Roller Trio – the latest jazz tokens

Good news on the Mercury Prize front – the finalists – sorry, Mercy Prize Albums Of The Year (everyone’s a winner in Mercury land, even though in due course there will be just the one Mercury Prize Album Of The Year) – have been announced and the jazz album this year – there is always just the one, for which, of course, we in the jazz world are so eternally grateful – is Roller Trio’s album of the same name.

Roller Trio – which comprises James Mainwaring on tenor sax and electronics, Luke Wynter on guitar and Luke Reddin-Williams on drums – came out of the same Leeds College of Music that spawned Trio VD, and there are similarities between the bands, though Roller cover a wider range of moods and are perhaps less focussed (in a more user-friendly way).

For the thejazzbreakfast review of the album, go here.

Let’s hope their power and edginess will be enough to prevent the Mercury experts like former Smash Hits journo Miranda Sawyer writing the jazz off as just pretty (cf. a previous Mercury Prize evening on the telly).

Of course, this is another opportunity to visit the current debate on this blog about competition and jazz. It’s here.

And, finally, here’s a good excuse to revisit a level-headed past Merc-finalist’s summing up of why it’s important to have a jazz group nominated. Read Kit Downes here.

Categories: CD review

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1 reply

  1. What I find interesting usually about the Mercury is that it is a filter of the jazz scene by non-jazz specialists. In general, when you look back at whose albums have been selected, the judges have had a pretty shrewd, and sometimes brave, selection of musicians from our side of the tracks over the past few years, such as Polar Bear, Soweto Kinch, Zoe Rahman, Kit Downes, Gwilym Simcock, Led Bib, Portico Quartet, Basquiat Strings….
    Even if, with hindsight, they may not be picking the best albums by the artist in question. (And of course the albums are selected not the artists.)
    Yet they are rarely the ones in any year who are the absolute “darlings” of the jazz press at that time. This year being no exception.
    If the only “jazz” that a person had on his Ipod were just those, you’d respect him, wouldn’t you?
    P.S. I write this as a label releasing a lot of albums this year, and actually made the investment (of £200 an album) to enter a couple of them. While I would have “preferred” one of mine, I don’t begrudge the choice of Roller Trio in the slightest. (And congratulate too the F-IRE label for their second Mercury nomination. Not many labels have that to their credit.)

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