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

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

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
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

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 

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


Joseph Tawadros, yeahyeahabsolutelynoway and Paul Grabowsky plus Martin Taylor live in Australian Jazz Round Up

It was another busy month here in Oz, with more great releases to savour. The diversity of Australian jazz is very evident here, from twin guitars, the oud and a piano-led sextet, all deserving of a listen. Also this month we were graced with the presence of Martin Taylor performing in an intimate setting.

– Michael Prescott, Jazz Presenter 5MBS, Australia


Joseph-TawadrosJoseph Tawadros

Permission To Evaporate             ABC Music / Universal            ★★★★

Joseph Tawadros (oud), Christian McBride (b), Mike Stern (el g), Matt McMahon (p), James Tawadros (p). Rec 14 &16 February 2014

Joseph Tawadros arrived in Australia from his native Egypt in 1986 at the age of 3. Born into a musical family, he was destined to become a musician and he is now a master of the oud. The oud in jazz is not new, Ahmed Abdul-Malik, Dhafer Youssef and Anouar Brahem to name but a few have utilised the instrument in a jazz setting. Nor is Tawadros new to playing with the best jazz musicians, his previous albums have featured John Abercrombie, Jack DeJohnette, John Patatucci, Bela Fleck, Joey De Francesco and others. This album is set against a background of grief, Tawadros having lost both his parents in the last few years. He has channelled these emotions in a search for more innovation in his music and this album represents a step forward in that quest. The influence of Fleck and bluegrass is readily apparent from the opener “Bluegrass Nikriz” but more than this is the sheer virtuosity that hits you from the opening blast. It is this that distances Tawadros from other jazz inclined oud players, he a constant source of invention and melody, without losing the instruments unique character. As expected from a bassist with the class of McBride, he is immaculate throughout, whilst Stern, although not appearing on every track, adds a complete tonal contrast. By utilising the considerable percussive skills of his brother James instead of a standard drum kit, the overall feel of the album has a world music colour but there is no mistaking the fact that this a jazz album, and a damn fine one to boot.

Click here for more info            



Um...            Rattle Jazz            ★★★

James Brown (g), Sam Cagney (g), Stephen Neville (d). Rec. Dates 30 September to 3 October 2013

This album represents the first foray by wonderful New Zealand label Rattle Jazz into Australia. In many ways this is a brave choice, two young electric guitarists and drums with no bass. Despite the limitations of the format, these young guns manage to pull it off with smart compositions and full on attack. Make no mistake this is a guitar album, there is simply no letting up over the whole 59 minutes from the twin guitar front line. It is evident that the band has its roots in rock but its feet firmly planted in jazz. The resulting noise, whilst harking back to the good old days of fusion, goes to another place altogether. The album kicks off with some very attractive tunes, “Howl” and “Why Sleep?” before launching into a more experimental mode with “Ouff” and “A Perfect Day For Bananafish”. The pace is slowed with the bluesy “Shetland Dream 1863” and “Look At You”. The CD closes with some fine funk with “Down Home”. Throughout Cagney and Brown swap roles constantly, from rhythm to lead and back enabling both to solo on the same tune. Both guitarists are inventive and behind them is the reliable and sympathetic‎ drumming of Stephen Neville, who provides a solid foundation for the guitarists. An audacious, but largely successful, debut from a young and interestingly named band.

Click here for more info


Peter-Grabowsky-SextetPaul Grabowsky

The Bitter Suite             ABC Music / Universal            ★★★

Paul Grabowsky (p), Jamie Oehlers (ts), Andrew Robson (as, ss), James Greening (t) Cameron Undy (b) Simon Barker (d). Rec date not stated

