Miguel Gorodi: Nonet Apophenia

Some of these reviews might ramble a bit but the PR that comes with them struggles even more, and this is a case in point. The apophenia of the title is erroneously making connections or meaning with unrelated things — a failing that can be seen all over social media — and one track was […]

Alex Hitchcock: All Good Things

This is one of those albums that’s hard to write about because you’re so into its meaty and interesting sound (and want to use words like hep and cats) that you can never write anything down. If you Google Hitchcock, he’s a man who loves his jazz, whether playing it or supporting other bands, and […]

Various Artists: Jazz At Berlin Philharmonic IX: Pannonica

Most definitely a CD for fans of class jazz, this is an enjoyable live set from some of the top European jazz players. The backstory is interesting: the concert paid tribute to the baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter. The concert was held on 6th February this year, 30 years after her death, and focused on pieces […]

Adam Baldych: Sacrum Profanum

Brexit, traffic noise, that shouty boss, arguing neighbours: if anything’s doing your head in, this may well be the answer; even the first few seconds rinse out the space between your ears. Polish violinist Baldych was once (say the release notes) hailed by a German newspaper as having “the finest technique among all living violinists […]

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 […]