Partisans – Swamp ★★★★

Whirlwind Recordings
Julian Siegel (ts, ss, clt, b clt), Phil Robson (g), Thad Kelly (el b) and Gene Calderazzo (d). Rec. 2014
By treating us mean, those Partisans keep us keen: this is only their fifth album in 18 years and their first in five since the splendid By Proxy. But, of course, Swamp is worth the wait. It has all those signature sounds: that sax and guitar frontline is all the fresher for their time apart as they lock down, all batteries re-charged.

Look no further than the dazzling West African dance vibe of ‘Flip The Sneck’ that somehow morphs into the gnarliest of guitar breaks. Yet compare and contrast to the intimate chamber feel of ‘Thin Man’ with its geometric patterns, and restrained melody. And beneath it all lies Calderazzo’s fluently flowing rhythms, like some percussive Ariel, tied to neither time nor place yet always in a state of readiness to pair powerfully with Kelly’s bass. Siegel’s range of colours continues to grow, with clarinet now added to his chorus of horns.

This band can be as neurotically edged as you want (‘Veto’) or just plain happy (the gorgeous opening to ‘Overview’). But when it comes down to it, this is just a band that loves playing: and this is an album you’ll love listening to. Please though, not another five-year wait: some of us are getting on a bit.

– Andy Robson

 

Australian Jazz Album Round-Up July 2014

The diversity of Australian jazz is evident from this month’s new releases, a recently unearthed quintet recording of some of Australia’s best from 23 years ago, a staggeringly original collection from a new but obviously talented composer/arranger and finally a live show from a well established piano trio. Also this month, we look at Julien Wilson’s great trio in performance, following on from the recent review of his trio’s “Swailing” album.

– Michael Prescott, Jazz Presenter 5MBS, Australia

TheHunters-PointersHunters & Pointers

The Hunters & Pointers          Which Way music      ★★★★

Graeme Lyall (alto sax), John Hoffman (t, fh), Tony Gould (p), Ben Robertson (b), Tony Floyd, George Polyhronakos (d). Rec 28 March, 23 June, 6 August & 24 November 1991

Way back, 23 years ago, a bunch of mates who just happened to be some of Australia’s best, decided to play some gigs at a Melbourne pub, well, just four to be precise. For some reason all were recorded onto VHS tape and then stuck in a cupboard. Fortunately for us, the cupboard has now been prised open and this resulting album, culled from those tapes, is packed to the rafters with superb performances from everyone involved. There are just 5 lengthy excursions, from the engrossing 23 minute rendition of Freddie Hubbard’s “Little Sunflower” to the 8 glorious minutes of Gershwin’s “Someone To Watch Over Me”. These are performances that were not confined by either a studio or concert expectations, this is a group of great musicians getting together to play in a relaxed atmosphere. And that’s what makes this so special; the soloists stretch out with inventive and melodic solos, clearly enjoying themselves. The album kicks off with Lyall and Hoffman playing intertwining lines before the rest of the band joins in on John Klenner’s 1931 standard, “Just Friends”, leading into a Tony Gould solo of power and beauty. There follows one of many Graeme Lyall’s fine alto solos, perfect tone, elegant melodic lines and just sheer class. Robertson also displays a superior ability throughout. This album makes a strong case for such live recordings, the band are not playing to any agenda and so, freed of their constraints, turn in one hell of a performance. The recording quality is also excellent throughout. This album may also contain a first for a jazz album; the uncredited sixth track is Graeme Lyall’s telling of a lengthy cleaned up version of the joke that somehow gave the band its name. Bring on Volume 2!

