Alaias ride the perfect wave with music for an imaginary surf film just released on Babel. Guitarist composer Dan Messore from Michelson Morley with Dan Moore of the Pushy Doctors on Hammond organ and moog and Matt Brown playing drums and percussion. Streaming is believing. ****

Keith Jarrett Munich

A Gasteig 2-CD solo piano recording from 16 July 2016 – look for Munich 2016 on 1 November. Tracks, 15 in all, are numbered 1-12 plus ‘Answer Me, My Love’, ‘It’s A Lonesome Old Town’ and ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’. Jarrett has only performed once in a concert since, which was at Carnegie Hall in New York in 2017.

Cover, above.


Always a significant choice as a human and citizen of the world to take time out and play classic Woody Guthrie regularly to ward off all the insidious complacency outside our control and within all of us sadly too often that swirls around – to learn, learn and learn again and above all absorb the deep truth of it all on a universal level. It still counts and is relevant.

The pianist and composer Larry Willis has died at the age of 76 following a pulmonary haemorrhage due to complications from diabetes. His death was confirmed by a long time friend.

Known to UK audiences in recent years for his acclaimed concerts with Hugh Masekela (the South African icon who died in 2018 and with whom Willis, on the right, is pictured, above), Willis had a long career and worked with Jackie McLean early on.

Read a full tribute in Jazz Times.  

Beats & Pieces

AND IT WAS ALL going so well…

But by two numbers in, the bass player’s bridge had collapsed and when they stopped to try to fix it the fire alarm went off. 

Not exactly the impact Beats & Pieces had planned to make on their first visit to Ireland but by the time the show was back on the road again, bassist Stewart Wilson had switched to electric and this exuberant 14-piece Manchester band were providing the only fire in the house. 

Now in their 11th year, which is remarkable in itself, this was the first of two Irish dates, the second being Limerick Jazz Festival the following night. Under the direction of composer/conductor Ben Cottrell, B&P are, as they say themselves, not so much a big band as a band that happens to be big.

Indeed they are worthy successors to those last great disrupters of convention, Loose Tubes. There is, indeed, a loose energy to their sound. It’s powered by a floor-shaking rhythm section that’s heavy on the electronics and there are big, uplifting ensemble sections (played with not a music stand in sight). 

There are also terrific soloists, in particular Nick Walters and Graham South on trumpets, Dee Byrne on alto and Anthony Brown on tenor, who featured on ‘Broken,’ which showed the band’s softer side. Other stand-out numbers included ‘Woody,’ with its second line New Orleans beat, a fast and ferocious ‘Jazzwalk’ and the touching ‘Fairytale,’ which could have been written for a North of England brass band. 

Well done to the indefatigable Moving on Music for providing this exciting experience.

— Keith Baker 

photo: Michael Bonner

Maria Chiara Argirò group

Hidden Seas by Italian pianist and composer Maria Chiara Argirò – full of a marine inspired folk and jazz impressionism conveyed by acoustic and electronic textures and inspired by Edward MacDowell’s Sea Pieces is strikingly fresh and appealing. The material leaps off the page in audio performance – French singer Leïla Martial matching the mood with a certain delicacy and clarity. Also on the album are Sam Rapley on tenor saxophone and clarinet, Tal Janes playing guitar and utilising effects), Andrea Di Biase on double bass and Gaspar Sena on drums. No better time to paddle a little while you still can. Out now on Cavalo Records **** recommended