The Blog title remains the same as the years roll on.....2016 has started with an unusual flourish of new material. Quite often record companies seem to ignore both January and February as release months for new material, but this year has turned out to be one in which the new material has rolled in from the first day of the year.
So far this month there have been major label albums from (Dr) Lonnie Smith, Go Go Penguin and Charles Lloyd, all of which have received a fair amount of attention in the press, but I'm going to concentrate on four releases that probably haven't received the press attention that (I think) they deserve.
Crimson: Delta Saxophone Quartet with Gwilym Simcock.Chris Caldwell talked about this album when he came in to promote the DSQ's gig at Exeter Phoenix in November 2015. A previous album had looked at the work of Soft Machine, but Chris was excited by the prospect of the band being joined by pianist Simcock, who also wrote arrangements for the pieces. I know King Crimson's work pretty well, having followed Robert Fripp through school and then through the various pre-Crimson bands, League of Gentlemen and Giles Giles and Fripp. Later I played in a band with David Cross who Robert recruited for one of the various incarnations of the band. I was therefore interested by what would be produced and how faithful to the chosen originals this would be. I have to say it's excellently conceived, performed and is faithful to both the spirit and the nature of what Crimson were trying to do. Chris has promised to come into the studio and talk me through the album in more depth later in the year and I really look forward to it.
Evidential: Mike Hobart Quintet.I often wonder when new albums arrive whether they'll live up to the 'blurb' that publicists so often use to hype up the product. This album exceeds anything that I had expected, and is a good example of how 'new' British jazz is going through such a good phase. There are no histrionics, just straight ahead playing with strong material and great arrangements. The album was produced by Derek Nash who made it onto my "albums of 2015" list, and is well worth seeking out to listen to.
New World: Vitor Pereira Quintet.
Vitor is a Finnish guitarist recording in the U.K. and this is their second album, this one on the F-ire label. Its a well written set of tunes (the reasoning behind the titles is an interesting one) with a lot of space for Pereira to spread out behind the two saxophones of Chris Williams (alto) and George Crowley on tenor.(As an aside I still play George Crowley's "Paper Universe" from 2013)> It's an interesting and well-developed album and well worth checking out..
Amorandom: Aki Rissanen.This album has given me a lot of difficulties with predictive spelling on my Twitter account! It's a piano trio album that has continued to unfold with repeated plays, and Rissanen gives the other two members of the group space to spread out and develop ideas (you'll have to look up the names of the other members of the trio lest I misplace the attendant punctuations!). The album was produced by Rissanen, but Dave Stapleton the energetic organiser/owner/ head honcho of Edition records is "Executive Producer". It's not out until March 4th, but you can find tracks on the record labels website.
Talking of Dave Stapleton it's good to know that Slowly Rolling Camera are back in the studio recording what I hope will be a full album rather than an E.P. for release later in the year. Also good to note that Emily Sanders is back writing and recording. All I need now is confirmation that there's going to be album from Zara McFarlane, rather than her making guest appearances like the one on the current Snarky Puppy album.
Jade Allicia Gall:
Glad to note that Jade (@FuzzyJade on Twitter) has recording and releasing an album with a quintet which I'll be previewing on the show really soon. She's launching it with a gig at the Congrgational Church in Crediton on March 8th, and I'll follow this post with another which covers both the Album and the launch gig. Live Jazz is alive and well, and living here in South West England with some interesting tours coming up in April May. Finally, after talking to her on the show I was sorry to miss Kate Daniels gigs during February- they were well received and I'd loved to have been there, rather than in bed with 'flu!