Tessa Souter – Beyond The Blue ★★★★

Tessa Souter (v), Joel Frahm (saxes), Steve Kuhn (p), David Finck (b), Joe Locke (vib) and Gary Versace (acc). Rec. 27-28 March 2011

On her fourth CD, Beyond the Blue, her second for New York-based Motéma Music, vocalist Tessa Souter dips into the classical repertoire with 12 exquisite arrangements of music by Chopin, Brahms, Schubert and more. While three of the songs are well-known standards – ‘The Lamp is Low’ (Ravel), ‘My Reverie’ (Debussy), ‘Baubles, Bangles and Beads’ (Borodin), Souter pens wonderful new lyrics for the remaining nine songs and the results are unquestionably fine. Souter’s lustrous timbre works its magic from the scene-setting opener ‘Prelude to the Sun’, based on the second movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No.7. Other stellar treats include ‘Dance With Me’ (from Borodin’s ‘Polovtsian Dances’), a remarkable take on Albinoni’s ‘Adagio’ (‘Chiaroscuro’), plus a beautiful reimagining of Rodrigo’s ‘En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor’, which every Miles fan knows well. Best of all is ‘The Darkness Of Your Eyes’ (based on Fauré’s ‘Pavane’), topped off by an outstanding solo from Joel Frahm on soprano. The rest of the supporting cast includes the Steve Kuhn trio and vibist Joe Locke, whose fluid soloing and deft textural touches add immeasurably to the album’s understated lyrical power.

– Peter Quinn

Jazzwise February 2013 Issue CD Reviews List

 

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

 

NEW RELEASES

Eivind Aarset  ­– Dream Logic – ECM

Gilad Atzmon and The Orient House Ensemble – Songs Of The Metropolis – World Village

Burton Bradstock – All Upon A Summer’s Day – F-IRE

Terri Lyne Carrington – Money Jungle: Provocative In Blue – Concord

Bill Carrothers – Castaways – Pirouet

Avishai Cohen – Triveni II – Anzic Records

Cortex – Goteborg – Gigafon

Soumik Datta and Bernhard Schimpelsberger ­ – Circle of Sound – Baithak Records

Jeff Davis – Leaf House – Fresh Sound

The Tommy Evans Orchestra – The Green Seagull – Jellymould

Donald Fagen – Sunken Condos – Reprise

Fly Agaric – In Search of Soma – F-IRE

Fontanelle – Vitamin F – Southern Lord

Letizia Gambi – Introducing Letizia Gambi – Jando

Igor Gehenot Trio – Road Story – Sowarex

Tom Gibbs – Fear Of Flying – Whirlwind

David Gilmore – Numerology: Live at Jazz Standard – Evolutionary Music

Nathan Haines – The Poet’s Embrace – Haven

Winard Harper and Jeli Posse – Coexist – Jazz Legacy Productions

Conrad Herwig – A Voice Through the Door – Criss Cross Jazz

Chris Higginbottom – Where Land Ends – F-IRE

Stix Hooper – Mainstream Straight-Ahead/Many Hats Jazz Gems ­­– Stix Hooper Enterprises

Jose James – No Beginning No End – Blue Note

Dieter Ilg ­– Parsifal – ACT

Jazz Soul Seven – Impressions Of Curtis Mayfield – Challenger

Lee Konitz – Enfant Terribles – Half Note

Bill Laswell – Means Of Deliverance – Innerhythmic

Dave Liebman/Lewis Porter – Surreality – Enja Yellow

Rudresh Mahanthappa – Gamak – ACT

Ibrahim Maalouf – Wind – M’ister/Harmonia Mundi

Dave Manington’s Riff Raff – Hullabaloo – LOOP Records

Stuart McCallum – Distilled Live – Naim Jazz

Stever Melling – Keys To The Upper Story – Melljaz

Pat Metheny – The Orchestrion Project – Nonesuch

Wolfgang Muthspiel – Vienna Naked – Material Records

 

 

Max Nagl feat. Lol Coxhill – Max Nagl feat. Lol Coxhill – Rude Noise

Clarence Penn – Dali in Cobble Hill ­ – Criss Cross Jazz

Ivo Perelman – The Clairvoyant/Living Jelly/The Gift – Leo

Chris Potter – The Sirens – ECM

Michel Sajrawy – Arabop – Ozelia

Heinz Sauer / Michael Wollny – Don’t Explain: Live in Concert – ACT

Scenes In The City – The Man Who Never Sleeps – Woodville

Eric Schaefer – Who Is Afraid of Richard W.? – ACT

Zoe Schwarz/Rob Koral/ Ian Ellis – Slow Burn – 33Jazz

Julian Shore – Filaments – Tone Rogue Record

Soothsayers – Human Nature – Red Eart

Colin Stetson and Mats Gustafsson – Stones – Rune Grammofon

Benjamin and Adriano Adewale – The Vortex Sessions – Nucleo Contemporaneo

Julie Tippetts and Martin Archer – Serpentine – Discus

Various Artist – Head Radio Retransmissions A Tribute To Radiohead – Esc Records

David Virelles – Continuum – PI

Webster / Holub / Anorak – Languages: Live at Vortex – Gaffer

Konrad Wiszniewski / Euan Stevenson – New Focus – Whirlwind Recordings

 