Grabowsky has been at the forefront of the Australian jazz scene for many years, with an occasional jaunt to the Big Apple. A man of many talents, In addition to his various groups he has found time to score films and TV plus direct various Festivals. Normally at home in a trio setting here he expands the palette by adding an impressive front line in a return to a format he has not utilised since the 1990’s. Grabowsky composed the 9 originals and arranged Scriabin’s Piano Prelude op 74 no 4, all in the space of a few weeks. He then assembled a powerful group to perform his new works. Oehlers and Robson are formidable soloists and the addition of Greening gives the sound a fuller texture and a sense of fun. The album kicks off in grand style with a reggae infused “Paradise” and continues to offer tasty treats all the way through, with the exception of ‘Sisyphus”, which to these ears falls flat and dirges its way for 10 long minutes. That said, the remainder is all class with excellent solos from the leader ably supported by his front line. Grabowsky again shows why he is at the forefront of Australian jazz.

Click here for more info          



Martin Taylor

The Gov, Adelaide

martin-taylor-live-picThe Gov is a small pub, one of a few brave venues still promoting live music of all genres, including jazz. This was Taylor’s second gig at this intimate venue and a welcome return. The show kicked off with a display of guitar virtuosity from support Mathew Fagan, covering a truly alarming range of styles and concluding with a fabulous demonstration on how to take the novelty out of the ukulele. As soon as Taylor commenced his set it was apparent that here is a master. From the opening “Old Fashioned” his fretwork was clean, his choice of notes judicious and the use of space sublime. This was followed by a Jamaican influenced piece so authentic you could almost hear the steel pans! Not content to play a bundle of standards, Taylor showcased his virtuosity, firstly straight ahead jazz with “Someday My Prince Will Come”, a demonstration of “stride guitar” with “I Got Rhythm”, a touch of Celtic, “One Day” and a song he performs with Tommy Emmanuel which he also performed for inmates of Fulsom Prison, “True”. Taylor happily informed his audience that so impressed were some guitar players amongst the inmates that they have taken it upon themselves to learn the piece as a guitar choir. Interspersed with these Taylor rattled off songs with sheer class and style, leaving a small but very satisfied audience.


Neil Cowley Trio – Touch and Flee ★★★★

Naim naimcd206
Neil Cowley (p, kys), Rex Horan (b) and Evan Jenkins (d).
Rec. date not stated

As with another widely admired piano trio, The Necks, Neil Cowley Trio tends to get coverage in the jazz media while remaining the eternal outsiders. On their previous 2012 CD The Face of Mount Molehill, the leader, pianist and composer successfully – artistically as well as in terms of widening their audience – expanded the sound canvas to include strings for the first time.

On Touch and Flee the pianist-composer has returned to the core of the acoustic trio but continues to open up the sound to a widescreen concert hall aesthetic aligned to contemporary rock and hip hop-derived production values courtesy of the rock engineer Dom Marks, his contribution a more central one than on previous CDs. Those who enjoyed the instant ear-worm melodies, slamming pub rock piano, swelling dynamics, and quirky Charlie Brown-ish jazz of previous albums, will have to be far more patient with Touch and Flee. Those ingredients are still in the mix, but expressed implicitly rather than in-your-face.

But rewards come to those who wait. Balanced between a classical melancholic elegance and a hypnotic postrock ambience, Touch and Flee is closer in its aesthetic to ECM trios such as ‘zen’ funkers Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin. It’s a recording of hidden depths and on-the-pulse sonic values that signals a bright new chapter in the Neil Cowley Trio story.

– Selwyn Harris


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

With winter not far away, Australia kicks into festival mode. The Melbourne Jazz Festival kicks off on May 30 with a great line-up including Chick Corea in duo with Gary Burton and Charles Lloyd. At the same time there are festivals in Perth and Brisbane, plus several other smaller events. Whilst the international stars put bums on seats is the quality of the Australian performers that stands out and make these festivals. Also the flow of great new albums continues unabated and to prove the point, here’s three of the best.

