He is one of the most convincing and committed disciples of John Coltrane ever to come out of the UK. But these days hearing Alan Skidmore (a veteran of 77) is not that common a treat. Well, when better this summer on 17 July, dove tailing with the day that Coltrane died on in 1967, to hear Skid in a special 52nd memorial concert. Appearing with a quartet at Dalston club Cafe Oto plus special guest Ed Jones, Skidmore is no stranger to Oto having performed there a few years ago with Paul Dunmall. Tickets can be obtained here.
A RIFF THAT NILE RODGERS WOULD BE PROUD OF (OR COULD NOT EXIST WITHOUT HIM) from funky guitarist Cory Wong’sMotivational Music for The Syncopated Soul out on 2 August. The album features guitarist Charlie Hunter, pianist Jon Batiste, guitarist Tom Misch, singer-songwriter Caleb Hawley, singer Emily Browning Birdman on screen drummer Nate Smith and Antwaun Stanley. Be warned, you will be playing ‘Cosmic Sans’ all day.
LOOKING AHEAD TO HIS DEBUT Only 18, pianist Matthew Whitaker is something special. He releases the Brian Bacchus-produced Now Hear This via the Resilience Music Alliance label in August. First thing I thought when listening to him was a proximity to the Ahmad Jamal sound in his bright voicings and percussive touch (Jamal’s ‘Tranquility’ is on the album) but he has been compared to other players notably McCoy Tyner and Herbie Hancock. The point in all this is he sounds a major player already. In the live version above listen to ‘Emotions,’ one of the pieces featured on the album.
Whitaker, who also plays Hammond organ and Moog on the record, is the first blind undergraduate student to join Julliard's jazz programme, becoming a student at the famous New York conservatoire this autumn, appears with guitarist Dave Stryker, bassist Yunior Terry, drummer Ulysses Owens Jr., and percussionist Sammy Figueroa + guest slots from keyboardist Marc Cary and flautist Gabrielle Garo are slotted in. Tracks on the album include originals, the Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil song ‘Black Butterfly’ and Eddie Harris’ ‘Freedom Jazz Dance.’
A big deal in Germany with his trio Martin Tingvall switches to solo piano once again with The Rocket. Pretty easy listening to be fair, too much so. Tingvall and his accessible compositional touch draws on space themes in the titling of many of the tracks, the lilt of Swedish folk traditions and the language of contemporary Eurojazz and have a certain inescapable charisma as well as tunefulness. Personally I prefer his trio, still too underknown in the UK, which has a lot more drama to it than the Ludovico Einaudi-like easy going trajectories here. The surprising thing is how little jazz vocabulary Tingvall chooses to use here. Disappointing.
Binker Golding has a new quartet album out in September. Titled gnomically Abstractions of Reality Past & Incredible Feathers it was recorded at Abbey Road studios in London and alongside tenorist Golding features Daniel Casimir on double bass, Joe Armon-Jones on piano and Sam Jones on drums. Compositions are by Golding and the release is on Gearbox. Check out ‘Exquisite She-Green’ from the album, above.
In their sixtieth year Ronnie’s has pulled off another plum booking with the rare visit by one of the greatest saxophonists, with a two-night visit by the hippie jazz legend Charles Lloyd on 1-2 August now confirmed. I cannot think of the last time the Forest Flower icon played any UK club because usually he confines his visits to big concert halls. Interesting band, a quintet that includes guitar hotshot Julian Lage, he is bringing with him too. Here’s the link for more details and tickets.