Bettye LaVette – Thankful N’ Thoughtful ★★★★

ANTI-Records Bettye LaVette (v); plus various personnel.
Rec. date not stated

Featuring the brilliant production of Craig Street, Thankful N’ Thoughtful marks 50 years in music for the Detroit-reared R&B legend and survivor, Bettye LaVette. The singer’s remarkable comeback dates back to her 2003 album, A Woman Like Me, since when she’s been steadily on the rise. Two notable milestones, her acclaimed version of ‘Love Reign O’er Me’ at the 2008 Kennedy Center Honors (a tribute to The Who) and her duet performance of ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’ with Jon Bon Jovi at Barack Obama’s celebratory Inauguration concert in January 2009, have helped bring her the recognition she deserves.

Passion, grit and pathos are the poles around which LaVette’s potent storytelling revolves, as heard in her remarkable interpretation of Dylan’s scene-setting ‘Everything’s Broken’. In addition to the Sly & The Family Stone title track, a 1930s-style take on Tom Waits’ ‘Yesterday Is Here’ and a blues reworking of Gnarls Barkley’s ‘Crazy’, LaVette also offers a highly personal take on Ewan MacColl’s ‘Dirty Old Town’, in which she references the 1960s riots in her home town of Detroit. Best of all is LaVette’s interpretation of Kim McLean’s ‘The More I Search (The More I Die)’, in which the singer makes every line (“In my vain humiliation I’ve wandered through shame’s dark halls”) sound autobiographical.

– Peter Quinn

Lionel Loueke – Heritage ★★★★

Blue Note
Lionel Loueke (g,v), Derrick Hodge (el b), Mark Giuliana (d), Robert Glasper (p, kys), and Gretchen Parlato (v).
Rec. date not stated

Following two excellent recordings for Blue Note and extensive tours with Herbie Hancock, the gifted, idiosyncratic New York-based Benin guitarist-vocalist returns with an album for which the major U.S.P. is the fact that it is produced by label mate and black-music-all-areas maverick du jour, Robert Glasper. Loueke’s signature is one of limitless rhythmic invention and textural nuance, whereby a tapestry of string lines weaves around a voice replete with note bending whispers and muted flickers that make it sound like Harmon-filtered brass. The other stylistic trait that marks the music is Loueke’s dramatic switch of tone, from electric to a synth sound that is close to an organ, the effect of which lends a distinctly purring, crying quality to the leader’s motifs, and is particularly effective when the change occurs at the climactic point of an improvisation.

These primary elements are still intact but the vital new addition is the strength of the backbeat. The combined attack of Mark Giuliana and Derrick Hodge’s drums and bass lends considerable muscle to many of the tracks which, given the harder, grittier, funkier slant, practically places the music in a kind of Headhuntersin-Africa zone. Subtle shadings of backing vocal from Gretchen Parlato also up the general soulfulness amid the spiraling riffs. Glasper’s keys and piano on a number of tracks effectively underline the Herbie heritage, but there is sufficient character in the melodies and solos to carry the work well beyond any possible pastiche. Few artists combine African music and jazz in such an original, left-of-centre way, making the results much more than a putative Afro-jazz.

– Kevin Le Gendre

Jazzwise October 2012 Issue CD Reviews List

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

New Releases

JD Allen Trio – The Matador and the Bull – Savant

Joe Alterman – Give Me The Simple Life – Miles High Records

Richard Andersson – Intuition – Stunt

Flavio Blotro 5tet – Joyful – Bonsai Music

Alan Broadbent Trio – Live At Ginnalli Square Vol.2 – Chilly Bin Records

The Cloudmakers Trio – Live At Pizza Express – Whirlwind Recordings

Anat Cohen – Claroscuro – Anzic

Steve Davis – Getting’ It Done – Posi-Tone

Gerd Dudek – Day And Night – Psi

Dave Douglas – Be Still – Greenleaf

Paul Dunmall, Tony Bianco – Thank You To John Coltrane – Siam

Paul Dunmall, BBC Concert Orchestra, Brian Irvine Ensemble – Montana Strange – FMRCD315-0911

