Marlbank asked what the dates are, in which city they will take place, and if there will be a separate jazz event as in some recent years. Henk Elzenga, a director of the MOBOs replied by email: “We are hoping to bring the Awards back in November – we are working on it and will need to know soon. A day and venue have been pencilled in yet funding is the challenge. Not sure at this point what and if we can do anything around gospel and jazz specifically for that same reason.” SG
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.
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.
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
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.”