Laura Jurd – Landing Ground ★★★★

Chaos Collective CC001
Laura Jurd (t), Elliot Galvin (p), Conor Chaplin (b), Corrie Dick (perc), Mandhira De Saram (vln), Patrick Dawkins (vln), Richard Jones (vla), and Ben Davis (clo). Rec. May 2012

She’s only just entered her final year at Trinity College of Music, but the composer-trumpeter Laura Jurd is already creating quite a little buzz on the live scene in London. Besides hosting a monthly night at the Spice of Life in Soho with her Chaos Collective, she’s also received recognition as a composer, winning the Dankworth Award in 2010. As well her quartet picked up the Worshipful Company of Musicians Award a few months ago. It’s easy to see why, listening to her new debut release Landing Ground. She pitches up somewhere between composition drawing from neo-classical chamber and minimalism with added folky elements and a contemporary post-Miles avant-jazz. It’s already a fluid thing in her hands.

 Her originals have a generously lyrical quality and are executed beautifully by Ligeti Quartet minus one – replaced by the F-IRE collective’s go-to jazz-scene cellist Ben Davis – and her regular close-knit quartet, especially fellow Trinity cohort Elliot Galvin on piano. To her credit she doesn’t allow the structural clarity of her compositions to put the shackles on the improvisational elements of her work. There’s nothing heavy about the brief free improv duets (sandwiched between the extended ensemble writing) that demonstrate a passion for sonic experimentation and abstraction. Influenced by the superb American new breed avant-garde trumpeter Peter Evans and the Norwegian Arve Henriksen, as well as Dave Douglas, her trumpet playing already has a quirky yet penetrating signature of her own. Listening to Laura Jurd maturing becomes a fascinating prospect.

– Selwyn Harris

Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin – Live ★★★★

ECM371 4093 | Nik Bärtsch (p), Sha (b clt, as), Björn Meyer, Thomy Jordi (el b), Kaspar Rast (d), and Andi Pupato (perc). Rec. date not stated

While Ronin have made three fine studio albums for ECM – Stoa (2005), Holon (2007) and Liyría (2010) – this is a band that should be seen live, where the essence of their music is revealed. A band that masterfully exploits tension and release, nothing can quite capture the drama, and the audience reaction, as they move from one of their minimalistic, yet rhythmically layered passages, to the next interlocking passage, an experience analogous to a powerful car moving effortlessly through the gears. The next best thing is a wellrecorded live album, and this two-CD set captures the band in live settings such as the Jazztage in Leipzig, Tokyo’s Pit-Inn, Jazzbaltica, Amsterdam’s Bimhuis, The Sage in Gateshead, the Vienna Radiokulturhaus, Lörrach’s Burghof and Mannheim’s Enjoy Jazz. Here the rapport the band have with their audience is palpable as they gauge the effect of tension to perfectly judged release; giving great focus to material such as ‘Module 35’, from Stoa, ‘Module 41_17’, ‘Module 42’, and ‘Module 45’ from Holon and ‘Module 55’, ‘Module 48’, and ‘Module 47’ from Llyria.

– Stuart Nicholson

Gogo Penguin – Fanfares ★★★

Gondwana GONDCD 008
Chris Illingworth (p), Grant Russell (b), and Rob Turner (d). Rec. January 2012

Recording for Giles Peterson favourite trumpeter Matthew Halsall’s label, the Manchester-based fledgling piano trio Gogo Penguin on first impressions seem to take their cue from the happening acoustic piano trio model spearheaded by EST and The Bad Plus over the previous decade. This is borne out by the opening eulogy by pianist Chris Illingworth to the late Esbjörn Svensson titled ‘Seven Sons of Björn’, and the following Aphex Twin-inspired tune ‘Last Words’ that sounds like a sister track to The Bad Plus cover of Aphex’s ‘Flim’ from 2003. Yet this kind of comparison doesn’t tell the whole story at all. Though not without a classical music background (they all studied together at Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester) Gogo Penguin is from a younger generation listening to electronic and rock music as much as jazz. It’s the conversion of the structures, textures as well as sonic nuances of electronic and rock to the setting of the acoustic piano trio that makes up the core of the sound. There’s hardly anything that could be considered a jazz solo and the piano isn’t in its usual default frontline role. Rather than thinking of them as descendants of the piano-led EvansJarrett-Svensson school, imagine a contemporary groove-propelled mix of Michael Nyman’s film score for The Piano and you’re nearer the mark. They are perhaps closest in spirit to the UK’s Neil Cowley Trio, a band of equals that revel in epic song-like themes and vigorous interaction. That might be their greatest strength.

