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RECORD REVIEWS

JJ offers unrivalled coverage of recorded jazz, carrying more than 20,000 words of expert comment and discography on jazz across the board in every issue. Covered in the July 2012 issue:

New issues: John Abercrombie; Andy Aitchison; J.D. Allen; Franco Ambrosetti, Arild Andersen/Tommy Smith/SNJO, Lynne Arriale, Adam Baldych, Ballrogg, Jeff Barnhart, Olivier Bogé, Flavio Boltro, Avishai Cohen, Ravi Coltrane, Carsten Dahl, Chris Minh Doky, Joel Harrison/Lorenzo Feliciati, Alex Hutton, Keith Ingham, Anders Jormin, Steve Kuhn/Steve Swallow/Joey Baron, Kate McGarry, Pat Metheny, Eva Novoa, Piero Odorici, Aruán Ortiz Quartet, Martin Pickett, John Pizzarelli, Clara Ponty, Ben Powell, Arturo Sandoval, Louis Sclavis, Wadada Leo Smith, Jesse Stacken, Mary Stallings, Standard Connection, Dave Stapleton, John Surman, John Taylor, Troyka, Thilo Wolf

Reissues or unissued archive material: Oscar Alemán; Cannonball Adderley, Chet Baker, Walter Benton, Bob Brookmeyer, Joy Bryan, Papa Bue, Hoagy Carmichael, Betty Carter, Rosemary Clooney, Nat King Cole, Graham Collier, Bing Crosby, Miles Davis, Ethel Ennis, Stan Getz, Peter Herbolzheimer, Illinois Jacquet, Peggy Lee, Jimmy Lyons/Sunny Murray, Norman Mapp, Ted McNabb, Buddy Rich, Charlie Rouse, Nina Simone, Idrees Sulieman/Benny Bailey, Bobby Timmons, Mel Tormé, Bruce Turner, Bobby Wellins, John Wright

ONE FINGER SNAPS

Capsule comment, discography and star rating on CDs we don't have space to review in full. In the July 2012 issue:

Atomic, Gavin Barras, David Basse, Ran Blake/Christine Correa, Gábor Bolla, Idriss Boudrioua, Sarah Brickel, Roy Butcher, David Caceres, Clayton Cameron, Joe Chambers, Marc Copland/John Abercrombie, Sonny Criss, Miles Davis, David Fiuczynski, Foxes Fox, Sara Gazarek, Kevin Hays, Peter Herbert, Lisa Hilton, Magnus Hjorth, Brian Ho, Florian Hoefner, Jim Holman, Incognito, Interstatic, IPA, Jazz Bigband Graz, Jimmie Joy, Fredrik Kronkvist, Kwartet, Fapy Lafertin, Shai Maestro, Louis Mazetier, Dan Messore, Oddarrang, Romane Ombre, Ulysses Owens Jr, Ben Powell, Hannes Riepler, Roller Trio, Joe Sanders, Scan-Am Quartet, Fere Scheidegger, Matthias Schriefl, Nicky Schrire, Zoe Schwarz, Christian Scott, Cathy Segal-Garcia, Esmond Selwyn, Erik Söderlind, Marianne Solivan, Dayna Stephens, Yosvany Terry, The Home Of Easy Credit, Mads Tolling, Triton, Steve Tyrell, Reggie Washington, Jens Wendelboe, Neil Yates.

*   *   *   *   *   *

Just a taste from over 150 CD reviews in the July 2012 issue:

ADAM BALDYCH & THE BALTIC GANG: IMAGINARY ROOM (ACT)
"An avowed melodist, Polish violinist Baldych presents 12 originals that touch base with ancient Nordic and Slavic folk themes as well as post-M-Base complexity. On an album of many riches, his talented cohorts are given lots of space to make their mark. Few can have escaped the recent buzz surrounding Marius Neset, and this sideman role possibly makes the best introduction to his occasionally overwhelming talents." (Fred Grand) ****

JEFF BARNHART: REFLECTIONS OF FATS (Lake)
"The amiable American has been touring both sides of the pond for some years and I enjoy his two-fisted keyboard work, spiced with good-natured vocals. Waller lovers will enjoy all the trademark keyboard twist and twirls, delivered with a very sure pair of hands." (John Chadwick) ***

BOB BROOKMEYER: FOUR CLASSIC ALBUMS (Avid)
"Another value for money reissue featuring Bob Brookmeyer in four quite different but utterly compelling contexts." (Gordon Jack) *****