­– Michael Prescott

More Info and samples here

 

Tilman-Robinson-NetworkTilman Robinson

Network Of Lines        listen here collective ★★★★

Tilman Robinson (t, laptop, perc), Peter Knight (t laptop), Callum G’froerer (t), Erkki Veltheim (v), Judith Hamann (c), Brett Thompson (g, b), Berish Bilander (p), Sam Zerna (b), Hugh Harvey (d), Melanie Robinson (c), Joe Talia & Josh Barber (perc). Rec. date not stated

From the outset it’s apparent that this is an extraordinary work by an outstanding new composer and arranger. The scope and range of his compositions is as wide as the Australian desert. The collection is inspired by Italo Calvino’s novel “If On A Winter’s Night A Traveller” and kicks off with “Winter‘s Night”, commencing with a deep drone and bass motif before evoking the tracks title with piano and eerie percussion. This segues into “Malbork, Cimmeria” a joyful brass, almost mariachi romp with a memorable hook from the leader’s trombone. “In Search Of An Anchor” is a minor masterpiece, mournful, repetitive before building to a midpoint climax followed by a slow, quiet second half with a reflective cello leading the way. Throughout the album themes come in and out, returning in completely different contexts as if to demonstrate just broad Tilman’s talent is. This is an album of great emotion; there are times it is so joyful that one feels like dancing, on other tunes sadness and melancholy ensues. All of this is underscored by a seeming endless well of unforgettable and hook laden melodies. The more one listens to the album the more it gets under your skin and the more it demands to be heard. On the strength of this, Tilman should be granted everything he wants to make his next brilliant musical statement.

– Michael Prescott

More Info and samples here

 

JexSaarelahtTrio-LiminalJex Saarelaht Trio

Liminal           Jazzhead        ★★★

Jex Saarelaht (p), Philip Rex (b), Niko Schauble (d). Rec 30 October 2013

The Jex Saarelaht Trio has been performing for over 20 years from its Melbourne base with the same line-up. The wealth of experience is very evident on this live recording from the esteemed Bennetts Lane. The interplay between the musicians is almost telepathic as they work their way through the programme of six Saarelaht’s originals which comprise this album. Saarelaht’s compositions are quite distinctive, particularly the opener, ironically titled “Closing” and the title track, strong melodies with powerful rhythmic drive and some funky bass lines, the perfect base for the group’s solos. This is very much a trio, with Saarelaht giving ample solo space to the rhythm section, who play with him and not behind. And a good thing to, especially as Rex and Schauble can solo with genuine originality, contributing much colour to the music. Saarelaht possess an endless stream of emotive melodic flourishes which seem to continually tumble out of the speakers during his improvisational excursions. The experience that this trio has garnered over 20 years is fully evident here, a live set packed with grace, beauty and a prime exhibit demonstrating that the piano led trio remains a vibrant component of jazz today.

– Michael Prescott

More Info and samples here

LIVE

Julien Wilson

The Promethean, Adelaide

The venue is somewhat unique, a small intimate space (with a bar of course, this is Australia!) that only opens when there is a gig. On this occasion Julien Wilson was there with his trio to promote his excellent new CD “Swailing”, recently reviewed on this site. In the company of guitarist Stephen Magnusson and Steve Grant on accordion the trio mesmerised the gathered with tunes from 2007’s “Trio Live” and a sizeable chunk of the aforementioned album. The music, with is ECM like qualities, was perfect for this space, lovely, flowing accordion flourishes, subtle guitar lines and the leader’s luscious tenor sax washing over the enthusiastic audience. The absence of a rhythm section only made this music more sensuous and inviting. Whilst Magnusson and Grant covered rhythmic duties with controlled subtly all three musicians contributed solos of eloquence and passion. Wilson is possessed of a glorious Ben Webster like tone which he uses to great effect during his improvisational flights; he appears unable to play an ordinary solo. Likewise, Magnusson’s gorgeous tone and judicious choice of notes led to series of solos that blended in seamlessly with Grant’s accordion. On the strength of this performance I can only hope that the many demands on Wilson’s career will not mean that we have to wait another 7 years before this group reconvenes.

