Rha Stranges – Multidirectional ★★★

Perfect Star Records
Rha Stranges (d), Gianni Lenoci (p), Gaetano Partipilo (as, ss), Pietro Rosato (bc, ts, ss), Francesco Angiuli (b), Jamie Leeming (g) + guest Filippo Lattanzi (marimba). Rec. date not stated

This recording from London-based drummer Rha Stranges showcases a feisty Italian septet playing some crisp and captivating new tunes, the majority of which were written and arranged by Stranges. ‘Fly Far Away from You’ expounds on a lively riff pitting horn players Gaetano Partipilo and Pietro Rosato against each other an octave apart, and allowing space for a long duo section between piano and drums at the close. ‘The White Link between You and Me’ contains a whiff of Secret Love in the melody underpinned by a tightly drawn bass vamp played by Francesco Angiuli, which stretches a taut canvas for guitar, alto and tenor to weave in and out of each other. Pianist Gianni Lenoci then claims centre-stage and offers splashes of arpeggiated colour and bluesy clips before roving around freely over a welter of high notes. Rosato brings the tune back in on bass clarinet and builds a delectable lower line to let the thing run its course. ‘I Love You So!’ hints at a likely inspiration for this album - Rha’s wife Lucia - and this serenade certainly captures the fervour of his esteem, beginning with some passionate solo piano and then handing over the task of laying down a very pretty melody to bass clarinet, sax and guitar.

I loved ‘For the 4th Time, Chicken!’, a cheeky call and response fusion-y number, where the musicians enjoy chasing each other’s tails, Stranges articulating the frisky energy with his usual deft assurance. There is an epic solo from Lenoci on a prepared piano, the horns chipping in as a pack, switching the time feel and building into a pleasing a cappella moment, before the tenor heads off with a lovely lyrical tour through the changes. Guitarist Jamie Leeming then lifts the sound to a whole new level, his effect pedal producing a distant 70s vibe, only to be pulled back sharply to the present with a spiky shout chorus of sorts, cuing up a hugely inventive drum solo from Stranges, and ending with a quirky cadenza on tenor sax.

I was not sure about the track ‘The Moon and Her Son’ the first time I heard it, as the guitar has a strange distorted African sound as if it’s played on some kind of homemade instrument, but the tune is catchy and memorable, and really digs in when the horns and rest of the rhythm section join to create a feature spot for Filippo Lattanzi on marimba, as the thing develops a lovely languid 12/8 feel. Despite the title, I got a lot more from the next track, ‘Quello Che Non Ho Capito Del Jazz’, and enjoyed its refusal to colour within the lines. The band clearly likes incorporating a range of musical genres, as evidenced by Leeming’s rearrangement of Bob Dylan’s classic on ‘The Man With the Tambourine’, which takes the album momentarily into a more soulful country zone. The album concludes with ‘Afrika Metropolitaine’, a fabulous tune by Lenoci, which begins with low piano rumblings and frantic riffs signifying a more troubling and less pastoral sonic landscape. This final blast of free and infectious energy, with Stranges holding the fort with a fast straight ahead feel, shows the band at their best, charting unknown territory and, as the album title suggests, flying off creatively in many directions.    

- Sarah Chaplin

Animation – Machine Language ★★★★

RareNoiseRecords
Bob Belden (ss, fl), Kurt Elling (voice), Peter Clagett (t), Roberto Verastegui (kys), Bill Laswell (b) and Matt Young (d). Rec. date not stated

This ambitious production by Bob Belden with his group Animation, plus guests Kurt Elling and Bill Laswell (probably the first and last time they will ever appear on the same album), turned out to be his Parthian shot before his untimely death on 20 May this year. Belden was something of a Renaissance man, astonishingly well read, a film buff par excellence, a composer, arranger, producer and A&R man who possessed an unparalleled knowledge of jazz.

