Jazzwise June 2012 Issue CD Reviews List

All these albums are reviewed in the June 2012 issue of Jazzwise - to read them all click here to subscribe here and get a FREE CD. 

CD Reviews: New Releases

John Abercrombie Quartet – Within a Song – ECM

Arild Andersen/the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra/Tommy Smith – Celebration – ECM

Brian Auger – Language of the Heart – brianauger.com

Ketil Bjørnstad – Songs From the Alder Thicket – ECM

Paul Booth – Trilateral Pathway – PBCD

Bruning/Griener/ Petrowsky/Prins – Ornette Et Cetera – Jazzwerkstatt

Euan Burton – Occurrences – Whirlwind Recordings

Cakewalk – Wired – Hubro

Marc Copland – Some More Love Songs – Pirouet PIT

George Crowley Quartet – Paper Universe – Whirlwind

Jack Davies’ Flea Circus – Jack Davies’ Flea Circus – V&V Music

The Jack Davies Big Band – The Jack Davis Big Band – V&V Music

Eh Joe – Is Love the Word? – F-IRE

Manu Dibango – Past Present Future – Border Blaster

Ergo – If Not Inertia – Cuneiform Rune

Adam Fairhall – The Imaginary Delta – SLAM SLAMCD

Lorenzo Feliciati – Frequent Flyer – Rare Noise

Fripp, Keeling, Singleton – The Wine Of Silence – DGM/Panegyric

Bill Frisell – Floratone II – Savoy Jazz

Fly – Year of the Snake – ECM

Devin Gray/Ellery Eskelin/Dave Ballou/ Michael Formanek – Dirgo Rataplan – Skirl

Mary Halvorson Quintet – Bending Bridges – Firehouse

Joel Harrison/Lorenzo Feliciati – Holy Abyss – Cunieform Records Rune

Alex Hutton Trio – Legentis – F-IRE

Henrik Jensen and Peter Ehwald – Jensen Ehwald – Music Chamber

Darius Jones Quartet – Book Of Mae’ Bul – AUM Fidelity

Angélique Kidjo – Spirit Rising – Wrasse Records

Steve Lehman Trio – Dialect Fluorescent – Pi

Leverton Fox – The Human Arm – Not Applicable

Kate McGarry – Girl Talk – Palmetto Records

Dominic Miller – 5th House – Q-Rious Music

Steve Noble and Stephen O’Malley – St. Francis Duo – Bo’Weavil

Aaron Novik – Secrets Of Secrets – Tzadik

Piero Odorici – Cedar Walton presents Piero Odorici – Savant

Eivind Opsvik – Overseas IV – Loyal Label

Oriole – Every New Day – F-IRE

Ulysses Owens Jr. – Unanimous – Criss Cross Jazz

Jeff Parker Trio – Bright Light In Winter – Delmark

Southbound – Southbound – V&V Music

Zhenya Strigalev – Smiling Organizm – Whirlwind

John Surman – Saltash Bells – ECM

Susanna – Wild Dog – Rune Grammofon

John Taylor – Giulia’s Thursdays – CamJazz

TG Collective – Release The Penguins – Palmetto Records

TrioVD – Maze – NaimNaim

Troyka – Moxxy – EditionRecords

Usonic – Diversion – Groove4dayz

 

Short Cuts: New Releases

Ray Butcher – War on the Saints – Tune Records

The Chonto/Tamura – Sonic Insurgency – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mitch Dalton and the Studio Kings – Meet… – Regius

Kate Dimbleby and Nadia Sheriff – Beware of Young Girls – No label

The Filthy Six – The Fox – Acid Jazz

Kevin Hays – Variations – Pirouet

Kepa Junkera – Ultramarinos & Coloniales – Warner Music Spain

Masabumi Kikuchi Trio – Sunrise – ECM

George King – Into The Light – ASC Records

Hannah Köpf – Flying Free – GLM

Jessica Lauren – Four – Freestyle

Massimorganti Quartet – Musiplano – Neuklang

Ole Matthiessen – Past and Present – Stunt

Hakon Storm – Zinober – Norcd

Catherine Sykes – Something Wonderful – No label

Ulrik/Koppel/Balke/Danielsson/Riel – The Adventures of a Polar Expedition – Cowbell Music

Joanna Wallfisch – Wild Swan – www.joannawallfisch.com

Jan Wouter Oostenrijk – Sharqi Blues – www.jwo.nu

Eri Yamamoto Trio – The Next Page – Aum Fidelity

Pete Zimmer – Prime of Life – Tippin’ Records

 

Reissues Archive

Cannonball Adderley Quintet – Legends Liv/Liederhalle, Stuttgart – Jazzhouse

Cannonball Adderley – Know What I Mean? – Essential Jazz Classics

Art Blakey And The Jazz Messengers – Legends Liv/Sangerhalle, Unterturkheim – Jazzhouse Swr Music

