Here are some of the discs I have been listening to in the past few weeks:
Kenny Wheeler & John Taylor – On The Way To Two (CamJazz): A terrific session from the CamJazz archives of the trumpeter/flugel player and the pianist in 2005. The tunes are by Wheeler or by the pair, with one from Taylor and Billy Strayhorn’s A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing, the mood is lyrical and intimate, the bond and empathy between the two players clear in every note. Fedora is a real gem. This release was meant as a testament to one departed player; sadly it has become a valuable memory of two.
Chick Corea & Bela Fleck – Two (Stretch Records/Concord Jazz): This double live album picks out the highlights from concerts the pianist and the banjo player performed in the aftermath of their 2007 studio collaboration The Enchantment. We’re used to hearing Corea in duo with another piano, but the banjo provides a very attractive sparring partner instrument, nearer to the timbre of the piano than the guitar but sufficiently contrasting. One for gainsayers of the much maligned “old jazz” and bluegrass instrument – Béla Fleck should surely change their minds. My only quibble is in the double CD format. A bit more editing and the reduction to a single disc could have left me wanting more rather than finding it a little exhausting by halfway through disc 2.
Olivia Trummer, feat. Jean-Lou Treboux – Classical To Jazz One (Neuklang): Haven’t we come a long way since Jacques Loussier’s Play Bach? The pianist and singer is joined by the vibraphonist for a programme which features not only works by Johann Sebastian Bach but also Domenico Scarlatti and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It works a treat, the interpretations are witty and bright, the blending of jazz and classical sensibilities subtle and fully integrated. The wordless vocals Trummer adds here and there increase the variety and lift the mood in all the right places. It’s a sonic treat, too.
John Aram Quintet with Kenny Wheeler – Saturday Night And Sunday Morning (Coup Perdu): Something of a love letter to a city (Nottingham), one of its great novelists (Alan Sillitoe) and a memorable film which shares its title, this musical suite by trombonist Aram features his band of Andy Scherrer (tenor), ColinVallon (piano), Dave Whitford (bass) and Norbert Pfammatter (drums) with Kenny Wheeler as guest on flugelhorn and with little snippets from the film dialogue here and there. It keeps strongly to the 1960s feel and is recorded with great sensitivity to the sonic richness of the instruments. Originally released on limited edition vinyl in stylish cover, it is now available as a CD or download – the vinyl would be the bee’s knees, though.
- For further details of Coup Perdu go here.
Categories: CD review