Out now on Concord records.
To be released by Intakt on 19 April.
To be released by Edition on 28 May.
To be released by Gondwana on 26 April.
To be released by Sunnyside on 3 May.
ECM these days is much too eclectic to easily categorise in an easy way. This release however by the returning Small Town duo of guitarist Bill Frisell and bassist Thomas Morgan sums up one huge tranche of its style as a label: the intimate turn the lights down low approach the label has so long championed.
Recorded live at jazz shrine the Village Vanguard in New York peppered with Monk tunes as in the title track and a spread of other covers from Doc Pomus and Paul Motian to John Barry and Jerome Kern, Frisell is the dominant lead as you might expect and his quietly triumphant introversion draws out the quirky side of the tunes and lets the melodies breath set against his rickety harmonies and self-effacing charm.
You get the sound of an appreciative audience, the feeling that this is a real concert via the fine album sound and you can almost sense the expectation of the Vanguard audience. Morgan has risen in recent years to become one of the most reliable bassists in progressive jazz settings and has an incredible sense of tone and poise and you get that on this record as well. Enough for now — just rush out and get this when it is released on Friday 12 April.
From Soul Awakening by harpist Brandee Younger, to be released in June.
The last show of the Avishai Cohen trio’s latest Ronnie Scott’s residency: this late night set was the first time I’d heard him with his new trio, Azerbaijani pianist Elchin Shirinov and an old school mate of Cohen’s, drummer Noam David.
It is a tough gig for any musician keeping up with Cohen given the extraordinary level of technique and power the former Chick Corea bassist brings to the table, and while David was more than up to the challenge and provided his own fireworks I thought Shirinov took a while to settle. But when he did his rapport with Cohen was pretty clear and the gig really caught fire.
Playing new music which the trio have been recording recently, often shaped around a tiny folkloric figure often rising up from the piano, there were no tune titles provided at all throughout and it was only in the encore when prompted by a heckler and when Cohen sang a beautiful version of Mercedes Sosa’s ‘Alfonsina y El Mar’ that the gig touched on the more familiar given that this gem has been in Cohen’s repertoire for many years.
Cohen has incredible speed at his disposal but more than this it is the way he curls rhythms away from the places you expect them to land that continually surprises and provides such delight. SG
The opening track from Multitasking above is new from the impressive Kuba Więcek trio, the album is to be released on the Warner Music Poland label.
Their second album — the band reminds me a little of Roller trio — following on from the award winning Another Raindrop released two years ago, this time around electronics plays more of a part.
Hear the trio at the Pizza Express Jazz Club, London on 5 May.
Fans of free-jazz drum legend Andrew Cyrille have had plenty of late-career goodies in recent years to delve into, with last year’s Lebroba the pick.
Cyrille’s work with Cecil Taylor secures his place in jazz history and somehow Uri Caine manages to make that connection with his resourcefully spiky bravura runs and elasticity in this superstar trio with Dave Douglas, one of today’s most acclaimed trumpeters.
Douglas adds plenty of bluesy smears and dazzling runs that knit in perfectly with his trio partners. Devotion is quite an accessible release pivoting between handsome melodic ideas and rampaging freedom. There is a lot of economy in what the trio provide, stickling to mainly four- and five-minute length tunes that say so much in a relatively brief amount of time.
The tunes are by Dave Douglas and serve as dedications to musicians he admires such as Franco D’Andrea. The title track is a hymn by Alexander Johnson that dates back to the 19th century and draws the album strikingly to a close. SG
New this month on Mack Avenue from one of the world's great jazz drummers check out ‘Twelve’s It’ from Perpetual Optimism. The piece is a homage to pianist Ellis Marsalis who was an early mentor to Riley.