What kind of place must Milo’s in Leeds be? You can make an educated guess by listening to a clip of Roller Trio playing ‘The Nail That Stands Up’ on YouTube and you would in all probability be completely wrong, because there’s only so much you can glean from a bit of murky video captured in some unknown club in a faraway place that you might only ever visit if the arbitrariness of life takes you there.
One thing though that the video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsIm_SKzvuQ) does convey is the sharp scuzzy attack of the band that bristles with one thing a lot of super educated young jazz polite boys often lack: attitude, the kind of Only This Matters Ever attitude of a Paul Weller on form, a Roy Hargrove when he’s totally gone, or an Andrew Plummer in the dystopian depths of his stage persona when nothing else counts.
Roller first surfaced by winning the Whittingham, the prize that has spotted noted talents of the order of Soweto Kinch and World Service Project. The Roller boys are electronicist/tenor saxophonist James Mainwaring, guitarist Luke Wynter and drummer Luke Reddin-Williams, and in case you haven’t flicked up the clip or checked them out on Soundcloud, like to dip their toes in garage rock, and blend it with the brooding beats beloved of the Bristol scene, and up to the minute dubstep routines spliced with an on-the-fly improvising candour.
They’re featured as part of the BBC Introducing night at Band on the Wall in Manchester on 16 July along with new bands Dakhla, im Quartet, and Eyes Shut Tight. Worth buying their debut album if you can get hold of a copy.
Melt Yourself Down listening
Melt Yourself Down newly signed to Decca have shared punky new single ‘Boot and Spleen’.
The label glosses the single as “Inspired by the dark history of British colonialism in India, it asks the question: “What is it to be British? What’s that identity now, in 2019? What sort of behaviours are allowed towards minorities, or from minorities towards the majority?”
The London 6-piece was set up by former Acoustic Ladyland and Polar Bear saxophonist, the James Chance and the Contortions-loving Pete Wareham, and is fronted by lead singer Kush Gaya.
JAZZ DRUMMERS: LIVING GREATS The ultimate
1 Jack DeJohnette A thrill to hear the great Chicagoan, always. Out of the AACM and ex-Charles Lloyd, Miles Davis, standards, avant garde, rocking the room – he can do it all.
In recent years for example there has been loads going on. Sound Travels for instance was released, one of DeJohnette’s most formidable albums in years, a Robert Sadin-produced affair with the band’s size swelling and contracting to suit Jack’s arrangements. ‘Dirty Ground’ with a vocal from Bruce Hornsby was the most accessible, with a “New Orleans-meets-The Band" vibe, and a great down home shuffle from Jack who co-wrote the song with the man DeJohnette in the notes refers to as ‘The Bruce’. Rolling Stones saxophonist Tim Ries addded great soprano sax on the song, and the George Benson and Franco-inspired guitarist Lionel Loueke showed his range with some funky licks on a tune the lyric of which points to the need in New Orleans or anywhere for that matter not to give up or for that matter give in. There was even a lovely spot from Bobby McFerrin on ‘Oneness’ written for Gateway, a band DeJohnette actually reconvened for a one-off gig in his home town of Chicago.
Sound Travels was only one part of what DeJohnette has been involved with over this decade and ECM slipped out a beautiful four-CD box set Special Edition, which collected the output of DeJohnette’s band of the same name between 1979 and 1984 spread over four albums Special Edition, Tin Can Alley, Inflation Blues, and Album Album.
Fine, nuanced, spirited, free form and original in terms of writing and performance, you’ll hear highlights in this set that include David Murray brilliantly wild and fresh on the two albums he’s featured on, and Chico Freeman’s characterful bluesiness on such marvellously raucous numbers as ‘I Know’ on Tin Can Alley where the music opens up and ‘out’ becomes ‘in’.
2 Roy Haynes Last of the bebop greats.
3 Terri Lyne Carrington Composition and a sense of song are crucial in the TLC artistic profile as is huge technical skill as a drummer.
4 Jimmy Cobb On Kind of Blue. Just three very significant century, life, changing words.
5 Jeff 'Tain' Watts With Branford Marsalis he was in one of the best acoustic quartets since the 1960s. Wish he was still there with Steep. The chieftain, nonetheless, still.
6 Eric Harland An Elvin Jones for our times.
7 Nasheet Waits Son of Freddie: powers the Bandwagon.
8 Jon Christensen Belonging Band poet of the kit.
9 Billy Cobham Hugely influential jazz-rock monster, Massive Attack owe him a big debt. And we all owe BC for mucho jazz life AD and for gifting the world Red Baron among other classics.
10 Brian Blade Wayne Shorter drummer par excellence.
11 Andrew Cyrille Free jazz icon and hero.
12 Tyshawn Sorey Hugely influential on the US avant garde scene as a conceptualist and thinker who packs a visceral punch.
13 Tony Allen Afrobeat innovations feed directly into jazz. His recent Blakey album was excellent.
14 Herlin Riley Wynton's best ever drummer.
15 Marcus Gilmore Superb in the Vijay Iyer trio. Very open style.
16 Vinnie Colaiuta A revelation in recent years with Herbie Hancock, feverish and compulsive. Inspires cult-like devotion from other drummers and understandably so.
17 Dennis Chambers Monstrous with John McLaughlin back in the day.
18 Cindy Blackman Santana Check out her Muse albums. Code Red etc, and work with Lenny Kravitz as well as currently with husband Carlos Santana.
19 Kendrick Scott On the classic Flow with Terence Blanchard. A modest master at work whose own albums are fine, sometimes mellow, sometimes a riot of rhythm.
20Chris ('Daddy') Dave Most significant drummer to emerge since Jeff Tain Watts. He has created his own sound forged from the pulse of hip hop and spliced it with bebop and neosoul.