THE PATCHWORK of new releases destined for early-2019 begins to gain a lot more shape as the New Year approaches. Take this driving upcoming self-titled album to be issued on the Ubuntu label by Wandering Monster which is to be released at the end of January. 

Wandering Monster

“The musicians that inspired me to start writing for a group were those who blend the jazz and rock genres, the likes of Dave Holland, Kurt Rosenwinkel and Tigran Hamasyan being at the top of my list of influences” says bassist-composer-leader Sam Quintana who is joined in the band by Ben Powling on tenor saxophone, Calvin Travers on guitar, Tom Higham on drums and Aleks Podraza on piano and keyboards.

Dates in January and February 2019 include gigs in Ambleside, Newcastle, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Huddersfield before the launch in Leeds at the Sela Bar on 20 January and further touring to Manchester, Birmingham, London, Bristol, Kenilworth, Cardiff, and Leeds again at tour end. 
‘Tuco’ above in a live version is featured on the self-titled album.

STILL RUNNING TO EVEN HOPE TO STAND STILL I only heard Kyron Bourke for the first time this year back in bleak January and enjoyed his low tones and bohemian style although was distracted that against the odds ultimately auspicious night in Berts by an old merchant seafarer I got chatting to while trying to listen who related mostly appealingly to be fair some of his nautical tales however scuttled a bit by his inordinate and overloud length. 

Bourke was not even billed that night and was an unannounced surprise addition joining Scott Flanigan in the second set, and impressed me most on a soothing ‘My One and Only Love’, a tender ‘Time after Time’ and later, best of all a sprezzatura treatment that coaxed out the soft and sensuous Chet Baker-esque murmurs needed on ‘I Fall in Love Too Easily’. 

Kyron used to run the much appreciated Teatro intimate eaterie on Botanic Avenue and continues to curate the remarkable 7-night per week jazz bookings at the cherishable Berts (which is sort of a Ronnie Scott’s for local jazzers).

In January look out for Kyron’s band The Sazeracs when they play Belfast festival Out To Lunch. This single issued in a new version is not sentimental despite surface appearances and has the right jazz connotation to survive all the Christmas mush and schmaltz and is really quite touching. Think the spirit of Mark Murphy, the triumph of the underdog, blues in the night — light a candle but this spirit won’t go out any time soon.