– Selwyn Harris

Jazzwise December 2012/January 2013 Issue CD Reviews List

All these albums are reviewed in the December 2012/January 2013 issue of Jazzwise - to read them all click here to subscribe here and get a FREE CD.


Rez Abbasi Trio – Continuous Beat – Enja Records

Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin – Live – ECM

Vinicius Cantuária – Indio de Apartamento – Naïve

Chambr – Freewheel – F-IRE

Mick Coady’s Synergy – Nine Tales of the Pendulum – Jellymould Jazz

Raynauld Colom – Evcoación – Jazz Village

Philip Dizack – The End of an Era – Truth Revolution Records

Elina Duni Quartet – Matanë Malit – ECM

Kevin Eubanks – The Messenger – Mack Avenue

Georgie Fame – Lost In A Lover’s Dream – Three Line Whip

Roman Filiu – Musae – Dafnison

Food – Mercurial Balm – ECM

Michael Formanek – Small Places – ECM

Kekko Fornarelli Kube – Room of Mirrors

Gogo Penguin – Fanfares – Gondwana

The Golden Age of Steam – Welcome to Bat Country – Basho

René von Grünig / Mark Wingfield – Cinema Obscura – Dark Energy Music

Ronan Guilfoyle – Renaissance Man – Steeplechase

Andy Hague – Cross My Palm – Ooh-Er Records

Hello Skinny – Hello Skinny – Slowfoot

Hiromi – Move – Telarc

Mike Hobart’s Urban Jazz Collective – The Third Fish – Another World Music 

Jasper van’t Hof – Oeuvre – Q-Rious Music

Bobby Hutcherson – Somewhere in the Night

Chuck Israels – It’s Nice To Be With You – Stunt Records

Benedikt Jahnel Trio – Equilobrium – ECM

Marc Johnson / Eliane Elias – Swept Away – ECM

Laura Jurd – Landing Ground – Chaos Collective

Nils Landgren – The Moon, The Stars and You / Collector’s Edition – ACT

Tim Lapthorn -  Transport – Pathway Records

Manu Katché - Manu Katché – ECM

Seth McFarlane – Music Is Better Than Words – Universal Records

Harold Mabern – Mr Lucky: A Tribute to Sammy Davis Jr – High Note

Davide Mantovani – Choices – Equilateral

Mark Masters Ensemble – Ellington Saxophone Encounters – Capri

Sebastiano Meloni, Paul Dunmall, Mark Sanders – Pictures Of A Quartet – Slam

Ron Miles – Quiver – Enja/Yellowbird

Naked Truth – Ouroboros – RareNoise

National Youth Jazz – The Change – NYJO Records

Neon Quartet – Subjekt – Edition

Aruán Ortiz and Michael Janisch Qunitet – Banned in London – Whirlwind

Walter Norris and Leszek Mozdzer – The Last Set: Live at the A-Trane – ACT

Pete Oxley and Nicolas Meier – Travels to the West – MGP

Maceo Parker – Soul Classics – Moosicus

Pierrick Pédron – Kubic’s Monk – ACT

Paul Plimley, Barry Guy, Lucas Niggli – Hexentrio – Intakt

Jure Pukl – Abstract Society – Storyville

Iiro Rantala – My History of Jazz – ACT

Return To Forever – The Mothership Has Landed – Eagle Rock

Sam Rivers, Dave Holland, Barry Altschul – Reunion: Live in New York – Pi Recordings

