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RECORD REVIEWS

Jazz Journal offers unrivalled coverage of recorded jazz old and new, with more than 20,000 words of expert comment and discography on recent jazz releases in every issue

Complete list of CDs reviewed in JJ July 2017 (see below for excerpts):
Adolfo, Antonio: Hybrido - From Rio To Wayne Shorter (AAM 0711)
Albright, Lola: The Jazz Singer On The ‘Peter Gunn’ TV Series (Fresh Sound FSRCD 930)
Armacost, Tim: Time Being (Whirlwind 4701)
Barber, Chris: Barber In Detroit (Lake 51)
Barretto, Ray: La Cuna (CTI 9002, vinyl)
Barron, Rob: What's In Store… (RBR924)
Bennett, Tony: The Beat Of My Heart (Columbia/Legacy 88985406872)
Bennink, Han: Adelante (ICP 056)
Binney, David: The Time Verses (Criss Cross Jazz 1392)
Blanchard, Terence; The Comedian (Blue Note 5743531)
Blue Lines Sextet: Live At The Bimhuis (Casco 005)
Brishen/Quinn Bachand: Blue Verdun (Beacon Ridge Productions 102)
Burrell, Kenny: Bluesin' Around (Columbia/Legacy 88985406922)
Cakewalk: Ishihara (Hubro 2575)
Campbell, Peter: Loving You (petercampbellmusic.com)
Cassidy, Colette/Nigel Clark: Confetti Falling In The Rain (Teddy Promotions 5 052442 009726)
Childs, Billy: Rebirth (Mack Avenue 1122)
Coltrane, Alice: The Ecstatic Music Of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda (Luaka Bop 087)
Coltrane, John: Trane 90 (Acrobat 7105)
Dahm, Pit: Omicron (Hevhetia 0127-2-331)
Dankworth, Johnny: Three Classic Albums Plus (Avid Jazz 1236)
Deep Tone Project: Onward (Fresh Sound New Talent 519)
Desmond, Paul: Glad To Be Unhappy (RCA Victor/Legacy 88985406942)
Dock In Absolute: Dock In Absolute (CAMJ 3320)
Ellington, Duke: Blues In Orbit + The Cosmic Scene (Essential Jazz Classics 55713)
Ellington, Duke: Anatomy Of A Murder (Soundtrack Factory 606373)
Ellington, Duke: The Popular Duke Ellington (RCA Victor/Legacy 88985407042)
Ellington, Duke: Masterpieces By Ellington (Columbia Masterworks 4418)
Eubanks, Kevin: East West Time Line (Mack Avenue 1119)
Evans, Bill: The Bill Evans Album (Columbia/Legacy 88985407052)
Galliano, Richard: New Jazz Musette (Ponderosa 133)
Garfitt, Roger/Nikki Iles/John Williams/Octet: In All My Holy Mountain (RTL 201601)
Garrick, Christian: Spirit Of Stephane (VIB FLY 13)
Gavita, Freddie: Transient (Froggy 001)
Getz, Stan: The Master (Columbia/Legacy 88985407232)
Haidu, Noah: Infinite Distances (Cellar Live 080216)
Halperin, Jimmy/Pål Nyberg Trio: Live At A-trane, Berlin (Klangverk 001)
Hampton, Lionel: Jazz Time Paris Vol. 4, 5 & 6 (Vogue/Legacy 88985407962)
Hancock, Herbie: Crossings (Warner BS 2617, vinyl)
Hanna, Roland: Plays The Music Of Alec Wilder (Inner City 1072)
Heads Of State: Four In One (Smoke Sessions 1702)
Heinen, Bruno: Changing Of The Seasons (BBDV16143)
Herman, Woody: The 3 Herds (Columbia/Legacy 88985407252)
Herr, Jeff: Layer Cake (Igloo 259)
Hirvonen, Olli: New Helsinki (Edition 1087)
Hubbard, Freddie: Backlash (Atlantic SD 1477, vinyl)
Jackson, Milt/J.J. Johnson: A Date In New York (Inner City 7007)
