Geri Allen – Grand River Crossings ★★★★

Motéma Music |
Geri Allen (p), Marcus Belgrave (t) and David McMurray (sax). Rec. date not stated

If Flying Toward The Sound (2010) paid homage to Cecil Taylor, McCoy Tyner and Herbie Hancock, and A Child Is Born (2011) honoured the influence of family and spirituality, this beautiful final chapter in Geri Allen’s trilogy of solo piano recordings for Motéma – subtitled Motown and Motor City Inspirations – sees her celebrate her home town of Detroit and its iconic label. With a track list that includes beautifully detailed reworkings of ‘Stoned Love’ and ‘Inner City Blues’, what’s fascinating about the album as a whole is how the settings range from the almost reverential to the almost abstract. With Allen’s varicoloured pianism vibrating between the familiar and the unfamiliar in a really exciting way, at times you really have to do close listening to hear the original. ‘Wanna Be Startin Somethin’ provides the dazzling opener, a joyous dance of interweaving lines, and there are equally memorable arrangements of ‘Tears of a Clown’ and a heartbreaking ‘Save the Children’. Fellow Detroit musicians Marcus Belgrave (trumpet), Allen’s mentor at the Jazz Development Workshop who recorded with the pianist on her 2002 album The Detroit Experiment, and David McMurray (sax) guest on four of the album’s 15 tracks.

Peter Quinn

Jazzwise August 2013 Issue Album Reviews List

All these albums are reviewed in the AUGUST 2013 issue of Jazzwise – to read them all click here to subscribe here and get a FREE CD and a FREE annual digital / App subscription...