Dave Brubeck Quartet – Their Last Time Out – Columbia/Legacy

Colosseum II – Strange New Flesh – Esoteric

Hank Crawford – More Soul/The Soul Clinic – Poll Winners

Eddie ‘Lockjaw’ Davis and Johnny Griffin Quintet – Live at Minton’s Playhouse NYC – Fresh Sound Records

Miles Davis – Miles Davis – Storyville

Duke Ellington Orchestra – Big Bands Live – Jazzhaus

Herb Ellis – Softly But With That Feeling/Thank You Charlie Christian – Fresh Sound

Jerry Fielding – The Gauntlet (original soundtrack) – Perseverance

Stan Getz – Stan Getz At Large – Storyville

Michael Gibbs and the NDR Big Band – Back In The Days – Cuneiform Rune

Shirley Horn – Embers And Ashes/Where Are You Going – American Jazz Classics

Milt Jackson – Plenty, Plenty Soul – Poll Winners

Fela Kuti – Live In Detroit 1986 – Strut

Thelonious Monk – Thelonious Alone in San Francisco – Poll Winners

Wes Montgomery – Echoes of Indiana Avenue – Resonance Records

Gerry Mulligan Sextet – Legends Live/Liederhalle, Stuttgart Jazzhous – SWR music

Charles Persip and the Jazz Statesmen – Charles Persip and the Jazz Statesmen – Fresh Sound

Loose Tubes – Säd Afrika – Lost Marbles

Sonny Red – Quartet, Quintet & Sextet (2-CDs) – Fresh Sound

Nino Rota – Collector – Milan CD

Frank Sinatra – Ring-a-ding-ding and I Remember Tommy – Poll Winners Records

Frank Sinatra and Count Basie – The Complete Reprise Studio Recordings – Universal

Frank Sinatra – The Concert Sinatra – Universal

Various Artists – The Leopard Lounge Original Album Series – Rhino

 

Short Cuts: Reissues

Laurindo Almeida/Bud Shank – Brazilliance Vols 1 and 2 – Poll Winners

Evans Bradshaw/Roosevelt Wardell – Look Out / Pieces of Eighty Eight / The Revelation – Fresh Sound

John Cameron – Cover Lover/Warm and Gentle – Vocalion

Carmen McRae – Carmen for Cool Ones/Mad About The Man – Fresh Sound

Esther Phillips – Performance – CTI Masterworks

Eugene Delouche – Del’s Jazz – Beguine

Paul Quinichette/Charlie Rouse – The Chase Is On – Fresh Sound

Duke Ellington/Count Basie – Battle Royal – Essential Jazz Classics

Pete Jolly – Duo and Trio – Fresh Sound

Lee Konitz – Very Cool/Tranquility – Phoenix

John Lewis/Bill Perkins – 2 Degrees East, 3 Degrees West – Poll Winners

Shorty Rogers – The Swinging Mr Rogers – Poll Winners

Shorty Rogers – Four Classic Albums – Avid

Various Artists – Jazzmen Detroit – Fresh Sound

Various Artists – Voices in Modern – El

 

Mary Halvorson Quintet – Bending Bridges ★★★★

FH12-04-01-016 Mary Halvorson (g), Jonathan Finlayson (t), Jon Irabagon (as), John Hebert (b), and Ches Smith (d). Rec. date not stated

2010’s Saturn Sings, the first quintet record from Brooklyn-based Mary Halvorson, was very good indeed but Bending Bridges is even better, up there with her trio work and her collaborations with Anthony Braxton and Marc Ribot. The Ribot link makes sense: there can be something cosy, almost smug, about jazz guitar, but Halvorson is closer to a tradition represented by Ribot or Bill Frisell or James ‘Blood’ Ulmer or Fred Frith or Derek Bailey.

It isn’t that she necessarily sounds like any of them, although there are hints; it’s that she has the same ability to emerge victorious, from what Martin Amis would call the war against cliché. Halvorson is an increasingly strong composer too, now clearly writing with these four other voices in mind. The vocabulary can be that of the avant-garde, but there’s at least a toe in popular music: it’s no surprise that she loves Robert Wyatt. Is there a better guitarist in her generation?

– Marcus O’Dair

Alex Hutton Trio – Legentis ★★★★

F-IRECD53| Alex Hutton(p),YuriGoloubev (b), Asaf Sirkis (d), Heidi Vogel (v), Jim Rattigan (Fr hn), and Keith Thompson (cor ang). Rec. December 2010

Alongside vocalist Kate Winter, the pianist Alex Hutton has been co-hosting the unpretentious Jazz Show on local p station Hayes FM. Hutton leaves his presenter’s chair to release his third piano trio album Legentis on the F-IRE imprint. Having earned his dues as a straightahead sideman in the 1990s, he released his trio debut Cross That Bridge in 2006 followed two years later by Songs from the Seven Hills, a graceful Jarrett-influenced tone poem to the often overlooked pastoral beauty of the landscape of his native town subtitled The Sheffield Suite. The new release Legentis retains some of the storytelling qualities and episodic variations of its predecessor but it signals a change in direction that engages with more recent trends in piano trio jazz. While Jarrett’s influence still looms large, its latin vamps hint at Avishai Cohen, pounding baroque-influenced themes at Neil Cowley, and a few of its grooves on melodic reveries recall EST.

