Jazz X Lied (Purcell Room, 13 Nov)
Music from around the world and across eras, performed by an eclectic quartet led by bassist Love Orsan. Expect a mix of ballads, standards and romance, social reflection and melodic invention.
When Jakie Rabinowitz defies the traditions of his devout Jewish family by singing popular tunes in blackface, he runs away from home and becomes a jazz singer. But can he make it in the big city?
1. Joshua Redman & Gabrielle Cavassa
Globally acclaimed saxophonist Joshua Redman leads an exceptional group in an evening of captivating jazz. His new album Where Are We is both a celebration and a critique of America—a collection of songs about specific locations, an album of ballads, standards, romance, social reflection, melodic invention, and improvisation.
For this recording, the Berkeley saxophonist assembled an all-star group featuring pianist Aaron Parks, bassist Joe Sanders, and drummer Brian Blade plus vocalist Gabrielle Cavassa. Her beguiling blend of old-soul emotional vulnerability and legato phrasing coaxes Redman into luxuriant balladry.
2. Tori Freestone & Joe Webb
Tori Freestone is a star in the London jazz vocal scene. Her expressive, joyful style is steeped in tradition but is also able to tackle heartbreaking ballads with ease.
She is joined here by piano player Joe Webb, who has been a mainstay on the UK jazz scene for years with his own band and collaborations across genres.
This album reflects his ability to traverse genres and embrace a huge range of influences. It’s an exciting release that pushes the boundaries of contemporary music.
Tension boils under the surface of this edgy and atmospheric composition by Norwegian saxophonist Marius Neset and London Sinfonietta. Then it explodes intermittently in aural eruptions of rhythmic energy.
To accentuate the band’s sound and image, LD Steve Lieberman placed four Geyser RGB foggers from CHAUVET DJ on the Yuma tent stage roof. These powerful DMX-controllable LED foggers shoot plumes of colored water-based fog 25’ in the air, illuminating it with any combination of red, green and blue LEDs.
4. Cecile McLorin Salvant & London Sinfonietta
With poise, elegance, soul and humour, American jazz singer Cecile McLorin Salvant combines vaudeville, blues, folk traditions from around the globe, musical theatre and baroque music to create her own interpretations of classic jazz standards. With her Grammy-nominated album WomanChild and the UK premiere of her song cycle Ogresse (Purcell Room, 13 Nov), Salvant brings a fresh perspective and renewed sense of drama to these well-known songs.
Raised in a bilingual household (her teacher mother was French, her doctor father Haitian), the Miami-born Salvant has won critical acclaim and accolades for her remarkable talent.
5. Wayne Shorter & Charles Lloyd
No tenor player cast a longer shadow than John Coltrane, and his students have included Wayne Shorter, Archie Shepp, Pharoah Sanders and Charles Lloyd. The latter, a recent NEA Jazz Master, can evoke Billie Holiday’s supple voice and vocal spirit — and shear the soul with harmonic adventure.
He leads a quartet featuring pianist Gerald Clayton, bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Kendrick Scott. They are joined by Greek lyra virtuoso Sokratis Sinopoulos and Hungarian cimbalom virtuoso Miklos Lukacs who color and rhythmically charge this suite of six movements.
6. Geoffrey Paterson & London Sinfonietta
Geoffrey Paterson is a highly regarded conductor with ‘a winning combination of assuredness, agility and enthusiasm’ (The Telegraph) and an ‘instinct for pace’ (The Spectator). He has established himself in core symphonic repertoire and contemporary music and has worked with many world leading orchestras.
The opening work was a nocturnal exploration of formative funk experiences by British composer Tansy Davies, whose score seemed to suffer from the distance between performers and a lack of clear groove. The next piece was the delicate, intricate ‘white polyphony’ of Abrahmsen’s 10 canons.
7. Keir Neuringer & Moor Mother
Philadelphia-based poet and multi-instrumentalist Camae Ayewa aka Moor Mother’s music isn’t just about furious free jazz. It’s about addressing consciousness, identity and blackness in a sociopolitical global context.
With Irreversible Entanglements saxophonist Keir Neuringer, bassist Luke Stewart and drummer Tcheser Holmes, she honed her musical vision to address social issues with an experimental punk mentality. She now extends the sonic palette with contributions from artists like rapper AKAI SOLO, singer-songwriter Orion Sun and musician Mary Lattimore alongside London-based rapper Fatboi Sharif, Yungmorpheus and singer/songwriter lojii.
8. Aquiles Navarro & Tcheser Holmes
Best known as members of powerhouse free jazz collective Irreversible Entanglements, trumpeter Navarro and drummer Holmes explore their Latin & Afro-Caribbean roots on Heritage of the Invisible II. Layering Juno 106 and Moog Grandmother synths with field recordings, overdubbed contributions from poets and vocalist friends as well as snippets of conversation, this duo create an evocative set of expanded duo music.
Opening with a direct exclamation backed by rolling thunder on drums, Navarro evolved arrogant and confident calls on his trumpet. The closing track evokes the spirit of el pueblo, the people, in its call for openness and hope.
9. The Parakeet
Added studio-technical touches on this compilation sully the purity of the “previously unreleased tracks” concept, but Coleman’s group sounds like such a cohesive unit (the calypso groove of Police People is a winner) that the differences are inconsequential. Metheny’s raunchy R&B guitar comping behind Coleman’s abrasive free-violin diversions on Mob Job is particularly memorable.
This melody uses a lot of upper extensions in the chords. There is also a bVII dominant chord substitution in the turnaround, which adds harmonic interest to the standard jazz blues IV/V.