Gwilym Simcock: Near and Now

If you like piano and you like the late-night end of jazz, there’s nothing to dislike about this. Simcock is a world-class musician — his day job while he did this was touring with Pat Metheny’s quartet. He’s also playing a world-class instrument: for you piano-heads it’s a Steinway B from 1900, custom-rebuilt by Germans […]

Nils Landgren: 4 Wheel Drive

Landgren is part of the Funk Unit, and this CD sees three equally famous players join him: Landgren on trombone and vocals, plus Michael Wollny on piano, Lars Danielsson on bass and cello, and Wolfgang Haffner drums. It’s mostly covers, the fi rst being Another Day In Paradise from Phil Collins. Landgren’s vocals are gentle […]

Daniel Garcia Trio: Travesuras

Pianist Daniel García’s playing dominates this album of meaty jazz, though double-bassist Reinier Elizarde and drummer Michael Olivera do not go unnoticed. The release notes talk about flamenco and jazz being brothers; you’d not automatically think of flamenco listening to this (though there are some exotic sounds down there in the rhythm section); he’s more […]

BartolomeyBittmann: Dynamo

Out on jazz label ACT, this new album is prog in the same way that Gordon Giltrap could be prog, in his better moments (which is why Heartsong is so famous and his duller stuff not). Opener Elefant lays down the pattern: superfast playing of guitar (it’s actually a mondola according to the sleeve notes) […]

Vula Viel: Do Not Be Afraid

One of those albums that’s hard to review, its mix of world music and jazz being possibly unique. You can’t compare it to anyone else and the best comparison we can make is a rainbow: it’s sweeping and colourful, though possibly lacking a pot of gold at the end for the performers. Some history: Vula […]

Cæcilie Norby: Sisters in Jazz

Jazz is all a bit male; the BBC Radio Three jazz podcast from Geoffrey Smith is overwhelmingly about blokes, with Jelly Roll Morton, Erroll Garner, Jim Hall, George Russell and 10 other males in recent weeks, only jazz singer and pianist Shirley Horn flying the flag for the sisters. Jazz label ACT is trying to […]

Wandering Monster: Wandering Monster

This impressive modern jazz debut comes from bassist Sam Quintana, who leads the Wandering Monster quintet, and the CD opens with his confident double bass to the fore. Wandering Monster were winners of the 2016/17 Jazz North Introduces Award and have supported bands including Trio HLK and Mammal Hands. The sound is clearly jazz but […]

Javier Girotto Trio: Tango Nuevo Revisited

  First of all what this isn’t: it’s not the kind of tango that’s evocative of svelte couples dancing in sensual fashion across a dance floor to music suggestive of a dodgy nightclub in Buenos Aries. This is more dance music as an art form. It’s a remake of an album, Summit, by Argentinean bandoneonist […]

Michael Bublé: Love

This starts off with a sentimental cover, When I Fall In Love, which is peak Bublé, as slow and luscious as you like and his voice shown off to its best. A perky I Only Have Eyes For You follows, just total class; you’d have to be Scrooge not to love it. Love You Anymore […]

Rainer Böhm: Hýdor (piano works XII)

It’s taken some time to review this very pleasant CD. Though it’s on jazz label ACT, it’s only nominally jazz and the only instrument is the piano. Opener Bass Study (Part I) is one of the more jazz-like tracks before Böhm goes more classical but, like the rest of the album, it’s gentle and relaxed […]