Thus it comes as no surprise to learn that this project draws inspiration from sources both literary (Philip K. Dick, Iain M. Banks), and musical (Miles Davis’ Get Up With It, Big Fun and In a Silent Way) all woven into a dense musical mix that has elements of ambient and drum’n’bass swirling through it. It is framed within a narrative arc written by Belden and narrated convincingly by Elling that describes the evolution over time of the relationship between the human mind and artificial intelligence. Over 12 tracks this relationship is developed from ‘A Child’s Dream’ ending with ‘A Machine’s Dream’.

In part inscrutable, in part inspired, Belden tantalisingly leaves the dialectic unresolved save for the postlude: ‘the only constant is the universal power of imagination, which transcends all distinctions’. Well done RareNoise for giving him the canvas on which to paint this picture when others were daunted by the sheer breadth of his imagination. He will be missed.

– Stuart Nicholson

Jazzwise October 2015 Issue Albums Reviewed List

All these albums are reviewed in the October 2015 issue of Jazzwise which is out now – to read them all click here to subscribe and get a FANTASTIC FREE CD

NEW RELEASES

Animation Machine Language RareNoiseRecords

Daymé Arocena Nueva Era Brownswood Recordings

Stefano Battaglia Trio In The Morning ECM

Birmingham Jazz Orchestra Burns www.seangibbs.com

Paul Booth Patchwork Project (Vol.1) Pathway Records

Zack Brock Serendipity Criss Cross Jazz

Liane Carroll Seaside Linn Records

Jon Cleary GoGo Juice FHQ

Eliane Correa & En El Aire Project Rumba con Flores Cezanne Productions

Elephant9 with Reine Fiske Silver Mountain Rune Grammofon

John Fedchock New York Big Band Like It Is Mama Records

Sammy Figueroa Imaginary World Savant

Mitchel Forman Trio Puzzle BFM Jazz

Funk Off Things Change Jando

Paolo Fresu & Daniele di Bonaventura In Maggiore ECM

Jacob Garchik Ye Olde Yestereve Records

Get the Blessing Astronautilus Naim

Girls In Airports Fables Edition Records

Matthew Halsall & The Gondwana Orchestra Into Forever Gondwana Records

Joel Harrison 5 Spirit House Whirlwind Recordings

Bruno Heinen & Kristian Borring Postcard to Bill Evans Babel

Wayne Horvitz Some Places are Forever Afternoon Songlines

Michael Janisch Paradigm Shift Whirlwind Recordings

Ochion Jewell VOLK Self-released

Henry Kaiser/Ray Russell The Celestial Squid Cuneiform

Rob Mazurek/Exploding Star Orchestra Galactic Parables: Volume 1 Cuneiform

Colin Towns Mask Orchestra Drama Provocateur

Christian McBride Trio Live At The Village Vanguard Mack Avenue

Metheny/Garbarek/ Burton/Colley/Gottlieb/ McCandless/SWR Big Band Hommage á Eberhard Weber ECM

Cæcilie Norby and Lars Danielsson Just The Two Of Us ACT

Danilo Pérez, John Patitucci & Brian Blade Children of the Light Mack Avenue

Enrico Rava Quartet with Gianluca Petrella Wild Dance ECM

Fulvia Sigurtà The Oldest Living Thing Camjazz

Shatner’s Bassoon The Self Titled Album: Shansa Barsnaan Wasp Millionaire

Simians of Swing Simians of Swing Coffee and Apple Records

Sine Qua Non Serge Gainsbourg Re-Imagined Coup Perdu

Smadj Spleen Jazz Village/Harmonia Mundi

Sokratis Sinopoulos Eight Winds ECM

St Germain Real Blues Parlophone

Steve Smith and Vital Information NYC Edition Viewpoint

Geir Sundstøl Furulund Hubro HUBROCD2533

Jimi Tenor & UMO Mysterium Magnum Herakles

Various Artists The ACT Man: Siggi Loch – A Life in the Spirit of Jazz ACT

Vula Viel Good is Good Vula Viel Records

SHORT CUTS

 

