Remember how Rymden appeared so stirringly earlier this year? Cast your minds back. 

Dan Berglund, above left, Bugge Wesseltoft and Magnus Öström whose Reflections and Odysseys was an 8 February release. In terms of tick boxes: yes to absorbing metrical investigation, lots of electricity, big bass and energetic drums. No however to navel gazing and ponderous pomposity which often bedevils prog-jazz.

This style is the antithesis of ambient Nordic spaciousness and it is a busy sound. On a tune like ‘Pitter Patter’ however you can source the sound back to say Chick Corea because Wesseltoft using the Rhodes electric piano knows that terrain inside out and manages to sound ahead of the game even when the sound of the Rhodes is everywhere this last decade.

‘The Lugubrious Youth of Lucky Luke’ is probably the most EST-like of all the tunes, a slow ballad that takes its time to unfold after a folk-ish opening melodic mood is established by Wesseltoft on piano with almost a country lilt to it.

‘Homegrown’ in a major rather than minor mood at the end is a beauty and shows this band are not afraid to use warm and rich melody, cadences to die for, to their advantage without being at all twee.

If you are an EST fan you will see how time is a healer and how too Bugge Wesseltoft is the perfect person to harness the beauty of that band and paint new pictures with the spirit and all that heart. Everything glues together which may have been the hope but certainly to these ears is the reality. SG 

Rymden are headliners on the final night of this autumn’s Punkt held over 5-7 September. 

A digital format piano and alto saxophone duo album recorded at Trinity Laban in south east London towards the end of 2016 is on release. ‘Majolica’ is a taut beginning grounded by Maguire’s very abstract sense of harmony. The pianist begins ‘Smooth Your Feathers’ in a more gentle, ruminative and balladic way: Martin Speake typically Konitz and Ornette Coleman-like in the sense not necessarily of timbre but in the jagged overlapping saxophone lines he creates.

‘Just One Look’ continues the conversational approach while ‘Prana’ is more celebratory, a fanfare from Speake to begin. Then ‘Mellow Eightpence’ is so quiet at the beginning and a memorable very pretty initial theme is developed straight off: the duo seem to be freest here in the ultimate sense of playing and not thinking... and yet are so lucid and creative.

‘Six Sisters’ again sits in simple melody and goes quiet as if time and silence (often the ultimate desire to achieve in every kind of music making either as means or outcome) are forefront in the mind’s eye.

‘Eau de Nil’ and later ‘Different Roads’ are where the album really gets interesting in terms of the piano lines. The Bley-esque Maguire thrives on the homespun aspect to ‘The Next Stage’ and we are back to the Konitz universe to an extent on ‘Wounded Landscape’ but Speake takes it a step further and this track is a wilderness of bass lines and rampaging bar-vaulting fourths and eighths juggling illusive atonality or tonality in its grandeur.

‘Dottles’ is free improv in the plinky plonky sense should you choose to use that phrase advisedly — I am being as accurate as possible and not pejorative — and as for the final five tracks: where they work best is when they find a simple theme which they often do and ornament it. ‘Armistice Sorry To Be Me’ is superb (‘Green Light’ the only weak track in an album of 16 tracks) and ‘Embrace’ finds Speake — think beyond style in a Britjazz timeline of alto sax icons: John Dankworth; Joe Harriott; Speake; Soweto Kinch — at his epic best. SG

Available via Bandcamp ***

The line-up for the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of the Soho Jazz Week on the Soho-Live site is now available.

Wed 11 September 
Artists include Ashley Henry, Jo Harrop and Cherise Adam Burnett. Full list
Thurs 12 September
Artists include Christian Brewer, Aydenne Simone and KoKo Collective. Full list
Fri 13 September
Artists include Andy Davies, Quentin Collins, Kitty la Roar and her trio. Full list

The Soho.Live Jazz Week website is here.

RECOMMENDED

From the upcoming 16 August release of Crepuscule In Nickelsdorf by Trance Map+: Evan Parker, Matthew Wright, Adam Linson, John Coxon and Ashley Wales.

A seven part mix of field recordings, samples from cassettes, turntable scratching and live processing of Evan Parker saxophone recordings collective personnel are: Evan Parker, soprano saxophone; Matthew Wright, turntable, live sampling; Adam Linson, double bass, electronics; John Coxon, turntable, electronics; Ashley Wales, electronics. Think of the tracks so far as somehow conjuring a 21st century Turner electroacoustic seascape in a void far from home, all sense of reality upended in the churning turbulence of dreams.

Nerija

Enjoying critical acclaim and now experiencing initial sales success, Nérija top the UK official jazz & blues album chart — a significant achievement. 

Nérija are 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). Blume was released on 2 August.

Check out the woozy hard bop and Afrobeat-flavoured ‘Riverfest’ from the album, above. 

Try these sounds from the Mario Pavone Dialect Trio, the bassist in a cooperative trio on the title track of Philosophy (issued by Clean Feed) recorded in the studio last summer in New Haven, Connecticut, with pianist Matt Mitchell and drummer Tyshawn Sorey. Swings ferociously in a loose open style, a great deal landing within the freebop idiom. Snap this one up. **** RECOMMENDED 

Nathan Carter

Country singer Nathan Carter appeared on the second night of Shoreline and came on stage after the rain. 

Carter, from Liverpool who lives in Enniskillen, and who is the biggest star in Irish country music and has been for quite a few years, wrote a song about Enniskillen called ‘Island Town’ and it was fitting that he was here on the island itself on a big stage in front of several hundred people inside the castle grounds, a place itself mentioned, in the song lyrics:

The lights of the castle walls/they flicker across the water/and it seems to me/they have a life of their own.