New Releases

ACV Busk Babel

Ralph Alessi and Fred Hersch Only Many Cam Jazz

JD Allen Grace Savant

Lucian Ban/ Mat Maneri Transylvanian Concert ECM

Han Bennink/ Jaak Sooäär Beach Party Barefoot

George Benson Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole Concord

Jim Black/AlasNoAxis Antiheroes Winter & Winter

Will Calhoun Life in this World Motéma

Christian McBride Trio Out Here Mack Avenue

Michel Camilo What’s Up OKeh/Sony

Peter Canter Quartet Lightflight Ladybird Jazz

Corey Christiansen Lone Prairie Origin Records

Larry Coryell The Lift Wide Hive Records

Benoît Delbecq and Fred Hersch Double Trio Fun House Songlines

Eldar Djangirov Trio Breakthrough Motéma

Empirical Tabular Rasa Naim

Orrin Evans It Was Beauty Criss Cross Criss

Digby Fairweather & Friends To Frederick with Affection Rose Cottage

Jonathan Finlayson and Sicilian Defense Moment & The Message Pi Recordings

Amy Gamlen Group Direction Paris Jazz Underground

Chris Garrick and John Etheridge WTWSFS Flying Blue Whale Records

Gabriel Garrick Septet Song for My Father Jovis

Torsten Goods Love Comes to Town ACT

Matthew Herbert The End of Silence Accidental

Roger Kellaway/ Eddie Daniels Duke at the Roundhouse – Live in Santa Fé IPO

Nigel Kennedy Recital Sony Classical

Joe Locke Lay Down My Heart – Blues & Ballads Vol 1 Motéma Music

Lage Lund Foolhardy Criss Cross Jazz

Musson/Noble/Sanders Tatterdemalion Babel

Dan Nicholls Ruins LOOP

Gary Peacock/Marilyn Crispell Azure ECM

Preservation Hall Jazz Band That’s It Legacy

Wallace Roney Understanding HighNote

Frank Rosaly Cicada Music Delmark

Ntjam Rosie At the Back of Beyond Gentle Daze

Terje Rypdal Melodic Warrior ECM

Nitin Sawhney OneZero Cherry Red

Edward Simon Trio Live in New York at Jazz Standard Sunnyside

Jim Snidero Stream of Consciousness Savant

Dayna Stephens The Nepenthetic Place Sunnyside

Steve Swallow Quintet Into the Woodwork Xtra Watt

Simon Thacker’s Svara-Kanti Rakshasa Slap the Moon

Steve Tyrell It’s Magic: The Songs of Sammy Cahn Concord

Wheelhouse Boss of the Plains Aerophonic

WorldService Project Fire in a Pet Shop Megasound

Short Cuts – New Releases

Big Blue Strange Wonder Cam Jazz

Oscar Brown Jr and Maggie Brown We’re Live ESP-Disk

Arrigo Cappalletti Quintet Hot Music Leo

Mattia Cigalini Beyond Cam Jazz

Jussi Frederiksson Tidewaters Frederiksson Music

Satoko Fujii Spring Storm Delmark Libra

Morten Haxholm Quartet Equilibrium Storyville

Rakka Soutu Lumpeela Julkaisut

Steven Lugerner For We Have Heard Primary

Rob Mazurek Exploding Star Electro Acoustic Ensemble The Space Between Delmark

Mikrokolektyw Absent Minded Delmark

Kit Packham’s One Jump Ahead One Foot in the Groove Pelican

Mike Pride Drummer’s Corpse/Birthing Days AUM Fidelity

Bastian Stein Diegesis Pirouet

Swedish Mobilia / Luca Aquino Did You Hear Something? Leo

Marlene Ver Planck Ballads… Mostly Audiophile

Ben Wendel/Dan Tepfer Small Constructions Sunnyside

Frank Weiss Magic 101 IPO Recordings

Scott Willcox Big Band Go For It! Marquetry Records



The Byron Allen Trio The Byron Allen Trio ESP

Chet Baker Chet Sings! Chant du Monde

Donald Byrd Byrd with Strings/ Byrd Blows on Beacon Hill Phoenix

Donald Byrd and Kenny Burrell All Night Long & All Day Long/ Two Guitars

Donald Byrd/Gigi Gryce The Complete Jazz Lab Sessions Jazz Dynamics

Stanley Clarke The Complete Epic Albums Collection Sony

Miles Davis In Person at the Blackhawk, San Francisco Essential Jazz Classics

Major Surgery The First Cut Next

Paul Desmond The Complete RCA Albums Collection Sony/Columbia Legacy

Joe Farrell Joe Farrell Quartet Hux

Stan Getz Complete Columbia Albums Collection Sony

Jutta Hip Lost Tapes The German Recordings 1952-1955 Jazzhaus

Billie Holliday Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holliday on Columbia 1933-1944 Sony/Legacy

Irakere featuring Chucho Valdés Live at Ronnis Scott’s, Birmingham: The 1995 BBC Recording First Hand Records

Steve Kuhn The Vanguard Date Sunnyside

The Original Mahavishnu Orchestra The Complete Columbia Albums Collection Sony/Legacy

Wynton Marsalis Swingin’ into the 21st Century Sony/Legacy

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath Procession Live at Toulouse Ogun

Paul Motian Conception Vessel/Tribute/Dance/Le Voyage/Psalm/It Should’ve Happened A Long Time Ago ECM

Sonny Rollins Our Man in Jazz Essential Jazz Classics

Sonny Stitt Quartets Rearin’ Back /Tribute to Ellington Fresh Sounds

Leon Thomas Spirits Known and Unknown, BGP Records

Various Artists Liberation Music BGP Records

Various Artists London Is The Place For Me 5 and 6: Afro-Cubism, Calypso, High Life, Mento, Jazz Honest Jons

Sarah Vaughan The Complete 1947-1950 Le Chant du Monde

Sarah Vaughan You’re Mine You/The Explosive Side of Sarah Vaughan Essential Jazz Classics

Sarah Vaughan Sarah + 2/After Hours Essential Jazz Classics

Short Cuts/Reissues

Curtis Amy/Paul Bryant Meetin’ Here Fresh Sound

Louis Armstrong Musical Autobiography Vol 1 & 2 Avid

Chet Baker Chet is Back Essential Jazz Classics

Dave Brubeck Live in Europe Phoenix

Cesar Cesar 830 BGP

Don Friedman A Day in the City/Circle Waltz

Ron Jefferson/Tricky Lofton Love Lifted Me/Brass Bag Fresh Sound

Volker Kriegel With a Little Help from my Friends MIG

Herbie Mann Complete Brazilian Sessions Fresh Sound

Warne Marsh/Kenny Drew In Copenhagen Storyville

Les McCann Ltd Plays the Shampoo/In New York Fresh Sound

Carmen McRae The Complete 1946-55 Chant du Monde

Modern Jazz Quartet Plays for Lovers Jackpot

Dudley Moore From Beyond the Fringe El/Cherry Red

Dave Pell Four Classic Albums Avid

Billie Poole Sermonette/Confessin’ the Blues Fresh Sound

Betty Roché The Complete 1941-1961 Chant du Monde

Charlie Shavers/Maxine Sullivan Four Classic Albums Plus Avid

Zoot Sims Compatibility Delmark

Billy Strayhorn/Johnny Hodges Juice A-Plenty Fresh Sound

Ben Webster /Harry Edison Complete Quintet Studio Sessions Essential Jazz Classics

