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.
Jazz blog: notes, tips, recommendations
Mat Maneri/Evan Parker/Lucian Ban, Sounding Tears, Clean Feed Records ***
A very serious and sombre record, it floats in space and lingers, notions of beat and static rhythm largely absent at least overtly given that there is no bass or drums. Only a distant tracing of each is inferred. Mat Maneri’s viola mines tiny details and his approach is such that he does not take the obvious potential of the instrument in that he does not have to plumb the rich sonorities the putatively swollen violin can provide instead choosing to dig out routes towards a new dissonance that you never thought were navigable. A mood of elegy is woven by the three in an elaborately abstract tapestry so fine that you can hardly see the needlepoint. Evan Parker is as reflective as he is customarily exploratory and more relevant than ever, sounding different here, and at just under an hour it is an album that does not outstay its welcome, its intensity level ringing peak after peak the more introverted it becomes, the three masterfully controlling stark silence and space to blaze and quietly burn. Amid the 10 pieces of the studio set recorded in 2014 in Paramus, New Jersey, pianist Lucian Ban’s role is probably the most intriguing: he manages to paint a very full canvas without the need for a massive sense of attack, sometimes numbing the heightened mood with his jaggedly crawling harmonic trajectory that on ‘This!’ for instance taps what sounds like a new way to rewrite Monk. A very different sound to when Maneri performs in trio with Craig Taborn and Ches Smith that trio works better together because there is a firmer architecture. And yet there is plenty to savour and admire in terms of individual moments on Sounding Tears even in its sober and considerable relentlessness. Mat Maneri, aboveleft-to right, Lucian Ban and Evan Parker will be touring in the autumn following on from the release of their album at the end of May. Dates include the Northern Rock Foundation Hall at the Sage, Gateshead, on 21 October.
Charles Lloyd club dates
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.