Jarrett, Keith: Expectations (Columbia/Legacy 88985407262)
Jones, Elvin/Jazz Machine: At Onkel PÖ'S Carnegie Hall Hamburg 1981 (NDR Info N 77041)
Khamira: Khamira (Bopa 003)
Klein, Omer: Sleepwalkers (Warner 190295890896)
Kuhn Fu: Kuhnspiracy (Unit 4753)
Lamont, Duncan/Big Band: As If By Magic… (Jellymould 025)
Lamy, Greg: Meeting (Igloo 243)
Lundgaard, Jesper: 2016 (Storyville 1014304)
Mance, Junior: Blue Mance (Chiaroscuro 331)
Mann, Herbie: Four Classic Albums Second Set (Avid Jazz 1241)
McRae, Carmen: Carmen Sings Monk (RCA Victor/Legacy 88985407272)
Megalodon Collective: Animals (Jazzland 377 907-3)
Mobley, Hank: Four Classic Albums Second Set (Avid Jazz 1243)
Monk, Thelonious: Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960 (Saga SRS-1-CD)
Monk, Thelonious: Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960 (Sam Records SRS-1-LE, vinyl)
Monk, Thelonious: Monk In Tokyo (CBS Sony SOPW 69 70, vinyl)
Moreno, Tony: Short Stories (Mayimba Jazz)
Mulligan, Gerry: Jazz Legacy (Inner City 7017)
Nissim, Tamuz/George Nazos: Liquid Melodies (Street of Stars 1 91061 06900 3)
O'Gallagher, John: Live In Brooklyn (Whirlwind 4697)
Organic Trio: Saturn's Spell (Jazz Family 007)
Palmieri, Eddie: Sabiduria (Ropeadope 347)
Parker, Evan/John Edwards/John Russell: Walthamstow Moon, ’61 Revisited (Byrd Out 002)
Phronesis: The Behemoth (Edition 1085)
Plews, Steve: The Importance Of What Is Not (ASC 160)
Powell, Bud: Swingin' With Bud (RCA Victor/Legacy 88985407282)
Previn, André: 4 To Go! (Columbia/Legacy 88985407422)
Reinhardt, Django: The Versatile Giant (Inner City 7004)
Reis, Michel: Capturing This Moment (Double Moon 71142)
Reis/Demuth/Wiltgen: Places In Between (Double Moon 71174)
Rollins, Sonny: Our Man In Jazz (RCA/Legacy 88985407322)
Romero, Lucas: Calle Gitana (Milan 399 867)
Soldier, Dave: The Eighth Hour Of Amduat (Mulatta 035)
Some Some Unicorn: Unicornucopia (Clutter Music 023)
Somi: Petite Afrique (Okeh 88875191262)
Speake, Martin/Faith Brackenbury: Zephyr (Pumpkin 008)
Speake, Martin/Forbes/Burgoyne: Duos For Trio: The Music Of Béla Bartók (Pumpkin 009)
Sperazza-Sacks-Kamaguchi: Play Lee Morgan (Fresh Sound FSNT 522)
Stevens, Becca: Regina (GroundUp Music)
Summers, Andy: Triboluminescence (Flickering Shadow Productions)
Taborn, Craig: Daylight Ghosts (ECM 571 3805)
Various: Monteverdi In The Spirit Of Jazz (ACT 9838)
Various: Spiritual Jazz 7/Islam (Jazzman 092)
Various: Let's Get Swinging/Modern Jazz In Belgium 1950-1970 (SDBAN 07)
Various: Running The Voodoo Down: Explorations In Psychrockfunksouljazz 1967-80 (Festival 2017)
Vaughan, Sarah/Quincy Jones: Misty (American Jazz Classics 99131)
Walton, Cedar: Charmed Circle (HighNote 7303)
Washington, Dinah: Sings Bessie Smith + Sings Fats Waller (American Jazz Classics 99133)
Watson, Bobby: Made In America (Smoke Sessions 1703)
Watts, Charlie: Meets The Danish Radio Big Band (Impulse 006?)
Wilen, Barney: Tilt (Vogue/Legacy 88985408182)
Zenón, Miguel: Típico (Miel Music)