The Rongetz Foundation – Brooklyn Butterfly Session – Heavenly Sweetness

Matteo Sabattini – Metamorpho – Fresh Sound New Talent

Michel Sajrawy – Writings on the Wall – Ozella

Wadada Leo Smith and Louis Moholo-Moholo – Ancestors – TUM TUM

Bobo Stenson Trio – Indicum – ECM


 1982 + BJ Cole - 1982 + BJ Cole – Hubro

Josh Berman and his Gang – There Now – Delmark

George Cables – My Muse – HighNote

Philip Clemo – Mesmer Ali - Colours Arts

Graham Dechter – Takin’ It There – Capri

Denise Donatelli – Soul Shadows – Savant

Joe Fiedler – Big Sackbut – Yellow Sound

Amina Figarova Sextet – Twelve – In + Out

Fourth Page – Blind Horizons – Leo

Max Frankl – Home – Material Records

Adam Glasser – Mzansi – Sunnyside

Jimmy Herring – Subject to Change without Notice – AbstractLogix

Marquis Hill – Sounds of the City –

The Hot 8 Brass Brand – The Life and Times of… - Tru Thoughts

Fred Lonberg-Holm’s Fast Citizens – Gather – Delmark

Rachael McFarlane – Hayley Sings – Concord

Rob Mazurek Pulsar Quartet – Stellar Pulsations – Delmar

Fillipe Monteiro – In Bad Company –

Orchestre National De Jazz – Piazzolla! – Jazz Village

Esmond Selwyn – Renegade – Slam

Elliot Sharp’s Terraplane – Sky Road Songs – Enja

The Skinny – Dig On It – Tippin’

TranceFormation – In Concert – New Artists




Ernestine Anderson – The Complete 1947- 1958 – Le Chant du Monde

Chet Baker – The Lyrical Trumpet Of Chet Baker – Phoenix

Chet Baker/Philip Catherine/ Jean-Louis Rassinfosse – Crystal Bells – Igloo Jazz Classics

Clifford Brown/ The Ladies Of Jazz – Sarah Vaughan/ Helen Merrill/Dinah Washington – Phoenix Records

Gary Burton Quartet – In Concert – FiveFour

Ray Charles – The Complete Swing Time & Atlantic Recordings 1948-1959 – Le Chant du Monde

Ornette Coleman – Chappaqua Suite – FiveFour

John Coltrane – Complete Live at Sutherland Lounge – RLR

King Curtis Quintet – The New Scene Of King Curtis/Soul Meeting – Fresh Sounds

Miles Davis – On The Air 1958-1959 – United Archives

Charles Gayle Trio – Look Up – ESP

Stan Getz Quartet – Swiss Radio Days Vol.29 – TCB The Montreux Jazz Label

Grant Green – Green Street – Groove Hut

Joe Harriott Quintet – Movement/High Spirits – Dutton Vocalion

Hampton Hawes – For Real! – Essential Jazz Classics

Coleman Hawkins – Classic Coleman Hawkins Sessions 1922-1947 – Mosaic

Southern Energy – Southern Energy – Black Fire

King Crimson – Larks’ Tongues In Aspic – KCSP 5

Harold Land and Kenny Dorham – Complete Recordings – Eastward Ho! / Fire in the West – Solar

Harold McNair – Harold McNair/Flute & Nut – Dutton Vocalion

Max Middleton / Morrissey Mullen – Another Sleeper Cape Wrath – Vocalion

Hank Mobley – Workout + Hank Mobley Quartet – Amercian Jazz Classics

Preservation Hall Jazz Band – 50th Anniversary Collection – Columbia/Legacy

Django Reinhardt – On Vogue – Complete 1934 – 1951 – Sony CD

David Sanborn – Then Again: The Anthology – Rhino/Warners

Sonny Stitt – Only The Blues – Essential Jazz Classics

Various Artists – All Night Long OST – Harkit

Various Artists – Jazz On Film: Beat, Square & Cool – Moochinabout Moochin

Various Artists – Drink Up –Light Up – Fantastic Voyage

Ben Webster / Stan Tracey – Soho Nights Vol.2 – ReSteamed

Randy Weston – Solo, Duo And Trio In A Modern Mood – Fresh Sound

Randy Weston Trio Plus Cecil Payne – With These Hands / The Modern Art Of Jazz / Jazz A La Bohemia – Fresh Sound