Howard Alden & Tony Barnard If Kangaroos Could Dance Bondi Shed Productions

The Amazing Keystone Orchestra Peter and the Wolf & Jazz Le Chante de Monde

Dave Betts Quintet These Times dave-betts.com

Nick Finzer The Chase Origin Records

Erik Friedlander Timeless Suite ACT

Gilad Hekselman Homes Jazz Village

Pawel Kaczmarczyk Audiofeeling Trio Something Personal Hevhetia

Shai Maestro Untold Stories Continuite Du Torrent

Marco Marconi Trio Nordik 33Records

Mimika A Place a Glowing Red World Local Records

Mural Tempo Sofa

 

Najee You,Me and Forever Shanachie

Klaus Paier & Asja Valcic Timeless Suite ACT

Dominique Pifarely Time Before and Time After ECM

Schnellertollermeier X Cuneiform

The Sorcerers The Sorcerers ATA

Omri Ziegele Billiger Bauer So Viel Schon Hin 15 Herbstlieder Intakt

Zrazy Dream On Alfi

REISSUES

 

Mose Allison Transfiguration of Hiram Brown/Creek Bank/ I Love The Life I Live/V-8 Ford Blues/Young Man Mose Avid Entertainment

Gene Ammons’ All Stars Complete Recordings With Jackie Mclean & Mal Waldron Fresh Sounds

 

Chet Baker Quartet Live In France 1978 Domino

Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers Complete Recordings Essential Jazz Classics

Lou Donaldson Midnight Sun/Blues Walk DreamCovers

Bill Evans With Don Elliott & Jerry Wald Solar

Tubby Hayes and the Downbeat Big Band Blues at the Manor 1959-1960 Acrobat Music

Billie Holiday Lady Love: Live in Basel 1954 Poll Winners Records

Wynton Kelly Four Classic Albums AvidJazz

The Modern Jazz Disciples Complete Recordings Fresh Sounds

Gerry Mulligan, Paul Desmond and the Dave Brubeck Trio The Complete 1972 Berlin Jazz Concert Domino Recordings

Bobby Shew Live 1983 www.art.ufl.edu/music

Georgie Fame The Whole World’s Shaking Complete Recordings 1963-1966 Universal/Polydor

Aki Takase The First Years In Europe Enja

Various Artists Queens of Vocal Jazz One Records

Various Artists Turtle Records Pioneering British Jazz 1970-1971

Dinah Washington Back to the Blues Poll Winners Records

SHORT CUTS

 

Bobby Bradford and John Carter Quintet No U-Turn – Live in Pasadena 1971 Dark Tree

Wild Bill Davison The Jazz Giants Sackville

Bunk Johnson Rare and Unissued Masters Vol.1 (1943-45) American Music

Modern Jazz Quartet The Modern Jazz Quartet Poll Winners

Duke Ellington The Treasury Shows Vol.19 Storyville

 

Modern Jazz Quartet The Comedy / Lonely Woman Essential Jazz Classics

Ella Fitzgerald Rhythm Is Our Business Essential Jazz Classics

Benny Goodman Rattle and Roll Chant Du Monde

Urbie Green The Complete Persuasive Trombone Phono

Vince Guaraldi Vince Guaraldi Trio / A Flower is a Lovesome Thing Poll Winners

Percy Humphrey And the New Orleans Joymakers GHB

Rita Reys The Cool Voice of… Fresh Sound

Mavis Rivers The Capitol Years 1959-60 Fresh Sound

Nina Simone Forbidden Fruit / Nina’s Choice Essential Jazz Classic

Hal Stein / Warren Fitzgerald Quintet Hal Stein & Warren Fitzgerald Fresh Sound

Various Artists Famous Door Ace Guitarists Progressive

Barney Wilen 1954-1961 Fremeaux

Lem Winchester Four Classic Albums Avid

Loose Tubes – Arriving ★★★★

Lost Marble LM008
Eddie Parker (f, kys), Dai Pritchard (cl), Steve Buckley, Iain Ballamy, Mark Lockheart, Julian Nicholas, Ken Stubbs, Julian Arguelles (s), Lance Kelly, Chris Batchelor, Ted Emmett, John Eacott, Paul Edmonds, Noel Langley (t), John Harborne, Steve Day, Paul Taylor, Richard Pywell (tb), Ashley Slater (b tb, tb, MC), Richard Henry (b tb), Dave Powell (tba), Django Bates (kys, Eb horn), John Parricelli (g), Steve Watts (b), Martin France (d), Thebi Lipere, and Louis Petersen Matjeka (perc). Rec. 13, 14, 15 September 1990 and May 2014