Vinyl Reviews

David Murray Octet, Ming, Black Saint

Enrico Pieranunzi, Marc Johnson and Joey Baron, Deep Down Soul Note

Don Cherry, Dewey Redman, Charlie Haden & Ed Blackwell, Old and New Dreams Black Saint

Oliver Lake, Ntu: The Point from which Freedom Begins Soul Jazz

Steve Lacy and Joe McPhee The Rest Roaratorio

Lost in the Vaults

Okay Temiz Trio Turkish Folk Jazz Sonet 1975

Books & DVDs Jazz – New York in the Roaring Twenties Robert Nippoldt and Hans-Jurgen Schaal Taschen £34.99

Larry Carlton and Robben Ford Unplugged New Morning: The Paris Concert 335 Records

Toot Thielemans Live at Le Chapiteau Challenge Jazz

Jazzwise July 2013 Issue CD Reviews List

All these albums are reviewed in the JULY 2013 issue of Jazzwise – to read them all click here to subscribe here and get a FREE CD.

New Releases

Susanne Abbuehl The Gift ECM

Basquiat Strings Part Two F-IRE

Ketil Bjørnstad La Notte ECM

Donald Brown Born to Be Blue Space Time Records

Jaimeo Brown Transcendence Motéma

Marc Cary For the Love of Abbey Motéma

The Two Minds Big Band Dave O’Higgins and Peter Wraight JVG Productions

George Colligan The Facts SteepleChase

George Duke DreamWeaver Heads Up

Eliane Elias I Thought About You: A Tribute to Chet Baker Concord Records

Tommy Emmanuel/ Martin Taylor The Colonel & The Governor Mesa/Bluemoon Records

Eyes of a Blue Dog Rise Babel

Reuben Fowler Between Shadows Edition

Gabriel Garrick Quintet Sunlight Jovis

The Gascoyne / O’Higgins Quartet Got The Real Note Jazzizit

Scott Hamilton Swedish Ballads… & More Stunt

Robert Hurst Bob: A Palindrome Bebob Records

Arne Jansen The Sleep of Reason – Ode to Goya ACT

Human Being Human Babel

Lacuna Talk on the Step Babel

Nils Landgren Funk Unit Teamwork ACT Jason Marsalis Vibes Quartet In a World of Mallets Basin Street Records

Nilson Matta’s Black Orpheus Motéma

John Medeski A Different Time OKeh

Melt Yourself Down Melt Yourself Down The Leaf Label

Nicole Mitchell’s Ice Crystal Aqua Blue Delmark

David Murray Infinity Quartet Be My Monster Love Motéma

Caecilie Norby Silent Ways ACT

Jiannis Pavlidis/ George Kontrafouris / Adam Nussbaum Migration

Ivo Perelman/Matthew Shipp/Michael Bisio/Whit Dickey The Edge Leo

Ivo Perelman/Matthew Shipp/Michael Bisio/ William Parker/ Gerald Cleaver Serendipity Leo

Enrico Pieranunzi with Marc Johnson and Paul Motian Live at the Village Vanguard Cam Jazz

