Craig Taborn is a revelation. Again. But beautiful what he does here, all naked in some very simple melody lines. The Anderson and the King tunes are very poignant (if you desire an adjective). More to the point in terms of effect they are utterly compelling. Think Kraftwerk, think song: delete that don’t even think – once read just forget the four words in this sentence before the colon. Bask instead, rely on your gut feeling, yep pun intended, in the tunes. Nostalgia as nostalgia unravelling sums up the whole thing. SG
BATL quartet, Live, RT Jazz Records **** makes you feel you are there in the room – BATL in case you were wondering the initials of Brandon Allen on tenor saxophone and Tim Lapthorn on piano. The tunes are mainly Allen’s with Lapthorn contributing ‘Return to Life’ and ‘Cuckoo’ – the live sound at the Pizza Express Jazz Club below street level on Soho’s Dean Street recorded in March and excellently captured by Luc St Martin who also later did the mix and mastering.
Brandon dedicates his tune ‘Theodore’ to his young son just five months old at the time: and the tunes as well as being personal to him are very communicative, natural, and tender. Arnie Somogyi is on bass and Lloyd Haines is on drums. Brandon says in the notes: “I feel very optimistic about the creative potential of this quartet,” and you can understand why after oh about a couple of notes and yet there is nothing cloying in the quartet’s approach because the band sound is grounded in tough hard bop. The tenor is big and bright, the piano support nurturing, bass springy and curious – and as for Haines on drums just as well he can do spang a lang so perfectly but who can also make the switch as on ‘Lazy Day’ to do that tricky falling that bit trampling behind the beat as Brandon goes scalar. The only way is up. SG
Look for Coin Coin Chapter Four: Memphis to be released byConstellation on 18 October. One of the world’s greatest saxophonists it is no exaggeration at all to type, it is four years since the third instalment appeared continuing a personal history of family and inner consciousness – the improviser turning Afro-futurism into a sprawl of time travel and anarchy via thoughtfulness unearthed by the examinations of her African American identity and expression through the ferocity and blitz of her own vision of scalding Bird and Braxtonian flavoured ideas. Personnel is: Matana Roberts: alto sax, clarinet, wordspeak, voice; Hannah Marcus: electric guitar, nylon string guitar, fiddle, accordion, voice; Sam Shalabi: electric guitar, oud, voice; Nicolas Caloia: double bass, voice; Ryan Sawyer: drumset, vibraphone, jaw harp, bells, voice + guests Steve Swell: trombone, voice; Ryan White: vibraphone; Thierry Amar: voice; Nadia Moss: voice; Jessica Moss: voice.
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. ****
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.
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.