Here’s the highly-anticipated third and final instalment in the ‘live’ trilogy of recordings from Loose Tubes’ farewell residency at Ronnie Scott’s in 1990. Following on from Dancing on Frith Street in 2010 and Säd Afrika in 2012, the new CD Arriving comes with a few unexpected bonus tracks that wouldn’t have figured in the series’ curator Django Bates’ initial plans for the set. It’s a very significant addition: they’re compositions commissioned by BBC Radio 3 from the already legendary Ronnie’s 30th anniversary comeback residency last year by the newly-resurrected Loose Tubes.

Although they seem to mark the end of the reconciliation, the title Arriving suggests otherwise; Loose Tubes could, let’s hope, be around for a while yet. With eight further gems from the original Tubes repertoire, the band’s musical palette is as idiomatically broad as its musicians were diverse. It’s clear however from listening to Arriving that it never compromised the magical collective spirit and vision that the ensemble had when it took to the stage. Bates turns to the music of the military and the big top on the funkily uplifting ‘Armchair March’ and ‘Nights at the Circus’ respectively; flautist Eddie Parker achieves a nifty take on 1980’s jazz-funk to kick start ‘Children’s Game’ while Chris Batchelor’s smoky Kind of Blue trumpet solo on John Harborne’s ‘A’ is one of many moments to be savoured. Ashley Slater in his MC role deserves a mention too (he’s more audible on this CD than previous ones) for his affectionate put-down of band members (“the inevitable solo from Django Bates. But can he play a ballad?”), a sudden call to political arms (“Let’s not go to war in Kuwait!”) and 30 years later some things haven’t changed (“Steve [Buckley] was actually recently excavated from under a giant rock in Exmoor.”)

Of the new commissions, there’s the obvious signs of maturity as Bates continues from where he left off on ‘As I was Saying...’ with a quote from ‘Sweet Williams’ (the last thing he wrote for Loose Tubes Mk1) before the arrangements take on an angular dance-like rhythmic sensibility that could have only come out of the new millennium; Eddie Parker’s ‘Bright Smoke Cold Fire’ is more old skool but superbly written with its Mahavishnu, Hermeto Pascoal and Gil Evans references. If you’ve got the first two CDs then this one’s a no brainer. But listening to both 1990 and 2014 versions, it becomes clear that this is one reunion that isn’t just dependent on celebrating past glories.

– Selwyn Harris

Jazzwise September 2015 Issue Albums Reviewed List

All these albums are reviewed in the September 2015 issue of Jazzwise which is out now – to read them all click here to subscribe and get a FANTASTIC FREE CD