– Michael Prescott

 

 

Dylan Howe – Subterranean: New Designs on David Bowie’s Berlin ★★★★

Motorik MR1004

Dylan Howe (d), Brandon Allen, Julian Siegel (ts), Ross Stanley (p, synths), Mark Hodgson (b) with Adrian Utley (g), Steve Howe (koto) and Nick Pini (b). Rec. date not stated

As well as being ‘a funky little bastard’, according to his old mentor Ian Dury, Howe has proved a persistent little bugger by getting this splendid recording out against all the financial odds. He’s used a Kickstarter campaign, raising a community of backers to fund the project. It’s taken time – Howe’s been performing versions of this re-imagination of Bowie’s Berlin trilogy for some seven years – but the results are gorgeously intimate, road tested and subtle, growing organically over the years.

At times the band are haunting and spacey, as on ‘Art Decade’, yet can morph seamlessly into Stanley’s lyrical piano without drawing breath. Howe doesn’t meddle when he needn’t: ‘Warszawa’’s splendid theme sits unadorned, content in a stately tempo, yet magically it grows into a joyous little swinger, reflecting Howe’s deep rooted reverence for Blue Note. And then it draws itself up to its full height with a Coltranesque tenor break, Stanley again outstanding as the shackles are thrown off. Zawinul, with his bop and middle European roots, is the missing link here (the subtle use of synths echoes the master too), but this is Howe’s project for which he deserves huge credit. What, we wonder, does The Thin White Duke make of it?

– Andy Robson

Listen to the album below

 

Jazzwise July 2014 Issue Album Reviews List

All these albums are reviewed in the JULY 2014 issue of Jazzwise which is out now – to read them all click here to subscribe and get a FANTASTIC FREE CD

New Release Album Reviews

Monty Alexander and Harlem-Kingston Express Monty Alexander Harlem-Kingston Express Vol. 2: The River Rolls On Motéma

Rodrigo Amado Wire Quartet Wire Quartet Clean Feed

Ginger Baker Why? Motéma

Ketil Bjørnstad Sunrise ECM

Black Top # One Babel

Uri Caine Callithump Winter & Winter

The Nels Cline Singers Macroscope Mack Avenue

Nicola Conte Free Souls Schema

Olegario Diaz Basquiat By Night/Day SteepleChase

Paul Dunmall / Paul Rogers / Philip Gibbs The Clouds Turned Silver FMR Records

John Escreet
 Sound, Space and Structures
 Sunnyside

Oran Etkin Gathering Light Motéma

Orrin Evans’ Captain Black Big Band Mother’s Touch Posi-Tone

The Omar Hakim Experience We Are One Ozmosis

Dose Hermanos Batique Dose Hermanos

Matthew Halsall & the Gondwana Orchestra When the World Was One Gondwana Records

Dylan Howe Subterranean: New Designs on David Bowie’s Berlin Motorik

José James While You Were Sleeping Blue Note

Keith Jarrett /Charlie Haden Last Dance ECM

Konitz Tepfer Janisch Williams Live in London Volume 1 Whirlwind Recordings

Frank Lacy & The Smalls Legacy Band Live at Smalls Smalls LIVE

Ingrid Laubrock Octet Zürich Concert Intakt Intakt

Christof Lauer & NDR Bigband play Sidney Bechet Petite Fleur ACT

Magos and Limón Dawn
 OKeh


The Magnificent Seven Jazz Band The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Irthling Records

Georgia Mancio /Nigel Price Come Rain or Come Shine
 Roomspin Records

Muthspiel Grenadier Blade
 Driftwood
 ECM
Christian Muthspiel 4 Seaven Teares ACT

Meshell Ndegeocello Comet, Come To Me Naïve

Outside Line Introducing Outside Line GLP Records

Nils Petter Molvær Switch OKeh

Gregory Porter/Donald Smith/Mansur Scott Great Voices of Harlem PAO Records

Preservation Hall Jazz Band That’s It! Legacy

Joshua Redman Trios Live Nonesuch 5

Eric Reed The Adventurous Monk Savant

Dino Saluzzi Group El Valle de la Infancia ECM

JC Sanford Orchestra Views for the Inside Whirlwind Recordings

Sax Appeal Funkerdeen Jazzizit

Silence Blossoms Silence Blossoms Efpi

Various Artists Jazz & The Philharmonic OKeh

Jacob Young Forever Young ECM

Alice Zawadzki China Lane
 Whirlwind Recordings


 