Excerpts from the 99 CD reviews in this issue (see a free sample of full print reviews; subscribe to see 12 months of Jazz Journal
including over 20,000 words of CD review each issue):

LOLA ALBRIGHT: THE JAZZ SINGER ON THE ‘PETER GUNN’ TV SERIES (Fresh Sound)
Known mainly, if known at all, as the glamorous singer on the long-running Peter Gunn television series, Lola Albright was an attractive jazz singer. She began work as a movie actress, described in the 1950s as one of the few blondes in Hollywood whose hair was its own natural colour. The first 12 tracks here show her as a warm, natural-sounding vocalist working with a group on the fringe of jazz and sounding good. Sultry when she needed to be and straightahead on most tracks, she had the kind of jazz voice that fitted well with small combos. The second batch features Lola sounding even more relaxed and natural as she tackles standards, well supported by the likes of Dick and Ted Nash, the latter with some tasty flute solos and Victor Feldman on vibes. There is a very well-arranged version of We Kiss where Lola brings the lyrics to life and Feldman provides a neat vibes solo. The final eight tracks are taken directly from the TV show, complete with extracts of dialogue. Songs like the lesser known Brief And Breezy by Sammy Cahn and Mancini show her at her very best, caressing the melody, swinging lightly. Lola Albright died 23 March 2017 in California, aged 92. (Derek Ansell) ****

HAN BENNINK TRIO: ADELANTE (ICP)
This is an entertaining foray with plenty of melodies to hang on to, underpinned by regular “time” alongside shortish passages of free playing. Bennink is one of Europe’s finest drummers whatever area of the music he finds himself in and on Adelante he brings his normal expertise to a wide-ranging selection. Ten of the tracks come courtesy of the band members, with two compositions by the late Misha Mengelberg and the unlikely My Melancholy Baby completing the bill. There are plenty of nods to the past in evidence including the evocation of the Goodman trio on Supertyphoon, the essentially romantic approach to De Sprong O Romantiek Der Hazen and the genuine stomp elements in Wuustwezelstomp. Badenhorst concentrates on clarinet and bass clarinet, emitting a very rich sound on both, Toldam occasionally ventures inside his instrument, and the leader applies his brushes to great advantage throughout. It brought a smile to your reviewer’s face in its frequent unpredictability. (Peter Gamble) ****

DAVID BINNEY: THE TIME VERSES (Criss Cross)
On his eighth date for Criss Cross as a leader – an impressive total – altoist David Binney documents the work of his principal New York quartet, for the first time since their 2009 recording Aliso on the same label. It’s a distinctive vision, and the quartet features first-rank improvisers who are masters of their instruments. The results aren’t totally to my taste – the original compositions feature darkly sinuous melodies that so far haven’t stuck in the memory. But these players have all done impressive work, so it could be the case that repeated listening will bring rewards. (Andy Hamilton) ***

KENNY BURRELL: BLUESIN’ AROUND (Columbia Legacy)
Issued only briefly in 1983 this includes modest but satisfying stuff from four sessions recorded in 1961/62. Illinois is on athletic but tasteful form, as is Hank Jones who plays on six of the nine tracks (37 minutes in all). Lots of good blues from Kenny, of course, with nice solo and chordal work on Moten Swing. Kenny was to flourish later with organists, and here McDuff’s three tracks have a suitably fat sound. He provides a fine launch pad for Kenny’s feature on People Will Say We’re In Love. Illinois’s fourth track, Mood Indigo, is Websterian in manner and concludes a slight but invariably tasteful album. (Steve Voce) ***

PAUL DESMOND: GLAD TO BE UNHAPPY (RCA Victor Legacy)
If not the best of the justly celebrated Desmond-Hall RCA Victor recordings, this is still a gem. The title track sets the tone for the remainder of the album. A plaintive Desmond converses with a quietly reflective Hall to produce a haunting interpretation of the Rodgers and Hart composition. On Poor Butterfly and Stranger in Town, they offer gently swinging solos, underpinned by Connie Kay’s delicate brush work. An insouciant Desmond original – Any Other Time – slightly raises the tempo. Three bonus tracks – By The River Sainte Marie, All Across The City and All Through The Night – enhance this welcome reissue. (John White) ****

