Pretty novel idea, as part of the Ronnie Scott’s 60th Anniversary festivities spooling out this year, in that the club is to host a street party outside the club’s premises on Frith Street on Saturday 20 July. The confirmed line-up includes Pee Wee Ellis and his Funk Assembly, Nubya Garcia and a 7-piece latin-jazz band. Full details: here.
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Beefy brass and funked up Wu-Tang Clan from Steely Dan trumpeter Michael Leonhart.
Laid back samba from Duduka Da Fonseca and starry guests.
Airy electronica fashioned as if it were counterpoint by the very fine Aki Rissanen piano trio.
TRACK of the DAY ‘Hold It’ by Chris Potter
Here we have the explosive sounding first track released from Circuits by Chris Potter new on English jazz indie Edition in the latter part of February.
Sounds very jazz-rock, Eric Harland given free rein, groove the order of the day. And yet with a big sprinkling of glassy electronics fed in contributing to a highly customised sound full of episodic metrical changes, twists and turns but pretty full on (and certainly mastered away up on this track so striking even on this lo-fi Bandcamp audio version), the keyboards however sounding very organic.
Check especially underneath the bonnet what the still fairly unknown keyboardist James Francies despite a major label debut recently is doing on this track. His profile I guess will zoom ever higher this year as more people around the world get to hear of him if for no other reason than he is a new Pat Metheny “Side Eye” keyboardist as Metheny cultivates new sounds.
Potter played with Metheny in recent years in the Unity set-up when the guitarist brought the sax back into his sound and it is interesting how families of musicians develop often circles within circles, their past experiences morphing into new spheres as they play on and on.
Potter here, note the credits on the Bandcamp page, overall on the album switches between tenor and soprano saxes, clarinets, flutes, uses a sampler, guitars, keyboards, and percussion so you can imagine how much production went into this album which was recorded in September 2017.
As for Francies well just think the excitement of Robert Glasper when he was unknown for a moment and then lift off into a new orbit (the comparison is even more striking on Francies’ Blue Note debut). Circuits on less than half of the tracks also credits the highly mobile bass guitarist Linley Marthe you may recall from the Zhenya Strigalev record Blues For Maggie.
Mark 29 and 30 July in your diaries... they make for a couple of chances to catch one of the most swinging soulfully bluesy jazz saxophone masters in the ideal circumstances of a small jazz club situation.
Now in his eighties Houston Person has more than 75 albums under his own name on Prestige, Westbound, Mercury, Savoy, Muse, and is currently with High Note Records. He has recorded with Charles Brown, Charles Earland, Lena Horne, Etta Jones, Lou Rawls, Horace Silver, Dakota Staton, and many more.
His latest record is I’m Just a Lucky So and So, from which his version of ‘Willow Weep For Me’ can be heard above, is released on High Note at the end of July. Hear him with his organ trio at Pizza Express Jazz Club, London. Remember: you only really learn deep down as a player or as a listener by hearing and experiencing the masters live. Tickets.