Short Cuts New Releases

The Ambient Jazz Ensemble Suite Shop

Soren Bebe Trio featuring Marc Johnson Eva From Out Here

Thomas Clausen Morning…Dreaming… Stunt

Donald Edwards Evolution of an Influenced Mind Criss Cross

Peter Epstein Polarities Songlines

Georgie Fame, Madeline Bell & Steve Gray Singer Proper

Goldings Bernstein Stewart Ramshackle Serenade Pirouet

Jackiem Joyner Evolve Mack Avenue

Kappeler/Zumthor Babylon-Suite ECM

Roan Kearsey-Lawson Presence in Mind 144 Records

Matt London Speak Now Music for Tenor Saxophone ML

Matinier/Ambrosini Inventio ECM

Benedicte Maurseth/Asne Valland Nordli Over Tones ECM

Soren Moller Lines of Progression ILK

The New Mastersounds Therapy Legere Recordings

The Ed Palermo Big Band Oh No! Not Jazz!! Cuneiform

sPace moNkey The Karman Line Hubro

Toco Memoria Schema

The Westerlies Wish the Children Would Come on Home Songlines

Basak Yavuz Things… Z Muzik Yapim

Reissues / Archive Reviews

Mose Allison Swingin’ Machine Warner Atlantic /
Middle Class White Boy Warner Atlantic

Ornette Coleman To Whom Keeps A Record Warner Atlantic

Alice Coltrane Eternity Warner Atlantic

Coltrane Four Classic Albums AvidJazz

Hank Crawford Mr. Blues Warner Atlantic /
Mr. Blues Plays Lady Soul Warner Atlantic

Bill Evans Three Classic Albums Plus AvidJazz

Art Farmer Interaction Atlantic

Stan Getz Quartet & Quintet The Complete Roost Studio Sessions American Jazz Classics

Jimmy Giuffre 3 & 4 New York Concerts Elemental Music

The Chico Hamilton Quintet A Different Journey Warner Reprise

The Joe Harriott Double Quintet, under the direction of John Mayer Indo-Jazz Suite Warner Atlantic
4

Billie Holiday The Complete 19521957 Small Group Studio Sessions Masterworks

Freddie Hubbard Keep Your Soul Together/Polar AC/ Skagly BGO

Ahmad Jamal Trio Complete Live At The Spotlite Club 1958 Phoenix/
Complete 1961 Alhambra Performances Essential Jazz Classics/
Complete 1962 At The Blackhawk Essential Jazz Classics

Yusef Lateef The Gentle Giant Warner Atlantic

Rudy Linka Acoustic and Electric Retrospective Supraphon

Pat Martino Joyous Lake Warner Bros

Charles Mingus The Jazz Experiments Of Charles Mingus Verse BCP/
Charles Mingus Mingus Moves Warner/Atlantic/
Mingus Dynasty Chair In The Sky Warner/Elektra

World’s Experience Orchestra The Beginning Of A New Birth World Productions

Jaco Pastorious Word Of Mouth Warner Atlantic

David Sanborn Sanborn Warners Bros

David Sanborn Another Hand Elektra

Shirley Scott Superstition Soul Brother Records

Horace Silver Quartet Live In New York

Clive Stevens Atmospheres ESC Records
Various Artists Jazz Legends Box Set – 20 Original Albums From The Iconic Atlantic Label Atlantic/Rhino