New Releases

Alan Benzie Trio Traveller’s Tales Independent release

Terri Lyne Carrington Mosaic Project: Love and Soul Concord Records

George Cables In Good Company HighNote

David Chesky Jazz in the New Harmonic – Primal Scream Chesky Records

Steve Davis Say When Smoke Sessions

Drifter Flow Edition

Paul Dunmall/ Tony Bianco Homage To John Coltrane SLAM

Eyes of a Blue Dog Hamartia eyesofabluedogmusic.com

Michael Gibbs and the NDR Big Band Play A Bill Frisell Set List Cuneiform

Michael Gibbs and the NDR Big Band In My View Cuneiform

Gratowski/Kruglov/ Nabatov/Yudanov Leo Records 35th Anniversary Moscow Leo

Yaron Herman Everyday Blue Note

Vincent Herring Night and Day Smoke Sessions

Jeff Herr Corporation Layer Cake Igloo

Tom Hewson Trio Treehouse CamJazz

Indigo Kid II Fist Full of Notes Babel

Jon Irabagon Inaction Is Action Irabbagast Records

Jon Irabagon Behind the Sky Irabbagast Records

Ahmad Jamal Live in Marciac August 5th 2014 Jazz Village

Justin Kauflin Dedication Jazz Village

Loose Tubes Arriving Lost Marble

Cécile McLorin Salvant For One to Love Mack Avenue

Bob Mintzer Big Band Get Up MCGJazz

Nils Økland Ensemble Kjølvatn ECM

William Parker For Those Who Are, Still AUM Fidelity/Centering

Iiro Rantala My Working Class Hero ACT

Jamison Ross Jamison Concord

John Russell With... Emanem

Maria Schneider Orchestra The Thompson Fields Artist Share

Scottish National Jazz Orchestra & Makoto Ozone Jeunehomme: Mozart Piano Concerto No. 9 K. 271 Spartacus

Emilio Solla y La Inestable de Brooklyn Second Half www.emiliosolla.com

Terell Stafford Brotherlee Love Celebrating Lee Morgan Capri

Dayna Stephens Reminiscent Criss Cross Jazz

Henry Threadgill Zooid In For A Penny In For A Pound Pi Recordings

Theo Travis’ Double Talk Transgression Cherry Red Records

Weavels The Living Puzzle Discus

Lizz Wright Freedom & Surrender Concord

 

New Releases Short Cuts

 

AKA Balkan Moon/Alefba Double Live Outhere

Dennis Angel On Track Timeless Grooves

Roy Assaf Trio Second Row Behind the Painter One Trick Dog

David Benoit featuring Jane Monheit 2 in Love Concord Records

Better than TV Late betterthantv.co.uk

Fabrizio Bosso Duke Verve

Cappelletti/Di Castri/Ditmas Homage to Paul Bley Leo

Jeff Denson Trio + Lee Konitz Ridgeway Records

Giacomo Gates Everything is Cool Savant

Morten Haxholm Quartet Viridian Haxholm Schmidt Moras Moras Gateway Music

Linda Hoyle The Fetch Angel Air

Hu Vibrational The Epic Botanical Beat Suite Meta Records

Darius Jones Quartet Le Bébé de Brigitte AUM Fidelity

Roan Kearsey-Lawson Classical Conversations 144 Records

Mighty Sam McClain & Knut Reiersrud Tears of the World ACT

Orchestre National De Jazz Europa Berlin Onjazz Records

Burkhard Reinartz Eine Olive Des Nichts ECM New series

Brad Allen Williams Lamar Sojourn Records

Reissues/Archive

 

Art Blakey Blues March Le Chant Du Monde

Roy Campbell Akhenaten Suite AUM Fidelity

Larry Carlton Strikes Twice/Sleepwalk/ Friends

Al Cohn, Billy Mitchell, Dolo Coker, Leroy Vinnegar, Frank Butler Night Flight To Dakar/ Xanadu In Africa Xanadu Master Edition

Bill Evans Complete February 1972 Paris ORTF Performance Domino

The Milo Fine Free Jazz Ensemble featuring Steve Gnitka Earlier Outbreaks of Iconoclasm Emanem

Coleman Hawkins Mr Bean Le Chant Du Monde

Jimmy Heath Picture of Heath Xanadu

Charles Mingus/Eric Dolphy Sextet The Complete Bremen Concert Domino

Mike Osborne Dawn Cuneiform Rune

Evan Parker Monoceros Psi Psi

Leo Parker The Last Sessions / Let Me Tell You ’Bout It/ Rollin’ With Leo Phono

Lee Ritenour The Captain’s Journey/ Feel The Night/Rio

John Russell, Phil Durrant, John Butcher Conceits – 1987 & 1992 Emanem

Soft Machine Switzerland 1974 Winter & Winter

Various Artists BBC Jazz Club Rare Transcription Recordings 1959 Volume One Vocalion

BBC Jazz Club Rare Transcription Recordings 1959-60 Volume Two Vocalion

 

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