In between life, playing and listening to live music, there have been a few CD reviews for London Jazz News. What a treat that is, both the familiar and the fresh popping through the letter box (or occasionally into Dropbox). Here’s a round up of the recent crop (not all in March I hasten to add) a trio of quartets and a legend.
The New York Standards Quartet don’t just play standards. They reinvent, twist and stretch them – with love. Power of Ten marks ten years of the partnership of the core three Dave Berkman, Tim Armacost and Gene Jackson. The quartet is completed by Whirlwind boss Michael Janisch for this typically exuberant and addictive outing. My review for is here. Another Quartet, this time led by Loop Collective tenor-man Sam Crockatt had an all Brit
cast playing a crop of his lovingly crafted compositions on Mells Bells. It’s a mouth watering band with Kit Downes, James Maddren and Oli Hayhurst given the space to stretch out. Crockatt’s by turns muscular and tenderly lyrical approach mark this set out as an early 2016 highlight for me. The review is here. The band are on tour in April. Check Sam’s Website to see if you can make one of the gigs (you really should!). Maestro Charles Lloyd is unmistakable in any context he appears. I find him irresistible. His second outing on Blue Note since his return to the label last year, I Long To See You finds him and his regular band in the company of Bill Frisell, pedal steel guitarist Greg Leisz and with guest appearances from Willie Nelson and Norah Jones no less. You’d be right to expect more than a tinge of country. There’s plenty to relish and quintessential Lloyd atmospherics – review here. Danish pianist Søren Gemmer’s release Lark completes the trio of quartets , albeit expanded for some tracks with guest Mads La Cour on trumpet – whose release Almuji last year kept finding its way back into my playlists. The review of Lark is here. Angular, sometimes astringent, arresting nordic jazz.