Hutton writes excellent themes and utilises his guests well, filling out a few tracks with various instrumental colours. Heidi Vogel’s semi-operatic wordless vocal makes ‘JJ’ sound like Ennio Morricone performed by The Bad Plus while ‘Legentis Script’, partly inspired by the arrangements of film composers such as John Williams, has echoes of Flora Purim and early Return to Forever. Enter a French horn and cor anglais on a few tracks to give a folky Canterbury chamber-prog flavour while the closing ‘A Norsk Tale’ is graceful solo piano, inspired by Grieg’s Lyric Pieces. Hutton has assembled a vigorous rhythm section with a big presence featuring Moscow-born classical virtuoso double bassist and Gwilym Simcock sideman Yuri Goloubev and the high-class Israeli drummer Asaf Sirkis. For those into current piano trio jazz trends, this has to be one of the best and most interesting around at the moment.

– Selwyn Harris

Steve Lehman Trio – Dialect Fluorescent ★★★★

P142 Steve Lehman (as), Matt Brewer (b), and Damion Reid (d). Rec. August 2011

The appearance of Lehman’s octet at London’s Vortex club was one of the standout gigs of 2011, and the highlight of the performance was a passage of solo saxophone during which he conspired to turn tone and breath into a multi-part horn section of its own. This stripped down setting reinforces any claim the 34-year-old New Yorker can make to being a noteworthy contemporary exponent of his instrument and brings as much of a focus to Lehman the player and improviser as his last release Travail, Transformation And Flow did to Lehman the composer. Imaginative reprises of hard swinging bop staples such as Coltrane’s ‘Moment’s Notice’ and Duke Pearson’s ‘Jeannine’ confirm his ability to find a new way into a changes-led piece with the absent piano being felt more as liberating force than flaw, while the originals again bring his writing ability to the fore. The highlight is ‘Foster Brothers’, a piece of astoundingly controlled aggression, in which all members of the trio create fluency amid a barrage of carefully planned hesitancy, whereby they frequently dead stop and breathe for nothing more than a half beat, thus evoking in sound a process of communication via rapid fire blinks of the eye.

Damion Reid and Matt Brewer’s punishing, funky syncopations are given extreme staccato roles, and the sense of escalating tension is enhanced in the latter stage of the piece when Lehman creates a markedly nasal, piercing tone to approximate something strangely similar to the high pitched scratch of a needle on a turntable. These moments where the saxophonist and his accompanists conjure the world of mechanised sound and the hardness of programmed beats are integral to Lehman’s aesthetic. He summons up on ‘old’ instruments something of the starkness, the unflinching sequential regularity prevalent in post-hip hop popular music, all the while staying unplugged. The result is acoustic music that feels electric, or a sense of electricity snaking through an acoustic sound environment. Lehman’s straddling of these planes is done while acknowledging the ongoing relevance of swing, so that traditions are being extended and enriched rather than dispensed with. Deeply rooted in the past, this is nonetheless modernism with an all-seeing eye on the future.

– Kevin Le Gendre

Dr John – Locked Down ★★★

Nonesuch 530395-2

Dr John aka ‘Mac’ Rebennack (v, kys), Dan Auerbach (g, v, perc), Leon Michels (kys, perc, s, v), Brian Olive (g, perc, v, s), Nick Movshon (b, perc, v), Max Weissenfeldt (d, perc, v), and The McCrary Sisters (v). Rec. September to November 2011

Every generation since the 1960s has discovered Dr John and taken him to their heart. It’s led to some wacky collaborations, not least Anutha Zone with a host of Brit-poppers (ah, where now Supergrass?) while everyone from Hugh Laurie to Spiritualised have lapped up his New Orleans piano grooves. This project with Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys has more going for it in that Auerbach is a long time lover of the blues. The resulting Locked Down features Rebennack heavily on vocals and organ, but less on piano or composition credit. Not surprisingly Auerbach tugs Rebbenack down a rock-blues path, recalling his Night Tripper, Gris Gris period.

The results are some suitably scuzzy sounding funk blues, from the honking saxes of ‘Revolution’, replete with a raw political edge, to the zombie swamp thang that is ‘Eleggua’. The good time rolling, mardi gras celebrating Rebennack isn’t that evident; instead Auerbach keeps the contemporary angst boiling on the voodoo groove of ‘Ice Age’ which rails against our soul-less times. Yet the 72-year-old Rebennack revels in it with a growling, apocalyptic vocals worthy of Captain Beefheart or James ‘Blood’ Ulmer. If you prefer your Dr John jazzier, with his piano to the fore, check out Duke Elegant. But if you want The Night Tripper re-invented as the voice of soulful vengeance and righteous anger for our crazed times, then Auerbach deserves much credit for this extraordinary, roaring testament.

– Andy Robson

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