The Sue Richardson Quartet plays Chet Baker Too Cool SplashPoint Records

Ray Russell Now More Than Ever Abstract Logix

Samúel Jón Samúelsson Big Band 4 Hlidar SJS Music

Jamil Sheriff Big Band Ichthyology GLP

Slobber Pup Black Aces Rare Noise

Martin Speake Always a First Time Pumpkin Records

Gregory Tardy Standards & More SteepleChase

Thought-Fox My Guess Diatribe

Tingvall Trio In Concert Skip Records

Chucho Valdés & the Afro-Cuban Messengers Border-Free Jazz Village

Vole The Hillside Mechanisms Babel

Jeff Williams The Listener Whirlwind Records

Yellowjackets Rise In The Road Mack Avenue


Short Cuts New Releases

Martin Archer Blue Meat, Black Diesel & Engine Room Favourites Discus

Tony Barnard’s International Jazz Collective The Australian Suite Bondi Shed

Poogie Bel

l Band Suga Top Moosicus

Philip Catherine Côté Jardin Challenge

Michael Dease Coming Home Clef Records

The Kahil El’Zabar Quartet What it Is! Delmark

Matt Kane Trio Suit Up! Bounce-Step Records

Brian Kellock/Cathrine Legardh Love Still Wears a Smile Storyville

Brian Landrus Kaleidoscope Mirage Blueland

Memnon Sound Portraits of Ibsen Characters Ozella

Barbara Morrison A Sunday Kind of Love Savant

Veronica Mortensen Catching Waves Stunt

Noordpool Orchestra Radiohead, A Jazz Symphony Challenge

Kermit Ruffins We Partyin’ Traditional Style Basin Street

Sex Mob Plays Fellini (The Music of Nino Rota) The Royal Potato Family

Jim Snidero Stream of Consciousness Savant

Karin Krog and Morten Gunnar Larsen In a Rag Bag Meantime

Tetragonz Tetragonz Stunt



Tony Bennett & Dave Brubeck The White House Sessions, Live 1962 Sony

Don Cherry Mu / Orient Charly

John Coltrane The Complete Mainstream 1958 Sessions Phoenix

Kenny Dorham Four Classic Albums: This Is The Moment/Quiet Kenny/Inta Somethin’/ Matador Avid

Grant Green First Recordings Phoenix

Tubby Hayes The Complete Tempo Recordings 1955-59 Acrobat

The Live New Departures Jazz Poetry Septet Blues For The Hitchhiking Dead

Charles Lloyd Quartets ECM

Eddie ‘Lockjaw’ Davis Four Classic Albums: Plus,Count Basie Presents/Very Saxy/ Goodies From Eddie Davis/Callin’ The Blues/Modern Jazz Expressions Avid

Thelonious Monk Trio & Quartet Unissued Live at Newport 1958-59 In Crowd Records

Wes Montgomery The Montgomeryland Sessions Phoenix Record

Milton Nascimento Original Album Series Warner Music

George Shearing George Shearing at Home Jazzknight Records

Archie Shepp and The Full Moon Ensemble Live In Antibes Charly

Archie Shepp and Bill Dixon Quartet In Crowd

Sahib Shihab, Art Farmer, Clifford Jordan Swiss Radio Days Jazz Live Trio Concert Series TCB

McCoy Tyner Trio Bon Voyage Timeless

Various Artists// The Radio Luxembourg Sessions, The 208 Rhythm Club Vol.3 Acker Bilk & His Paramount Jazz Band / Micky Ashman & His Ragtime Jazz Band Vocalion

The 208 Rhythm Club Vol.4 Alex Welsh & His Band / Mick Mulligan & His Band Vocalion

The 208 Rhythm Club Vol.5 Terry Lightfoot & His New Orleans Jazzmen / Ken Sims & His Vintage Jazz Band Vocalion

The 208 Rhythm Club Vol 6 Monty Sunshine’s Jazz Band / Ken Sims & His Vintage Jazz Band Vocalion


Short Cuts: Reissues

Cannonball Adderley The Quintessence 1955-1960 Fremeaux

Louis Armstrong New Orleans 1946-47 Fremeaux

Tony Bennett Cloud 7 / The Beat of My Heart Jackpot

Bing Crosby Bing In Dixieland Bing Crosby Enterprises / Universal

Art Farmer / Benny Golson Jazztet Here and Now / Another Git Together / … and John Lewis Fresh Sound

Stan Getz At Nalen with Bengt Hallberg Riverside (Sweden)