– Michael Prescott,Jazz Presenter 5MBS, Australia

Sam-Anning-frontSam Anning Trio

Sweethearts            listenhear collective            ★★★

Sam Anning (b), Julien Wilson (ts, ss, cl, bcl), Allan Browne (d). Rec 24 November 2012

A reed led trio can be a daunting challenge over the course of a full length album, but happily the reverse is true here. This is an album full of sublime playing, gorgeous sounds and great arrangements. To compliment Anning’s luscious bass on this, his second album, he is joined by veteran master drummer Browne and the sensuous reeds of Wilson. This is understated playing, there are no brash solos or over the top performances, restraint is the key here and its works so well. Anning has selected a mix of originals, including the funky and intriguingly titled ”Princess Doug Of Fitzroy” together with some less known standards, for example, incisive treatments of Billy Strayhorn’s “Little Brown Book” and Ellington’s “Creole Rhapsody”. Wilson is the complete musician, the use of multi reeds gives the album a more varied feel no more evident than on the track that bookends the album. On the opening take of Anning’s “Cactus Flower” Wilson is on tenor but in the closing version, he displays his talents on bass clarinet. If there is a criticism, it’s that Browne is often back in the mix and on occasions his subtle percussive effects hard to discern, particularly on Wilson’s clarinet led “Farewell”. Nonetheless, this is a fine album from three excellent players.

Click here for more info

tom-shanterGreening From Ear To Ear

Tam O'Shanter Tales            self release ★★★



James Greening (tb, sousaphone, pocket t), Andrew Robson (as, bs), Paul Cutlan (ts cl), Fabian Hevia (p), Gary Daley (Acc, p), Hamish Stuart (d), Brett Hirst (b). Rec. Date 29 June 2013

In case you’re wondering, the relationship between this album and the Scottish headwear of the title is a beach. There is, however, absolutely nothing Scottish about trombonist James Greenings latest vibrant collection, recorded live at Sydney’s Sound Lounge. The set kicks off with harmonics from Brett Hirst’s bass before launching into a spirited vibe and a scorching solo from Andy Robson. Such is the exuberance of this recording that it sounds as if every member of this largish ensemble is having an absolute ball and this joy is palpable throughout. This no doubt explains the album’s title. The following track, “Lumpy” is an aptly titled forum for the big instruments to get right down and dirty, Greening on a 14kg sousaphone, Cutlan on bass clarinet and Robson on baritone and what fun they have! “Hazara” is dedicated to the Hazara people and has a world music feel, accentuated by Daley’s accordion and Greenings considerable skill on the pocket trumpet. The closer, “Early Moring” is a slow blues pean to hope and features a stunning Robson alto solo and concludes with leader’s mournful trombone. Greening again proves that he is a composer and trombonist of some considerable stature and this CD cements his position at the top of Australian jazz. And the beach? Greening penned the tunes whilst on Tam O'Shanter Beach, located on Tasmania’s north coast.

Click here for more info           

sam-batesSam Bates

Backblocks            Newmarket 3334.2  ★★★



Sam Bates (d), Marc Hannaford (p), Philip Rex (b). Rec 11 July 2013

The piano trio is one of the most common groupings in jazz and many greats have explored the format; Bill Evans, Oscar Petersen, Keith Jarrett, a seemingly endless list. Making a lasting impression is difficult, but even more so when you’re trying to achieve this from the drum stool. This is the task that Sam Bates set himself in recording this CD. To a surprising extent he succeeded and he achieved this by writing a collection of very memorable and strong tunes plus having the courage avoid the crutch of covering standards. As a result this album is a cohesive whole, one that not only withstands repeated playing, but demands it. Bates choice of Marc Hannaford to give life to his songs was inspired. Hannaford is not a fast or flashy pianist but he is able to give real prominence to the themes and then honour them with quality and imaginative improvisations. The memorable opener, “He Who Laughs” is followed by the short “Rat Escape”, featuring a very strange rhythmic pattern, perfectly underpinning a melody so good it’s difficult to get out of your head. Similar comments can be made for all of the albums seven tracks. Bates proves that he is not only an imaginative drummer, but more than that, a composer of real class.

Click here for more info           


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