Duke Ellington Legacy – Single Petal Of A Rose – Renma

Cynthia Felton – Freedom Jazz Dance – Felton Entertainment

Bela Fleck and The Marcus Roberts Trio – Across The Imaginary Divide – Rounder Records

Paolo Fresu And Omar Sosa – Alma – Tuk

George Gruntz – Dig My Trane – TCB

Daniel Herskedal/Marius Neset – Neck Of The Woods – Edition

Jacob Karlzon 3 – More – ACT

Arthur Kell Quartet – Jester – BJU Records

David Kiloski – Consequences – Criss Cross Jazz

Guillermo Klein Y Los Guachos – Carrera ­– Sunnyside

Grimal, Konitz, Peacock and Motian – Owls Talk – Aparte

Van Morrison – Born to Sing: No Plan B – Blue Note

Tony Lakatos – Home Tone – Skip

Siobhan Lamb – Meditations – Proprius Naxos

Siobhan Lamb – The Nightingale and the Rose – Proprius Naxos

Helge Lien – Kattenslager – Ozelle

Lund Quartet – Lund Quartet – www.lundquartet.com

Brad Mehldau Trio – Where Do You Start – Nonesuch

Ivo Neame – Yatra – Edition

New Zion Trio – Fight Against Babylon – Vital Records

Vitor Pereira Quintet – Doors – F-IRE

Jessica Pilnas – Norma Deloris Egstrom: A Tribute To Peggy Lee – ACT

Courtney Pine – House Of Legends – Destin-E World Records

Stonephace Stabbins – Transcendental – Noetic

Dafnis Prieto – Proverb Trio – Dafnison Music

Jure Pukl – Abstract Society – Storyville

Enrico Rava – On The Dance Floor – ECM

The Remote Viewers – City Of Nets – theremoteviewers.com           

Gonzalo Rubalcaba – XXI Century – SPassion

Henry Threadgill Zooid – Tomorrow Sunny/The Revelry – Pi43

Dayna Stephens – Today Is Tomorrow – Criss Cross Jazz

Joe Stilgoe – We Look To The Stars – Absolute

Erena Terabako With Legends – New York Attitude – FQT

Travis and Fripp – Follow – Panegyric

Arturo Sandoval – Dear Dizzy (Everyday I think of you) – Concord Jazz

Ryan Truesdell – Centennial: Newly Discovered Works of Gil Evans – ArtistShare

Kenney Werner – Me, Myself & I – Justin Time

Stian Westerhaus – The Matriach And The Wrong Kind Of Flowers – Rune Grammofon

Calvin Weston – Of Alien Feelings – Imaginary Chicago

New Release Short Cuts 

6ix – Almost Even Further – Leo

Peter Appleyard – Sophisticated Ladies – Linus

Vincent Bourgeyx – Hip – Fresh Sound New Talent

Kevin Coelho – Funkengruven – Chicken Coup

Dudaka Da Fonseca Quintet – Samba Jazz – Jazz Samba – Anzic

Steve Day – Strewn With Pebbles – Leo

Monica Dominique/Palle Danilsson – Togetherness – Dominique

Jurgen Friedrich – Monosuite – Pirouet

Kenny G  – Rahul Sharma Namaste – Concord

Grant Geissman – Bop! Bang! Boom! – Futurism Records

Nico Gori/Fred Hersch – Da Vinci – BeeJaz

Leimgruber/Demierre Phillips – Montreuil – Jazzwerkstatt

Jasmine Lovell-Smith – Poppies – Paintbox

Andrea Marcelli Trio – Sundance – Storyville

Sophie Milman – In The Moonlight – Membran

George Montague – Have You Met George – www.georgemontague.com

Tyson Naylor Trio – Kosnauten – Songlines

Vesna Pisarovic – With Suspicious Minds – Jazzwerkstatt

Jamie Reynolds Trio – Time With People – Fresh Sound New Talent

Admir Shkurtaj Trio – Gestures And Zoom – Slam

Jens Sondergaard and Bob Rockwell – More Golson – Stunt

Yannah Valdvit – Equilibrium – Tru Thoughts

Nick Vayenas – Nick Veyenas – Whirlwind

 