FREDDIE GAVITA: TRANSIENT (Froggy)
Freddie Gavita has the trumpet chair in Ronnie Scott’s house quintet but this release, Freddie’s first as a leader, showcases his work as a highly original composer as well as a whiz on trumpet and flugel. Bright of tone and rich in ideas and execution, he is blessed with a penchant for writing that is slightly off the well-beaten path. Beloved is a warm ballad with an evocative trumpet solo and limpid piano, while Yearning is based on a rippling background from the drums while Freddie and the inventive Cawley cavort with sprightly effect. While Sprezzatura in blues form features a challenging bass-drums duo at a nippy tempo, who could not be seduced by the sombre ballad The Vow, with its simple, but attractive theme which climaxes before halting on a surprising note? Gavita’s debut adds a new name to the roll of emerging jazz composers. (Anthony Troon) ****

ELVIN JONES JAZZ MACHINE: AT THE ONKEL PÖ’S CARNEGIE HALL HAMBERG 1981 (NDR Info)
Akin to the din Tony Williams started to make as he jumped into the 70s with Lifetime, there was a flash of rock athleticism in Elvin Jones’ drumming that rumbled through many recordings he made as a leader. Crashy, tribal and alive with polyrhythmic patterns flittering under an emphatic, sizzling cymbal pattern, he drives his Jazz Machine band through seven bluesy longueurs here, most of which swing hard past the 20-minute mark. Clocking in at 30, thanks to a long, tom-rattling drum solo, Doll Of The Bridge is a brutal bossa that typifies both the drummer’s tireless creative energy and the group’s highly engaging interplay. (Mark Youll) ****

DUNCAN LAMONT: AS IF BY MAGIC... (Jellymould)
You’ll search a long time to find such a combination of fine writing for a British big band and, supercharged by the presence of Kenny Wheeler, a better group of soloists. Duncan Lamont has been the great sleeper of British jazz – his tenor playing sometimes took on an ethereal and tasteful mood and often had a delicacy that matched the great Swedish Getz disciples. Kenny Wheeler had been booked as a guest but didn’t know it. A call to his home on the day had him racing across London to the studio. There’s nothing fraught about his beautiful soloing. And it may have been his absence on the earliest tracks that gave us the chance to hear the superb trumpeter Martin Shaw featured on The Dragon’s Tale. It seems remarkable that Duncan Lamont is not much heard from these days. This is a jazz masterpiece that is first class in every department and above that in some. (Steve Voce) ****

THELONIOUS MONK: LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSES 1960 (Saga)
I haven’t seen the film Les Liaisons Dangereuses but the theme is seduction, deception, jealousy and murder – gripping stuff indeed, directed by Roger Vadim. According to Monk biographer Robin DG Kelley: “It is not too much to suggest that Monk transformed what would have been an edgy but relatively standard narrative film into avant-garde cinema”. This I can readily believe. Monk’s compositions are full of tension, mystery and the unexpected. The tapes were undiscovered until recently, so Monk’s contribution is now heard for the first time outside the cinema – and coincidentally in the centenary of his birth. The set opens with a brisk version of Rhythm-A-Ning (based on Gershwin’s I Got Rhythm) where Monk follows the saxes with an imaginatively twinkling solo. The band version of Crepescule With Nellie is deeply moving – and indeed, the heartfelt pathos with which Thelonious imbued the ballads here was remarkable.There are many delights in this unique hearing of the most original of jazz pianists at the height of his powers. Unmissable. (Also available in a double-LP set on Sam Records). (Anthony Troon) *****

EDDIE PALMIERI: SABIDURIA (Ropeadope)
Eddie Palmieri’s latest project, his first in 11 years, is well worth the wait. Released to coincide with the bandleader, arranger, composer and pianist’s 80th birthday, it brims with vitality and invention. The music seems timeless, rooted in a dazzling array of traditional Latin rhythms, yet locating the pulse of the moment. This may be in part a consequence of his decision to turn from a more big band sound, for example, the days of Fania All-Stars, to a smaller group of musicians, who nonetheless are able to produce an expansive sound with far fewer instruments. Worthy of special mention is Ronnie Cuber’s breathtaking baritone playing. (Francis Graham-Dixon) ****