Short Cuts New Releases

 

Ariya Astrobeat Arkestra – Towards – Other Worlds

Ronl Ben-Hur / Santi Debriano – Our Thing – Motema

The Jasper Blom Quartet – Gravity – Mainland Records

Paul Edis Sextet – There Will Be Time – JazzAction

Ensemble 5 – Solstice – Leo

Ray Gelato & The Giants – Wonderful – Double Scoop

Ivar Grudeland – Bathymetric Modes – Hubro

 Ben Holmes Quartet – Anvil of the Lord – Skril Records

European Union Quartet – The Dark Peak – OAP Records

Daniel Humair ­– Sweet & Sour – Laborie

Jon Irabgon – Outright! Unhinged! ­ Irabbagast

John Lester Quartet – Jazz? – Ambit Jazz

Todd Marcus – Inheritance – Hipnotic Records

Simon Nabatov – Spinning Songs of Herbie Nichols – Leo

Old Time Musketry – Different Times – Steeplechase

Paisean – Paisean – ASC

Joe Pisto – London Vibes – Emarcy

Odean Pope – London Vibes – Emarcy

Jason Robinson ­– Tiresian Symetry – Cunelform

Jackie Ryan – Listen Here – OpenArt

 George Schuller’s Circle Wide – Listen Both Ways – Playscape

Baptiste Trotignon – Song Song Song – Naïve

  REISSUES // ARCHIVE

 George Adams – Complete Remastered Albums on Black Saint and Soul Note – CAMJAZZ

 Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – The Complete Concert at Club Saint Germain – Master Jazz Revived

John Dankworth – What The Dickens! / Off Duty – Vocalion

Miles Davis  –Workin’ / The Musings Of Miles – MasterJazz Records

Miles Davis – Cookin’ / Relaxin’ – MasterJazz Records

Miles Davis – Kind Of Blue – MasterJazz Records

Miles Davis – Original Album Series – Warner Bros

Dave Douglas – The Complete Remastered Recording On Black Saint & Soul Note – Black Saint & Soul

Bill Evans – Momentum – Limetree

Bill Evans – New Jazz Conceptions – MasterJazz Recording

Bill Evans – The Quintessence – Fremeaux

Johnny Griffin – The Little Giant / Change Of Pace – Fresh Sounds

Lonnie Liston Smith – Cosmic Funk & Spiritual Sounds – BGP

Gene Krupa – Five Classic Albums – Avid

Modern Jazz Quartet – Original Album Series Pyramid/Third Stream Music/The Modern Jazz Quartet & Orchestra/ Lonely Woman/ The Sheriff – Atlantic

Charles Rouse – Two Is One – Strata East

Paul Motian – On Broadway – Winter & White

Alan Skidmore – TCB – Vocalion

John Stubblefield – Predude – Storyville

John Tchicai And Strange Brothers – John Tchicai And Strange Brothers – xxxxxxxx

John Tchicai And Strange Brothers – Put Up The Fight – Storyville

Frank Zappa – Zappa In New York / Joe’s garage / Shut Up ‘n Play Your Guitar / Francesco Zappa / Frank Zappa Meets The Mothers Of Prevention / Does Humor Belong In Music? / Jazz From Hell / Guitar / Broadway The Hard Way / The Best Band You Never Heard / Make A Jazz Noise Here / You Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 1 – 6 – Rec. 1976 – 1988

Short Cuts Reissues

Gene Ammons / Sonny Stitt – Boss Tenors / Dig Him – American Jazz Classics

Luis Bonfa – Introspection / The New Face of Bonfa – Cherry Red /El

Patti Brown – Plays Big Piano – Fresh Sound

Serge Chaloff – Blue Serge / Boston Blow Up – Essential Jazz Classics

Joyce Collins – Girl Here Plays Mean Piano – Fresh Sound

Stanton Davis’s Ghetto Mysticism – Brighter Days – Culture Of Souls

Duke Ellington – The Private Collection – Music Club Deluxe

Ethel Ennis – The Complete 1955-58 – Chant Du Monde

Quincy Jones – This is How I Feel About Jazz / Great Wide World Of… – Poll Winners

Barbara Long – Soul: The Voice of Barbara Long – Fresh Sound

Marilyn Moore – Moody / Oh Captain – Fresh Sound

Flip Phillips – Four Classic Albums – Avid

Josephine Premice – Sings Calypso / Caribe – Blue Moon

Buddy Rich – Time Out – Lightyear

Nina Simone – Collector – Universal / Milan

Nina Simone – The Complete 1960-61 – Chant du Monde

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

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