The Paralian

Auntie Flo: Radio Highlife

C Duncan: Health

Carla J. Easton: Impossible Stuff

Fergus McCreadie Trio: Turas

Free Love: Luxury Hits

Karine Polwart with Steven Polwart & Inge Thomson: Laws of Motion

Kathryn Joseph: From When I Wake The Want Is

Mastersystem: Dance Music (public vote)

Each shortlisted album has won a guaranteed minimum prize of £1,000.