 Reissues/Archive

Nat Adderly – Four Classic Albums That’s Nat Adderly/Introducing Nat Adderly/To The Ivy League/ Much Brass – AVID

Gene Ammons/ Sonny Stitt – Blues Up & Down – Fresh Sound

Jon Balke – Magnetic Works 1993-2001 – ECM

Dave Brubeck Quartet – Live In London 1966 – Domino Records

John Coltrane – The 1961 Newport Set – Solar

Miles Davis – Miles Davis – Storyville

Miles Davis – Live In Den Haag – In Crowd Records

Miles Davis Quintet – Zurich 1960 – TCB

Elton Dean’s Ninesense – The 100 Club Concert 1979 – Reef Recordings

Booker Ervin Sextet, Quintet and Quartet – The Book Cooks/Cookin’/That’s It! – Fresh Sounds

Bill Evans Trio – The Village Vanguard Sesssions – Essential Jazz Classics

Jan Garbarek, Egberto Gismonti, Charlie Haden – Magico: Carta de Amor – ECM

Freddie Hubbard – High Energy, Liquid Sunshine, Windjammer – BGO

Harold Land – The Fox – Essential Jazz Classics

Peter Jacobsen – For Pete’s Sake – Volume 1

Ahmad Jamal – The Quintessence – Fremeaux

Michael Smith – Reflection On Progress – Storyville

Roland Kirk – We Free Kings/Triple Threat – Essential Jazz Classics

Chris McGregor – In His Good Time – Ogun

Thelonious Monk – Complete Columbia Studio Albums Collection/Complete Live At The Five Spot 1958 – Pheonix

Charles Mingus – Complete Columbia & RCA Albums Collection – Sony Legacy

Weather Report – The Columbia Albums 1971-1975 – Columbia/Legacy

Ronnie Ross – Stompin’ with the Ronnie Ross Quintet – Fantastic Voyage

George Shearing – The Complete Quintet Studio Sessions 1949-54 – United Archives

Bobby Timmons Trio – This Here is Bobby Timmons/Easy Does It – Fresh Sounds

Kenny Wheeler/Alan Skidmore – Swiss Radio Days – Jazz Live Trio Concert Series Vol.28 – TCB


Reissues Short Cuts

Louis Armstrong – Jack Armstrong Blues (Integrate Vol.11) – Fremeaux

Bill Barron – Quintet and Sextet – Fresh Sound

Emmanuel Bex/Gerard Marais/Aldo Romano – Fremeaux

Duke Ellington – My People (The Complete Show) – Storyville

Maynard Ferguson/Chris Connor – Double Exposure/Two’s Company – Fresh Sound

Barney Kessel – Three Classic Albums Plus – Avid

Barney Kessel and Hampton Hawesv Quartet/Quintet – Pheonix

Carmen McRae – Complete Ralph Burns Sessions – Pheonix

Brew Moore – West Coast Brew – Fresh Sound

Charlie Parker – Bird of Paradise (Integrate Vol.4) – Fremeaux

Oscar Peterson – Plays Cole Porter – Essential Jazz Classics

Oscar Peterson – Live In Zurich April 1960 – TGB

Lucy Ann Polk – But Beautiful – Fresh Sound

Mel Powell – Four Classic Albums Plus – Avid

Romane – Swing In Nashville – Fremeaux

Savoy Orpheans – Everybody Stomp – Retrieval

Lonnie Smith – Mama Walker – CTI

Various Artists – Americans In Europe – Jazz Oracle

Frank Wess – North, South, East, Wess and No Count – Fresh Sound

Book

Kenny Mathieson – Giant Steps – Bebop and the Creator of Modern Jazz 1945-65 Cookin’ – Hard Bop and Soul Jazz 1954-65 – Canongate

