Herbie Hancock | The New Standard

When this album came out, I was amazed that critics failed to rave over it. Part of the reason may have been the choice of repertoire - songs by the likes of the Beatles, Steely Dan, Peter Gabriel, Paul Simon, Prince and so on - which makes this one of the earliest examples (along with Yuri Honing in Holland) of a jazz musician in contemporary times (which is to say post 1990) turning to songs from popular culture as a basis for jazz improvisation.   

Diana Krall - Christmas Songs

Verve ****
Most of this album is freshly recorded, but there are two of the three tracks from the Christmas "single" CD Krall did back in 1998 (‘Jingle Bells’, also on that disc, has been re-made here with big-band accompaniment from the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra).

Julia Biel - Not Alone

Rokit|RKT 010|****
Julia Biel (v), Jonny Phillips (g), Idris Rahman (fl, cl, bcl), Dan Hewson, Dorian Ford (kys), Ben Davis (clo), Tom Herbert (b), Sebastian Rochford (d) and Adriano Adewale Itauna (perc). Rec. 2004

Broadway Project - In Finite

Grand Central Records|GCCD 140|*****
Daniel Berridge (comp; arr; prod), Christophe De Bezemac (saxes), Rohan Kriwaczek (fl), Matthew Bourne (p), James White (g), Riaan Vosloo (b) and Julie Sharpe (strings). Rec. date not given


This is the third album by Broadway Project, and without doubt I will be checking out the other two. The brain child of Dan Berridge, who has scored for film, Channel 4 and the BBC, In Finite is a compelling left-of-field mix of electronic sounds, beats, jazz improv on an impressively grand scale.

Miles Davis| 'Round About Midnight - The Legacy Edition

Columbia Legacy | 5199572 ****
Davis (t) with John Coltrane (ts), Red Garland (p), Paul Chambers (b), Philly Joe Jones (d) and on one track Thelonious Monk (p), Percy Heath (b), Connie Kay (d). Rec. 1955-56.

There are "historic reissues" and historic reissues. This one is historic. The reason? Well, although everything on disc one was contained in the fine Miles Davis-John Coltrane Columbia boxed set of a few years back, nothing from disc two has seen the light of day before. Not only that, but all bar one selection from disc two is not even listed in Miles discographies. Juicy enough?

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