Carter, top, photo: marlbank, singing ‘Island Town’ a ballad to add to the town’s own tower of song: the latest since the lively ‘Fare Thee Well Enniskillen’ was famously rendered by the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem. Stephen Graham 

11-15 September Lancaster jazz festival

27-29 September Herts jazz festival

27-29 September Limerick jazz festival 

2-6 October Galway jazz festival

11-13 October Marsden jazz festival

24-28 October Guinness Cork jazz festival

15-24 November EFG London jazz festival

Harish Ragahavan

Produced by Walter Smith III Harish Raghavan makes his debut as a leader — a quintet affair the bassist-composer joined by vibist Joel Ross, drummer Kweku Sumbry, pianist Micah Thomas, and altoist Immanuel Wilkins. The recording is titled Calls for Action and is to be issued by Whirlwind this autumn.

Harish Raghavan, publicity photo above

 

Via Pyroclastic Records Superbigmouth involves the collective might of two bands Bigmouth and Superette [geddit?] combining as one to play new original music by Chris Lightcap.

Musicians are: Craig Taborn on organ, piano, Wurlitzer; Tony Malaby on tenor saxophone; Chris Cheek also on tenor; Jonathan Goldberger and Curtis Hasselbring on guitar; leader-composer Chris Lightcap on bass guitar; with Gerald Cleaver and Dan Rieser on drums.

For the best of Lightcap in recent years, one example springs to mind so think back to Plymouth released in 2014 and on which Wisława, December Avenue Stańko legend Cleaver also contributed. Look for Superbigmouth in October.

The relevant date for the Patricia Barber Soho Pizza Dean Street jazz club debut is 19 November falling during the EFG London Jazz Festival. Joining the singer pianist in her trio are Patrick Mulcahy on bass and Nate Friedman on drums. Tickets.  

Friday 13 September will be the release date of the upcoming live album Reflections, Transformations, Improvisations by flautist bandleader Eddie Parker’s Debussy Mirror Ensemble. Tracks are: La Chevelure, De Soir, Little Shepherd, Claire de Lune, X-Boite a Jou Jou, Eventail, Syrinx, si doucement perdue, and Il Pleut. The ensemble made up of a dozen players spanning the classical and jazz disciplines was put together last year to mark the centenary of the death of Debussy for a series of gigs and spawned this recording made into their debut album.  

Have a listen to the deeply soulful brutally honest ‘Simple Man’ a cover of a number by Pops Staples & the Staples Singers. Close your eyes you may also want to go to dig out your old Bill Withers records suitably inspired, believe me.

The latest promo made publicly available on YouTube by the issuing label is drawn from the upcoming Robert Randolph and the Family Band album, Brighter Days which is to be released on 23 August.

I enjoyed ‘Have Mercy’ put out in May which remains a bit of a must and the more engrossing of the two tracks, a heartfelt take refuge message song because it is gospel after all shaped by a laidback groove to die for. Sacred steel specialist Randolph and his band worked with producer Dave Cobb on Brighter Days. The Family Band features Robert’s cousins bassist Danyel Morgan and drummer Marcus Randolph along with his sister, vocalist Lenesha Randolph. Both tracks are utterly convincing even beyond the gospel genre (maybe within, people have their own notions so it is hard to gauge reaction there) and for sure appeal to jazz fans if I am at all typical. 

— Stephen Graham 

From True Love: A Celebration of Cole Porter by the New Orleans singer-pianist to be released by Verve on 25 October.

Appearing during and part of the EFG London Jazz Festival at the Cadogan Hall, London, on 17 November note that Good Hope by the Crosscurrents trio is released in October. Tickets.

From Here & Now released by Los Angeles label Ghost Note Records. David Binney is known as an avant saxophonist and composer and has a sizable international jazz club-attending following. Catch up for instance by hearing his enjoyable guest spot on Joe Locke Subtle Disguise track ‘Red Cloud’ last year where he got the energy level right up. His vocals side is lesser known but is only a small part of the complete picture because he chooses on the album to multi-track electronics, burning sax, synths, vocals, bass, guitar, and he has a number of guests as part of the sound who include man of the moment drummer Louis Cole on one track, Jacob Richards on two, Pedja Milutinovic on a couple and bassists Logan Kane and Pera Krstajic also on a couple each. The album, which has a roving post-jazzrocktronica gleam to it early listens digging deep suggest, was recorded in the States both on the east and west coasts and in the Balkans: over in the Serbian capital, Belgrade. 

At the Proms this summer look out for the Jules Buckley curated and conducted Nina Simone-themed “Mississippi Goddam: A Homage To Nina Simone” featuring soul singers the multiple Grammy nominated Ledisi and Rolling Stones backing singer Lisa Fischer. Buckley, a Proms regular, conducts the Metropole Orkest from the Netherlands. The Albert Hall concert is on Wednesday 21 August and will be shown on BBC Four TV on Friday 30 August and aired on Radio 2 at a date to be decided. More details.  

 

Hard boppers and Blue Note heads rejoiced at the prospect of the Dizzy Reece Routes In Jazz tribute tour this year. Byron WallenRalph MooreWillie Jones IIIDezron Douglas and bandleader Trevor Watkis (above) combined to pay sincere homage to the great trumpeter whose style and taste endures down the generations. The English dates of the tour did well. Sadly Tony Hall who produced the classic Blues in Trinity — recorded in a London studio and not Paris as reckoned for years following on from its 1959 initial release — passed away recently. However, the Reece legend grows bigger by day and the tour moves this autumn to New York where Dizzy Reece lives, with an October date scheduled for Dizzy’s, as in Diz — nestled within Jazz at Lincoln Center, Columbus Circle. Tickets.