Louis Armstrong – Complete Louis Armstrong: Vol. 9. 1938-41 – Fremaux

Louis Armstrong – Complete Louis Armstrong: Vol.10 1941-44 – Fremaux

Chet Baker – Sings: It Could Happen To You – Phoenix

Al Cohn / Richie Kamuca / Bill Perkins – The Brothers! – Essential Jazz Classics

Tino Contreras – El Jazz Mexicano – Jazzman

Duke Ellington – Treasury Shows, Vol.16 – Storyville

Ethel Ennis – Sings Lullabies For Losers / Change of Scenery / Have You Forgotten – Fresh Sound

Nat Gonella – Young Nat Gonella 1930- 36 – Challenge

Teddi King – Four Classic Albums Plus – Avid

Earl Klugh – Finger Paintings / Heart Strong / Wishful Thinking – BGO

Mangione Brothers Sextet / Quintet – Complete Recordings – Fresh Sound

Ted McNabb - ….and co. – Fresh Sound

Carmen McRae – Complete Kapp Recordings – Fresh Sound

Red Nicols – Complete Brunswick Recordings – 1927-32 – Jazz Oracle

André Previn – Four Classic Albums – Avid

Bud Shank – Quintet and Sextet – Fresh Sound

Lonnie Smith – Mama Wailer – CTI

Sun Ra – The Nubians Of Plutonia / Bad And Beautiful – Solar

Sun Ra – Angels And Demons At Play / Sound Sun Pleasure / We Travel The Space Ways – Solar




Hiromi – The Trio Project Live In Marciac – Telarc


You’ll Know When You Get There: Herbie Hancock and The Mwandishi Band – Bob Gluck – University of Chicago

Funny Valentine The Story of Chet Baker – Matthew Ruddick – Melrose Books

Record Collector Rare Record Price Guide 2014 – Edited by Ian Shirley – Diamond Publishing

Joe Conzo with David A.Pérez – Mambo Diablo: My Journey with Tito Puente – Blackbeat Books

Ted Gioia – The Jazz Standards: A Guide to the Repertoire – Oxford University Press
















Jazzwise November 2012 Issue CD Reviews List

All these albums are reviewed in the November 2012 issue of Jazzwise - to read them all click here to subscribe here and get a FREE CD.