STEVE PLEWS TRIO: THE IMPORTANCE OF WHAT IS NOT (ASC)
Plews demonstrates a seemingly effortless ability to meld strident, chordally rich passages with lyrical extemporisation. This album, straddling accessibility and complexity, is a tribute to Plews’s great aunt Euphemia Allen, the composer of Chopsticks, which she wrote in 1877 at the age of 16 under the pseudonym of Arthur de Lulli. In Memorium is a radically deconstructed version of Chopsticks which reworks the famous old waltz into a gratifyingly vibrant number. Often, as heard on Let’s Start At The End, the playing becomes fairly free but still maintains time. The album benefits from solid support from Barras and Hunter. (Roger Farbey) ***

ANDRÉ PREVIN: 4 TO GO! (Columbia Legacy)
I have long admired the complete musician that is André Previn. Jazz pianism is only one component of his great gifts, one which was lost to the jazz world when he decided to concentrate on conducting and composing, before giving up all playing. As compensation, his jazz talents are heard here in abundance. Harold Arlen’s You’re Impossible is particularly scintillating, though the whole CD is commendably consistent. Welcome, too, are the originals included here – Herb Ellis’s Say It Again, Shelly Manne’s Intersection, and Ray Brown’s I Know You Oh So Well, for which Dory Previn has provided lyrics – words not heard on this CD, of course. Beautifully recorded, with the original 1963 liner notes by Leonard Feather, this is a welcome reissue. (John Robert Brown) ****

ANDY SUMMERS: TRIBOLUMINESCENCE (Flickering Shadow Productions)
The former guitarist with jazz-influenced chart band The Police uses his 14th solo album to explore a range of unusual sound textures in a bid to avoid standard electric guitar clichés. He explains the scientific word Triboluminescence as the creation of light from dark, a useful metaphor for how music is created. The opener, If Anything, offers brooding layers of electronic sound over which Summers plays a soaring, probing solo very much in the style of David Gilmour. From here, other tracks explore complex rhythms with the use of looped electronics, often reminiscent of Kraftwerk or John Surman. Some short videos on guitarworld.com reveal the jazz influences at work here. (John Adcock) ***

CRAIG TABORN: DAYLIGHT GHOSTS (ECM)
Keyboardist Craig Taborn is truly a 21st century jazz musician and this, the New Yorker’s third album, is a highly evolved form of modern chamber jazz. It deliberately doesn’t swing and it has not a hint of blue. It’s not minimalist exactly but it is very clearly distilled. The performance, overseen by Manfred Eicher, is essentially a group improvisation. The four players have co-mingled over the years and it shows. They sound like a single entity. The title track is a spooky lament that features interventions from Chris Speed’s snaking tenor. The Great Silence has clarinet and piano dropping notes into a still well of sound suggested by cymbals and shaker; Subtle Living Equation has a similarly austere aesthetic. On the suspenseful Phantom Ratio, Taborn sets up an electronic drone while King activates some beats to accompany his cymbal work; Speed’s sax lines encircle while Lightcap’s pulse seems to urge action. It’s intriguing and endlessly rewarding music. (Garry Booth) ****

VARIOUS: MONTEVERDI IN THE SPIRIT OF JAZZ (ACT)
A beautifully programmed selection of relatively recent chamber jazz inspired by the composer whose innovative work bridged the late Renaissance and the emergence of the baroque. Five diversely placed tracks from Richard Beirach’s 2012 Round About Monteverdi trio disc with Gregor Huebner (vn) and George Mraz (b) form the core of an album which also features outstanding, intensely lyrical work from a.o. Fresu, Galliano and Lundgren, Danielsson and the Gustaf Sjökvist Chamber Choir, Danilo Rea (p) and Flavio Boltro (t). The Michael Wollny Trio’s previously unreleased Lamento d’Arianna supplies the proverbial icing. (Michael Tucker) ****

 


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