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Jazzwise Editor's Choice, June 2024 (new albums)

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    Posted: 22 May 2024 at 6:41am
This month we feature outstanding recordings from (ahmed), Gary Husband, Christian McBride and Edgar Meyer, Jasmine Myra and more  

(ahmed)

Giant Beauty

Fonstret 9-13 

Pat Thomas (p), Seymour Wright (as), Joel Grip (b) and Antonin Gerbal (d). Rec. 2022=

‘In the epic 45 minute re-imaginings of songs such as ‘African Bossa Nova’ and 'rooh (the soul)' there is a subversion of form that makes the original material a rich acorn from which springs the giant beauty of the title, to be possibly interpreted not so much as a towering height that induces an exciting vertigo as a breadth of structural variety that makes the music a thrilling ride.’ Kevin Le Gendre

Read the Jazzwise review 


Jamie Baum

What Times Are These

Sunnyside/Bandcamp

Jamie Baum (f), Jonathan Finlayson (t), Chris Komer (frhn), Sam Sadigursky (as, cl, bcl), Brad Shepik (g), Luis Perdomo (p, kys), Ricky Rodriguez (b, el b), Jeff Hirshfield (d), Keita Ogawa (perc), Theo Bleckmann, Sara Serpa, Aubrey Johnson and Kokayi (v). Rec. date not stated

‘Jamie Baum’s fifth recording with her incredible Septet+ ensemble sees the New York-based flute player and composer dipping her toes for the first time into the world of spoken word and art song. Seven of Baum’s 10 compositions here respond to works by eminent 20th and 21st-century female poets – Adrienne Rich, Marge Piercy, Tracy K. Smith, Lucille Clifton, and Naomi Shihab Nye. A constellation of vocal luminaries joins Baum on this audacious sonic journey, with Theo Bleckmann, Sara Serpa, Aubrey Johnson, and Kokayi infusing each song with a unique timbral and emotional resonance.’ Peter Quinn

Read the Jazzwise review 


Joonas Haavisto/Kestutis Vaiginis

Moon Bridge

Eight Islands Records

Joonas Haavisto (p, el p) and Kestutis Vaiginis (ss, ts). Rec. October 2022

‘There's a crystalline stillness to this music in its use of space, wispy but insistent melody, and sacral tone, but dig deeper and you'll find an assertiveness and confidence to the duo's playing, both solo and with each other, that lifts this from 'good' to 'remarkable'.’ Kevin Whitlock

Read the Jazzwise review


Gary Husband

Songs of Love and Solace

Self-release/BFD Records 

Gary Husband (p). Rec. April 2008, April 2023

‘If there’s an album that Husband’s work most resonates with, it’s probably Jarrett’s The Melody at Night, with You which shares a similar sense of longing yet isolation, love yet out of reachness. A special recording indeed.’ Andy Robson

Read the Jazzwise review 

Christian McBride and Edgar Meyer

But Who’s Going To Play The Melody?

Mack Avenue 

Chrstian McBride and Edgar Meyer (b). Rec. date not stated

‘The whole album is beautifully recorded with a vivid impression of being in the room with the two bassists, whose joint empathy for their main instrument is perfectly summed up on an absorbing version of ‘Days of Wine and Roses’.’ Alyn Shipton

Read the Jazzwise review 

Jasmine Myra

Rising

Gondwana

Jasmine Myra (as, fl), Arran Kent (bcl), Jasper Green (ky), Ben Haskins (g), Alice Roberts (hp), Sam Quintana (b), George Hall (d, perc), Greg Burns (perc, cng, triangle), Isabella Baker, Lisa Meech (vln), Sophia Dignam (vla), Awen Blandford (clo) and Carmel Smickersgill (string arr). Rec. 30-31 August 2022, 12 January 2023

‘Jasmine Myra’s music is reasonably considered spiritual jazz, a presumption invited by her presence on Matthew Halsall’s Gondwana label, whose lingua franca is meditative minimalism and softly blissful elevation. She doesn’t, though, quite fit the genre’s cliched signifiers. Her flute on this second album’s title track isn’t, for instance, pastoral but it has a swaying rhythmic root. The song feels ceremonial, and Myra’s alto is languidly relaxed, her tone burry, warm and light, a comforting, cushioning, counselling sound expressing her music’s essence.’ Nick Hasted

Read the Jazzwise review 

Ron Miles

Old Main Chapel

Blue Note 

Ron Miles (t), Bill Frisell (g) and Brian Blade (d). Rec. 21 September 2011

‘It’s hard to process that Ron Miles is no longer with us. In our present world of disharmony, his generous soul is much needed. Miles, Blade and Frisell are kindred spirits: each great listeners, each wear their virtuosity lightly, each creates more space than they fill. And it’s in those spaces between that the magic distils.’ Andy Robson

Read the Jazzwise review 


Julie Sassoon/Lothar Ohlmeier/Mia Ohlmeier

Inside Colours Live

Jazzwerkstatt 

Julie Sassoon (p), Lothar Ohlmeier (ts, ss, bcl) and Mia Ohlmeier (d). Rec. July 2016, March 2022, April 2023

Inside Colours Live feels like the opening of a new chapter in this subtly independent musical family’s story.’ John Fordham

Read the Jazzwise review


Wadada Leo Smith & Amina Claudine Myers

Central Park’s Mosaic Of Reservoir, Lakes, Paths And Gardens

Red Hook Records 

Wadada Leo Smith (t) and Amina Claudine Myers (p). Rec. date not stated

‘Smith’s trademarks - the glowering sustains; carefully controlled descents and glinting muted timbres - are particularly effective against an equally vivid but often more economic style from Myers... A sumptuous offering from two masters.’ Kevin Le Gendre

Read the Jazzwise review


Jack Walrath

Live At Smalls

Cellar Live

Jack Walrath (t), Abraham Burton (ts), George Burton (p), Boris Koslov (b) and Donald Edwards (d). Rec. date not stated

‘Jack Walrath has been living and playing jazz in NYC since 1970, working with a host of luminaries, not least Charles Mingus. Over the course of more than 30 albums as a leader he’s carved out a formidable reputation as performer and composer, working in exactly the kind of tough swinging post-bop that has its spiritual home in Spike Wilner’s legendary Smalls club. This recording captures him on front of an eminently simpatico line-up, running through some of his extensive back catalogue of compositions with panache and gusto and a decent helping of hip, sardonic NYC front.’ Eddie Myer

Read the Jazzwise review 


Vasilis Xenopoulos/Paul Edis Quartet

Feels Like Home

Ubuntu Music 

Vasilis Xenopoulos (ts, ss, f), Paul Edis (p), Adam King (b) and Joel Barford (d). Rec. 13 February 2023

‘Xenopoulos places himself firmly in the ‘straight-ahead’ stylistic category and has never concealed his admiration for Dexter Gordon and Hank Mobley, this showing every time he plays. This new group which has been out on the road recently stays broadly with that unfussy mindset and it’s a pleasing success.’ Peter Vacher

Read the Jazzwise review



Edited by snobb - 22 May 2024 at 6:43am
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