If my blog has been a little neglected over the last few months, its not because the ears haven’t been full of great music. I seem to have reviewed quite a few albums for London Jazz News and looking back at them some random connections have amused me so here’s a round up of a few which are all pianist led.
First a pair: One by (Pablo) Held and one called Held (by Jason Rebello). German pianist Pablo Held leads a trio that’s recorded prolifically and toured all over the world in the last 10 years. Their album Lineage is dense, angular frequently abstract and alluring. My review is here. Jason Rebello‘s album Held is, in a wide ranging career, his first solo piano recording. It bursts with melody and rhythmic fire, so characteristic of Rebello’s playing. A really special and personal recording. My review is here.
Secondly, another pair: This time the connection is country of origin. Pianists Anat Fort and Ari Erev are both Israeli. ECM recording artist Anat Fort teamed up with Italian reedsman Gianluigi Trovesi for Birdsong, a set of her own by turns impressionistic, melodic and evocative compositions. My full review is here. On Flow, Ari Erev leads his trio plus guest through a lively set of latin tinged originals – review here.
Finally a pair… with no connection other than that they are led by pianists and I listened with pleasure and reviewed them.
Fred Hersch deserves a place in the jazz pantheon. He’s played with everyone, taught influential figures in the current generation including Ethan Iverson whose fascinating interview/ discussion with Hersch can be found here . He’s also in something of a purple patch in a long career releasing recordings annually (or quicker!) at the moment and there’s documentary film about him coming out. I reviewed the latest live trio album, Sunday Night at the Village Vanguard here – pretty much a straight recording of a gig at the legendary club.
Last but not least, Jan Lundgren is artistic director of the Ystad International Jazz Festival and recorded a tribute concert to Jan Johansson there in 2015. The release is a double treat; a fine recording its own right and a journey through the music of a seminal figure in Swedish and Nordic jazz. The review is here