Miroslav Vitous Magical Shepherd Warner Atlantic

Alexander Von Schlippenbach Payan Enja


Reissues Short Cuts Reviews

Betty Blake Sings in a Tender Mood: Complete Recordings 1957-61 Fresh Sound

Charlie Byrd Four Classic Albums Avid

Nat King Cole Live in Tokyo In Crowd

Eddie Lockjaw Davis / Don Patterson Quintet Complete Recordings Groove Hut

Ella Fitzgerald Things Ain’t What They Used To Be Reprise

Carmen McRae For Once In My Life Atlantic

Kid Ory Storyville Nights / Plays W C Handy / Dixieland Marching Songs Upbeat

Bill Perkins Four Classic Albums Avid

Shorty Rogers and His Giants Jazz Waltz Reprise

George Shearing Jazz Moments Essential Jazz Classics

Benny Goodman B.G. In Hi-fi Essential Jazz Classics

Benny Goodman Sextet Live at Basin Street East American Jazz Classics

Jim Hall Classic Quartets: Impromptu / Burnin’ Essential Jazz Classics

Coleman Hawkins The Lost 1950 Munich Concert Solar

Quincy Jones / Harry Arnold Big Band = Jazz! Phoenix

Sonny Stitt Low Flame / Feelin’s Essential Jazz Classics

Stanley Turrentine Betcha Elektra

Frank Wess Four Classic Albums Avid

Lester Young Complete Aladdin Recordings Phoenix

 

Jazzwise June 2014 Issue Album Reviews List

 All these albums are reviewed in the JUNE 2014 issue of Jazzwise which is out now – to read them all click here to subscribe and get a FANTASTIC FREE CD


New Release Album Reviews

Eric Alexander Chicago Fire HighNote Records

Algorhythmical Impending Joy algorhythmical.co.uk

Bobby Avey Authority Melts From Me Whirlwind Recordings

Baldych & Herman The New Tradition ACT

Seamus Blake/Chris Cheek Reeds Ramble Criss Cross Jazz

Bohren & Der Club Of Gore Piano Nights PIAS Recordings

Dewa Budjana Surya Namaskar MoonJune Records

Chat Noir Elec3Cities RareNoise

Graham Collier Jazz Ensemble Luminosity The Last Suites GCM

Neil Cowley Trio Touch and Flee Naim

Jumoké Fashola The Condition of Being A Woman Sass & Rhythm Records

Claudio Filippini Trio Breathing in Unison Cam Jazz

Tori Freestone Trio In the Chop House Whirlwind

Tim Garland Songs to the North Sky Edition

Barry Guy New Orchestra Amphi / Radio Rondo Intakt

Jamie Saft
 The New Standard 
 RareNoiseRecords

Joel Harrison and Anupam Shobhakar Multiplicity Leave The Door Open Whirlwind Recordings

Jim Hart / Barry Green / Matt Ridley / Steve Brown The MJQ Celebration King’s Gambit Records