DVDs

John Lee Hooker – Cook With The Hook – MVD Visuals

Etta James – Live at Montreux 1993 – Eagle Films

 

Grimal, Konitz, Peacock and Motian – Owls Talk ★★★★

Alexandra Grimal (ts, ss), Lee Konitz (as), Gary Peacock (b), and Paul Motian (d). Rec. December 2009

Alexandra Grimal is a fine, young French saxophonist based in New York. Owls Talk finds her in the company of three elder statesmen of the music and she doesn’t seem remotely overawed by the experience. Indeed, her light, airy tone on tenor and soprano is perfectly suited to the way Konitz, Peacock and Motian approach music making themselves. The feel is not far removed from the kind of records Motian has made under his own name with its sense of relaxed, easy abstraction.

As for Konitz, he seems in his element here. But what really impresses is how Grimal engages with each of these musicians. She and Konitz interact in a way that recalls the altoist’s work with tenorist Warne Marsh and the connection she makes with Motian is equally strong. And yet the obvious empathy between Grimal and Peacock is something else again. Their partnership cries out for a duo album along similar lines to Konitz’s I Concentrate On You with Red Mitchell. For the moment, however, Owls Talk will more than suffice.

– Duncan Heining

Courtney Pine – House of Legends ★★★★

Destin-E World Records 7772 1028867 | !!!! Courtney Pine (ss), Eddie ‘Tan Tan’ Thornton, Mark Crown, Claude Deppa (t), Trevor Edwards, Rico Rodriguez (tb), Michael Bammi Rose (), Mario Canonge, Mervyn Africa (p), Cameron Pierre, Dominic Grant, Lucky Ranku (g), Miles Danso (b), Rod Youngs (d), Robert Fordjour (dube), Annise Hadid (pan), Ellen Blair (v), Amanda Drummond, Natalie Taylor (vla), and Jenny Adejayan (clo). Rec. May-June 2012

Unquestionably one of the most joyous albums Pine has ever made, this is music to be listened to on several levels. On the surface, it’s just brilliantly effective dance music, and it is to be hoped that when the band tours in the spring, they’ll clear the chairs and leave space for everyone to take to the floor. But underneath the carefree surface is both a living and a thoughtful exploration of the Caribbean heritage, with nods to South Africa, and towards London. One track above all typifies the record, and that is ‘Liamuiga: Cook Up’. The title is both the Kalinago Carib Indian word for ‘fertile land’ and an indication of the heady mixture of sources (or musical sauces) that have gone into the piece. The title was given to the tune as the result of a competition organised for listeners to Winn FM 96.9 on St Kitts and Nevis.

The most effective element of the record is the accomplished rhythm playing that absorbs a series of different rhythms and pulses from the islands, but never loses touch with a jazz sensibility. This gives Courtney the ideal backdrop for his personal exploration of the possibilities of the soprano saxophone, wistful and melodic on the Zouk Love pieces and aggressively involved on ‘The Tale of Stephen Lawrence’. Additionally, a real delight for fans of ska or soca is the way that guests such as Rico Rodriguez or Bammi Rose have been drawn into the album’s heady mix. Rico’s laidback behind-the-beat phrasing adds swagger and style to ‘Kingstonian Swing’ while Rose’s gently passionate flute brings sophistication and intricacy to ‘Song of the Maroons’. Plenty of review records command fine words and then get consigned to the shelves never to be played again. I can guarantee this one will be providing the backdrop to energetic extrovert dancing for years to come.

 – Alyn Shipton

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