Bill Hardman Saying Something Fresh Sound

Barry Harris Newer Than New / Listen To Barry Harris Fresh Sound

Jazz Crusaders Freedom Sound / Lookin’ Ahead Fresh Sound

Carmell Jones The Remarkable / Business Meeting Fresh Sound

Etta Jones So Warm / From The Heart Fresh Sound

Sam Jones Soul Society / The Chant / Down Home Fresh Sound

Jimmy Lytell 1926-28 Jazz Oracle

Herbie Mann Brazil, Bossa Nova & Blues / Right Now Fresh Sound

Oliver Nelson Meet… / Main Stem Fresh Sound

Sal Nistico Heavyweights / Comin’ On Up / It’s Time We Met Fresh Sound

Oscar Peterson Soft Sands Phoenix

Sammy Price Three Classic Albums Plus Avid

Joanie Sommers Positively The Most / The Voice of the 60s / For Those Who Think Young Fresh Sound

Alex Welsh It’s Right Here For You / Echoes of Chicago Vocalion


Books and DVDs

Walk Tall: The Music And Life Of Julian ‘Cannonball’ Adderley Cary Ginell Hal Leonard

Gregg Akkerman The Last Balladeer: The Johnny Hartman Story Scarecrow Press

Sammy Rimington: A Life in Pictures Sammy and Louis Rimington Falt/Blood and Tears Productions

Bill Frisell The Disfarmer Project A Film By Guillaume Dero Wienerworld

Marc Cary – For the Love of Abbey ★★★★

Motéma | Marc Cary (p). Rec. March 2012

The soulful pianist Marc Cary is a long time New York resident who has worked with everyone from high-level American mainstream post-boppers such as Stefon Harris and Roy Hargrove (who featured on some of Cary’s own recordings in the mid-1990s) through to the hip hop legend Q-Tip and neo-soul diva Erykah Badu. But right up there with the career highlights so far are his alliances with jazz vocalists, and not just any jazz vocalists: Cary spent a few years in the 1980s and 90s on tour with Betty Carter before starting a 12-year stint with Abbey Lincoln that lasted until 2006. That’s where this recording comes in; it’s a solo piano set dedicated to Lincoln – the singer and her songs – who passed away in 2010.

Released on the Harlem-based Motéma label, Cary’s playing is packed with drama: orchestral-like ripples and flourishes, richly sustained chords, tremolos and pedal points, but the pianist is also grounded in the earthy rhythms and incantatory folk-melody of the African-American tradition, with McCoy Tyner an important influence on his playing. Yet at the same time he is able to capture the essence of Lincoln’s 13 songs here, and their piercing melancholy (Duke Ellington’s ‘Melancholia’ previously released by Cary, is the odd exception but he says Lincoln loved to hear him play it), much of it drawn from her post-1990s recordings for Verve. The most well known among them are the wonderful, and much loved, ‘Music is the Magic’ and ‘Throw it Away’. The best advice would be to get to know something of Lincoln’s back catalogue first for a more thorough understanding of where Cary’s passionate love letter to the lady is coming from.

– Selwyn Harris

Sam Crowe Group – Towards the Centre of Everything ★★★★

Whirlwind Recordings WR4632
Sam Crowe (p, Fender Rhodes, kys), Will Vinson (as), Adam Waldmann (ss), Will Davies (g), Alan Hampton (b, el b), Mark Guiliana (d) and Emilia Mårtensson (v). Rec. February 2012

With his remarkably assured debut Synaesthesia in 2011, the Londonbased pianist Sam Crowe looked like a young man with a big future as a bandleader. As with his sax sideman Adam Waldmann, he is an openminded contemporary musician but with a love of soulful, song-like melody. An ex-Trinity student, Crowe kicks on with an even more impressive effort that has a real drive and free-flow energy about it. That’s got something to do with the turnaround in personnel. Joining up are a few young New York heavyweights, primarily the rhythm section of Gretchen Parlato sideman Alan Hampton on bass and Mark Guiliana on drums. Waldmann sounds excellent on soprano and shares horn duties with the more rhythmically intense, bop-orientated British New Yorker Will Vinson on alto.

The John Taylor-influenced pianist’s background on the Bristol scene comes a little to the foreground on the updated acoustic drum ’n’ bass-ish ‘The Global Brain’ and there are nods to Radiohead via Brad Mehldau on ‘Back Into the Earth’ that also features Emilia Mårtensson’s wordless vocal as well as an excellent contribution from the Pat Metheny-esque guitarist Will Davies. Crowe’s themes are deceptively simple, built on briefly outlined vamps and melodies, but perfectly set up a fluidity in group interplay for the improvisational passages. Thoroughly recommended.

– Selwyn Harris

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