HOAGY CARMICHAEL: HOAGY SINGS CARMICHAEL (Phoenix)
"Whoever had the idea back in 1956 of recording Carmichael with contemporary jazz musicians did posterity a favour. It wasn't just that several of his compositions had become jazz standards but also that his singing, in its rhythmic flexibility and the liberties he took with his own melodies, had links with jazz which were inescapable." (Graham Colombé) ***

AVISHAI COHEN: DUENDE (Blue Note)
"Both players are on sparkling form, full of ideas, meshing beautifully. Cohen has a number of impressive moments in the spotlight, but he is generous in the amount of foreground time he gives Hershkovits. This is true duo music." (Barry Witherden) *****

RAVI COLTRANE: SPIRIT FICTION (Blue Note)
"This excellent record made me wish I'd heard a lot more Ravi Coltrane than I have. He has a considered, full and round sound on both soprano and tenor, and while that sound can acquire an urgent edge when needed, it evinces none of that flinty, even neurotic quality which could mark some of his father's work." (Michael Tucker) *****

STAN GETZ: FOUR CLASSIC ALBUMS (Avid)
"Wow! For an almost ludicrously generous price, you get not only one of the most significant albums of the 20th century (Focus) but three other masterworks, impeccably remastered by Dave Bennett and packaged with exemplary taste and care. It will take something almost unimaginably special to prevent this being my top choice this year." (Richard Palmer) ****

STEVE KUHN/ STEVE SWALLOW/JOEY BARON: WISTERIA (ECM)
"Kuhn's originality is difficult to pin down. On this album and others, he calls on a miscellany of jazz piano effects. What emerges, though, is a still untroubled way with a tune and a buoyancy of touch that seems to keep it airborne with ornamental diversity." (Nigel Jarrett) ****

PAT METHENY: UNITY BAND (Nonesuch)
"It seems quite fitting that the first Metheny-led project for 30 years to feature a saxophonist should enlist the services of modern master Chris Potter. With the twin attack of Dewey Redman and Michael Brecker, reforming the band heard on the 80/81 album was sadly never an option, yet Potter's seamless coalescence of declamatory emotion and cerebral deliberation neatly wraps both ends of the spectrum." (Fred Grand) ****

ARUÁN ORTIZ QUARTET: ORBITING (Fresh Sound)
"Here's a find. Ortiz seems to have studied with Muhal Richard Abrams and to have taken counsel from Wallace Roney. His record is a supremely confident blend of modern styles, superfast bop on Charlie Parker's Koko, a nod to Ornette Coleman on WRU, self-reliant exploration on the self-written title track and lots of sharp guess-the-next-note stuff suspended over rhythms that are never just generically Latin." (Brian Morton) ****

CHARLIE ROUSE: QUARTET AND QUINTET (Fresh Sound)
"This is a little gem of a compilation which calls for a re-evaluation of the saxophonist's status. By the time these sets were taped Rouse had become Thelonious Monk's tenor of choice, but there was a nagging suspicion among some critics that he wasn’t quite the front rank the job required. A better – and broader picture – emerges from these sessions." (Simon Spillett) ****

WADADA LEO SMITH: TEN FREEDOM SUMMERS (Cuneiform)
"Smith's vibrato-free trumpet ranges from an aching whisper to a clarion call, but what impress me most are Smith's chamber arrangements, the string parts on Emmett Till, for example, heartbreaking in their raw impact. Cumulatively, this is an eloquent, at times sombre, often overwhelming, piece of music, dignified in its incantatory power. An exemplary work, worth every one and more of its five stars." (Simon Adams) *****

MEL TORMÉ: SWINGS SHUBERT ALLEY + BACK IN TOWN (Phoenix)

"Mel Tormé worked with a number of fine arrangers throughout his career but his collaborations with Marty Paich represent a high-water mark in the marriage of vocalist with a jazz ensemble . . . Too Close For Comfort and Just In Time are perfect examples of the interaction between band and vocalist." (Gordon Jack) *****

BOBBY WELLINS QUARTET: BIRDS OF BRAZIL (Hep)
"Hep Jazz have done Wellins fans a great service by resuscitating the saxophonist's environmentally aware suite for jazz group and strings, arguably one of the composer's most ambitious works . . . Recommended without reservation." (Simon Spillett) *****

 

 


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