Jeff Williams has been making classy records like this for years. If anything he gets better each time. He receives little hype nor you suspect does he want any.
A piano trio this time recorded in New York featuring trio arrangements of old numbers, Michael Formanek on double bass provides plenty of beefy support while Carmen Staaf on piano reminds me a little of the way Bruce Barth accompanies Jerry Bergonzi.
Williams has a very Paul Motian-like way about him sometimes and that sense of quiet fracture and splinter of stick on snare makes his sound very approachable and intimate. Be good to yourself and get this asap.
It is looking like an early-June release for Arvoles the latest album from Avishai Cohen.
‘Arvoles’, which means ‘Trees’ in the ancient Sephardic language Ladino, finds Cohen with the trio that he introduced to Ronnie Scott’s audiences earlier this month, featuring newcomer Elchin Shirinov from Azerbaijan on piano and Cohen’s old school friend Noam David on drums, plus Anders Hagberg on flute and Björn Samuelsson, trombone.
The record, recorded in a studio in Sweden earlier this year, will be released on the Razdaz label.
Lots of reedy powerplay at work here courtesy of the lively Wanja Slavin and Joris Roelofs, and it is always a pleasure to hear any band featuring Martin France on drums. Phil Donkin is a bassist’s bassist and in this band you can hear his talents better than most (check out his solo at the beginning of the title track, for instance, and later in the same track the ferocious beat Donkin conjures up in a driving tour de force).
Released on trombonist Nils Wogram’s label Nwog there is a teasing quality to a good deal of the writing, I suppose most of all on the fourth part of the ‘Zealot Suite’, and the way the tunes are shaped gives plenty of space for group work and a whole range of earthily spectacular solos. The sound recording quality is also first class.