Hiromi: The Trio Project Alive Telarc

Billy Jenkins The Semi-Detached Suburban Home (Music for Low Strung Guitar) VOTP

Lee Konitz Standards Live Enja

Helge Lien Trio Badgers and Oteings Ozella

Nick Malcolm Quartet Beyond These Voices Green Eyes

Michelson Morley Aether Drift F-IRE Presents

Hedvig Mollestad Trio Enfant Terrible Rune Grammofon

Monocled Man Southern Drawl Whirlwind Recordings

Jim Mullen Organ Trio Catch My Drift Diving Duck

Dave O’Higgins Standards JVG

Peirani & Parisien Belle Époque ACT

Ivo Perelman/Matthew Shipp/William Parker Book Of Sound Leo

Ivo Perelman Mat Maneri Two Men Walking Leo

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

Pigfoot 21st Century Acid Trad Village Life

Sonny Rollins Road Shows Vol. 3 OKeh/Doxy

Tommy Smith and Brian Kellock Whispering of the Stars Sparctacus

Tierney Sutton After Blue BFM Jazz BFM

Thumbscrew Thumbscrew Cuneiform Rune

Misha Tsiganov The Artistry Of The Standard Criss Cross

Vein Vote for Vein Unit Records

Ulf Wakenius Momento Magico ACT

Stian Westerhus & Pale Horse Maelstrom Rune Grammofon


Short Cuts New Releases

BEJE Live at the Fringe Beje

Iva Bittová, Gyan Riley, Evan Ziporyn Eviyan Live Victo

Tyler Blanton Gotham Ottimo Music

Zach Brock Purple Sounds Criss Cross

Steve Davis For Real Positone

Jussi Fredriksson Jazz Wars I & II Fredriksson Music

Max Merseny Everlasting Enja

Rich Perry Nocturne Steeplechase

Pierrick Pédron Kubic’s Cure ACT

Samo Salamon Bassless Quartet 2Alto Steeplechase

Sonar Static Motion Cuneiform

Paul Higgs Pavanne Toucan Tango

Honest John Canarie Rudi

Kairos Ensemble Rejoicing Blues Mulberry Tree Music

Sarah Manning Harmonious Creature Positone

Loren Stillman + Bad Touch Going Public FSNT

Daniel Szabo A Song From There Dszingabom Music

Gregory Tardy Hope Steeplechase



Reissues / Archive Reviews

Steve Beresford and Nigel Coombes White Strings Attached Emanem

Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers Jazz Messengers!!!! + Mosaic Essential Jazz Classics EJC

Kenny Clarke/Francy Boland Big Band Now Hear Our Meanin’ – The Complete 1963 Recordings Jazz Lips Music

Miles Davis Quintet with John Coltrane Live in Saint Louis Rare Live Records

Miles Davis Manchester Concert ‘In’ Crowd

Jimmy Deuchar The Complete Tempo Recordings 1955-58 Acrobat Music

Don Ellis The New Ellis Band Goes Underground/Don Ellis At Fillmore

Maynard Ferguson Primal Scream/New Vintage/Carnival BGO

Frank Foster The Loud Minority CDBGPM

Grant Green Remembering Grant Green Essential Jazz Classics

Herbie Hancock Takin’ Off Essential Jazz Classics

The Jazz Makers/Ronnie Ross & Allan Ganley The Jazz Five/The Hooter! Fresh Sound

Steve Lacy Avignon And After 2 (1972-7) Emanem

George Lewis Keeper of the Flame Storyville

Vic Lewis Vic Lewis Plays Bossa Nova/At Home (London) And Away (Hollywood) HMV

Charles Mingus Let My Children Hear Music/Charles Mingus And Friends In Concert BGO

Thelonious Monk Quartet Complete 1961 Amsterdam Concert Solar

Lee Morgan/ Clifford Jordan Quintet Live in Baltimore 1968 Fresh Sound

Pieranunzi, Johnson, Baron Play Morricone 1&2 Cam Jazz

Cecil Taylor Three Classic Albums Plus Avid



Reissues Short Cuts Reviews

Dorothy Ashby Four Classic Albums Plus Avid

Kenny Burrell The Bluesin’ Around Sessions Essential Jazz Classics

Duke Ellington Concert In The Virgin Isles Reprise

Shelly Manne …And His Men Play the music of John Williams from the TV Series Checkmate American Jazz Classics

Charles Mingus Oh Yeah! Essential Jazz Classics

Oscar Peterson Three Classic Albums Plus Avid

Clare Fischer Big Band Thesaurus Atlantic

Red Garland Halleloo Y’All / When There Are Grey Skies Essential Jazz Classics

Hampton Hawes Three Classic Albums Plus Avid

Milt Jackson Sings with Enrico Intra Group Derby

Quincy Jones Four Classic Albums Plus Avid

Sheila Jordan Portrait of Sheila American Jazz Classics

Peggy Lee Let’s Love Atlantic

Oscar Peterson / Ben Webster During This Time Art of Groove

Cal Tjader In a Latin Bag / Saturday Night + Sunday Morning at the Blackhawk El / Cherry Red

Various Artists Chicago Hit Factory The VeeJay Story 1953-1966 Charly

Eddie ‘Cleanhead’ Vinson With the Cannonball Adderley Quintet Fresh Sound

Grover Washington Jr. All My Tomorrows / Soulful Strut / Breath of Heaven BGO

Lester Young Jazz Giants 56 Phoenix

 

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Sam Anning, Tam O'Shanter and Sam Bates in Australian jazz CD round-up

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 Nat Birchall Quintet – Live In Larissa ★★★★

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