My listening and gig going over the last month has been a bit more active than this blog might imply, partly because some of the writing has been appearing elsewhere. A quick round-up then mainly for my benefit. In reverse order; Moonlight saving Time returned to the BeBop Club last Friday ( review on the Jazzwise site) . On that performance, their sophisticated blend of voice, instruments, groove and harmony is maturing still further and the album under development will have to move into the ‘eagerly awaited’ category.
I’ve been listening to some newly released albums and reviewing them for LondonJazzNews. Three crackers recently: Phronesis, Life to Everything, review here will undoubtedly get the pulse racing. The album is a live recording and they are coming to Colston Hall next month, I plan to be there. A real real treat for me was Julian Arguelles latest release Circularity, review here. His first album, Phaedrus, with almost the same stellar band, has been one of my favourites since I bought it 20 odd years ago – this one will join it on the desert island short list. A different album again, Zara McFarlane’s If You Knew Her, review here soul, gospelly groove and stripped back vocals with simple accompaniment – I can see why there have been so many flattering comparisons with a few legendary divas, Nina Simone among them.
A couple of weeks ago I popped into see Wiltshire’s Youth Jazz Orchestra showcasing the fruits of a day being put through their paces bye Steve Waterman. It was a great evening’s music. What great arranger he is and the band did his charts justice. It’s another too often unremarked bit of investment going on in our cultural life that the organizers don’t have to make (whoops for Mike Daniels then) – hopefully inspiring a few younger folk (and some were surely only just teenagers) . What a treat when local world class pianist Jason Rebello popped in to shred a few standards with Steve for everyone’s entertainment. Surely just a coincidence that son George was in the band! And finally, my review of the Bristol Jazz and Blues Festival appears in the just out May edition of Jazzwise (thanks to the mag for asking me to do it) – you’ll have to pay to read that one for now, it’s reminded me again of what a great weekend that was.