There’s been plenty of listening in September with with a steady flow of albums reviewed for London Jazz News offering a cross section of jazz. First up was One for Moll from Alan Barnes. The tone is set by the first track, the Barnes original Blue Note, a swinging funky groove in the spirit of the legendary record label. It’s a set bristling with great tunes, some of them standards, and committed straight ahead playing from a top drawer band assembled for the recording. It’s making my heart skip and putting a smile on my face with every listen. The full review is here. Alan Barnes comes to Bath’s Wine Vaults to play with the resident jazz House trio on October 22nd. From a different stable but no less passionate, comes Flow by Drifter. Edition Records boss Dave Stapleton persuaded Finnish pianist Alexi Tuomarila and Belgian saxophonist Nicolas Kummert to re-establish a partnerhsip that ended ten years ago after they shot to international fame in the early 2000s. The new band are recording powerful anthemic themes and hooky melodic pieces but its Tuomarila’s dazzling playing and Kummert’s passionate nuanced blowing that grab the ear. Full review here. Another sharp contrast was Michael Janisch‘s Paradigm Shift. Based around a live recording of a quintet of breathtaking quality at Pizza Express some four years ago now, the double CD set has the suite from which the album’s name comes, a set of Janisch originals traversing styles with wild punky thrash, free playing, electronics, hair raising grooves and moody textures all part of the brew and then a set on which the band really stretch out – seething contemporary jazz to match the best. The full review is here. Janisch is currently on an epic tour playing this material which arrives at Bristol’s Hen and Chicken on March 11th. Strikingly, these were all released on record labels started by the musicians, Woodville, Edition and Whirlwind respectively. Buy the albums in whatever format takes your fancy!
September listening: Barnes, Drifter and Janisch