Nat Birchall – World Without Form – Sound And Spirit

Rabid Abou-Khalil – Hungry People – World Village

Harry Allen and Scott Hamilton – Round Midnight – Challenge

The Bad Plus – Made Possible – E1

Brotzmann/Satoh/Moriyama – Yatagarasu – Not Two

BJ Cole with Guy Jackson – Transparent Music 2 – United

The Cookers – Believe – Motema

Dice Factory – Dice Factory – Babel

Dunietz. Edwards and Noble – Cousin it – Hopscotch

Kurt Elling – 1619 Broadway – The Brill Building Project – Concord Jazz

Hilario Duran Trio – Motion – Cristal Records

Michael Feinberg – The Elvin Jones Project – Sunnyside

Tomas Fujiwara and The Hook Up – The Air Is Different – 482 Music

Tia Fuller – Angelic Warrior – Mack Avenue

Matthew Halsall – Fletcher Moss Park – Gondwana

Wolfgang Haffner – Heart of the Matter – ACT

Yaron Herman – Alter Ego – ACT

Fred Hersch Trio – Alive At The Vanguard – Palmetto

Joe Hertenstein – Future Drone – Jazzwerkstatt

Yuri Honing Acoustic Quartet – True – Challenge

Barb Jungr – Stockport To Memphis – Naim Jazz

Sekou Keita – Miro – Astar Music

Bettye LaVette – Thankful N’ Thoughtful – ANTI-Records

Gareth Lockrane’s Grooveyard – The Strut – Whirlwind

Lionel Loueke – Heritage – Blue Note

Dominic J Marshall Trio – Icaros – F-IRE

John McLaughlin and The 4th Dimension – Now Here It Is – Abstract Logix

Medeski, Martin and Wood – Free Magic – Indirecto Records

Meshell Ndegeocello–Pour une ame souveraine–a dedication to Nina Simone – Naïve

Michael Occhipinti and Shine On – The Universe of John Lennon – True North

William Parker Orchestra – Essence Of Ellington Live In Milano – Centering

Luis Perdomo – The Infancia – Project – Criss Cross Jazz

Ivo Perelman with Sirius Quartet – The Passion According to G.H. – Leo

Preservation Hall Jazz Band – St. Peter and 57th Street – Rounder

Eric Reed – The Baddest Monk – Savant

Gustavo Santaolalla and Various artists – On The Road OST – Universal

Richard Sussman Quintet – Continuum – Origin Records

Jacky Terrasson – Gouache    Universal Jazz

Baptiste Trotignon – Song Song Song – Naïve

John Turville – Conception – F-IRE

Short Cuts:

Atzmon/Bergmann – Zone De Memoire – Mudoks Records

Sophie Bancroft/Tom Lyne – You Turned The Tables On Me – Lisaleo

Obmar Binder – Trio Boogie Woogie – Turnaround

Sylvia Banks – Restless – CDBaby

Jonathan Butler –  Grace And Mercy – Mack Avenue

Carmel – Strictly Piaf – Secret Records

Conly harding Jones Taylor – Grass Rocks – Aum Fidelity

Don Grusin/Bill Sharphe – Trans Atlantica – Secret Records

Jeff Hamilton – Time Passes On – Jazzed Media

Hot Club Of Detroit – Junction – Mack Avenue

Jeanette Hubert – On The Run – Ozelia Music

Map Trio – Map – Kelsey Records

Lou Marini – Starmaker – Blujazz

Josete Ordonez – Por El Mar – Ozelia

Philippe Petrucciani – Este Mundo – Jazz Village

Quazamba – One Afternoon – Rhythm and Music

Renegade Creation – Bullet – Provogue

Scott Robinson Doctette – Bronze Nemesis – Doc-Tone

Oz Robu Trio – Oz Rubo – Rhythm & Music

The Second Approach Trio – Pandoras Pitcher – Leo

Sector 7 – The EP – Sayso

Fiium Shaark – No Fiction Now! – Not Applicable

Vinz Vonlanthen – Silo – Leo



Louis Armstrong – Complete Hot Fives and Hot Sevens – Essential Jazz Classics

Andy Bay – Andy & The Bay Sisters – Blue Moon

Clifford Brown/Max Roach Quintet – The Complete Studio Recordings – Essential Jazz Classics

Dave Brubeck Quartet – Live In London 1966 – Domino Records

Don Byas – Don Byas at Nalen with Jan Johansson – Riverside

Charlie Byrdv brazilian Byrd/Hollywood Byrd – BGO Records

Miles Davis – Birth Cool – Pheonix

Paul Desmond – First Place Again – Pheonix

Stan Getz – Stan Getz at Nalen – Riverside Records

Stan Getz – Stan Getz At Large – Storyville

Herb Hardestry and His Band – The Domino Effect Wing & Federal Recordings 1958-61 – Ace

Jimmy Heath Sextet – The Thumper/ The Quota – Solar

Johnny Lytle Trio – Blue Vibes/Happy Ground – Fresh Sounds

Les McCann Ltd – In San Francisco – Fresh Sound

Egba – Egba – Sonet

Taj Mahal – The Hidden Treasures Of… 1969-73

Gerry Mulligan and the Concert Jazz Band – Santa Monica 1960 – Fresh Sound

Frank Zappa/The Mothers of Invention – Assorted Albums – Zappa Records/Universal

Charlie Rouse – Yeah!/We Paid Our Dues/Takin’ Care Of Buisness!/Gettin’ Into Somethin’ – Fresh Sounds

Horace Silver – That Healing Faith/Total Response – Soul Brother

Jimmy Smith – Sit On It – Soul Brother

Jimmy Smith – Unfinished Buisness – Soul Brother

Grover Washington Jr – Strawberry Moon/Then and Now/Time Out Of Mind – BGO


Trad dads, Dirty Boppers and Free Fusioneers British Jazz – Duncan Heining – Equinox Records

Eurojazzland – Edited by Luca Cerchian, Laurent Cugny and Franz Kerschbaumer – Northeastern University Press

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