06th Jul2015

Aaron Diehl ‘Space Time Continuum’ (Mack Avenue) 3/5

by ukvibe

aaron-diehlIn his follow-up to the well received Mack Avenue debut “The Bespoke Man’s Narrative”, pianist/composer Aaron Diehl broadens things out with the addition of saxophones, trumpet and even a vocal outing, adding to his core trio which features David Wong on bass and Quincy Davis on drums. “Space Time Continuum” features eight tunes, all composed by Diehl, encompassing a broad range of styles, never really deviating from the expected path, but performed with skill and precision none the less.
“Uranus” opens the session. A lovely piece that plays to the strengths of the trio and features a particularly nice final chorus highlighting the playing of drummer Quincy Davis. 85 years young Joe Temperley blows his baritone sax on the thoughtful, probing “The Steadfast Titan”. Bowed bass adds the atmosphere as the tune develops a nice cool laid-back vibe. The much younger tenor saxophonist Stephen Riley guests on “Flux Capacitor”. He may be younger in years than the two elder statesmen featured, but in terms of tone, the listener wouldn’t know. The tune itself is something of a throwback to 50’s/60’s era straight ahead jazz and Riley’s playing fits in perfectly. “Organic Consequence” has a film noir feel to it, with some gorgeous, subtle brass supplied by trumpeter Bruce Harris and tenor saxophonist Benny Golson. “It’s important to use both contemporaries and elders as sources of inspiration” comments Diehl. “I gave Mr Golson a solo section with a specific set of chord changes” Diehl continues, “in rehearsal he wasn’t fond of playing the progression and offered constructive criticism that led to our finding an alternative harmonic movement that suited his needs. He taught me the importance of leaning towards people’s strengths.” On “Kat’s Dance”, we have a lighter, more playful tune that could well be a Kenny Barron / Stan Getz duet, easy listening and comfortable as one sips one’s martini. A cinematic intro on Santa Monica” leads into a nice groove which highlights well the rhythm section. Diehl says of drummer Davis; “Quincy is not just a drummer, he’s a consummate musician, great composer and arranger. He does just the right thing to be supportive.” And support he does, along with bassist Wong, especially well on the fine “Broadway Boogie Woogie”, a fast-paced burner of a tune. The album closes with the title track, and features the vocal talents of Charenee Wade. Whilst the tune is nicely written and does offer some variation to the rest of the album, it feels a little out of time and place to this listener.

Listening to Diehl play, the impression I get is that he is a confident, assured and masterful pianist who could turn his hand with ease to any style of his choosing. For me though, this album, as well-played and enjoyable as it is, lacks the imagination and excitement I was hoping for. The compositions are standard fare and I was expecting more. There just feels a lack of warmth, emotion. The album is lovingly packaged with excellent sleeve art, extensive liner notes by Ethan Iverson (The Bad Plus) and is beautifully produced by Al Pryor. I’m sure there’s much more to come from the very talented Mr Diehl, personally I hope his next release shows a little more adventure.

Mike Gates

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05th Jul2015

Jacky Terrasson ‘Take This’ (Impulse) 4/5

by ukvibe

jacky-terrassonFranco-American pianist Jacky Terrasson took the world of jazz by storm in the mid to late 1990s with a series of recordings that re-interpreted the piano jazz tradition in a highly innovate manner. Now in his late forties, Terrasson is an established figure and one who has sought to re-invent himself within the parameters of the jazz idiom and this represents his debut for the re-activated Impulse label. The repertoire is typically eclectic, with inventive takes on jazz classics and some interesting new original compositions, and the line-up varies between trio and quintet with guitar and vocals added as and where appropriate. Not everything works, but then the leader has always strived to expand his horizons. An Afro-Cuban take on Brubeck’s anthem ‘Take Five’ is but one of two interpretations with the former a lovely alternative reading to Tito Puente’s mid-1980s Latin Jazz Ensemble version a reminder of just how good Terrasson was back in the 1990s, and the angular referencing of the tune is an astute brainwave by the leader, creating a new vibe that is a wonder to behold. In stark contrast, a solo rendition of ‘Blues in Green’, finds the pianist in an altogether more solemn mood and the influence of Bill Evans looms long in this interpretation. Less effective are some of the 1970s wah-wah guitar effects on the opener ‘Kiff’ with wordless vocals from Sly Johnson while the blues-inflected take on the Lennon and McCartney standard, ‘Come together’, works to a certain extent, but still sounds unconnected to the rest.

In general the relatively short nature of the pieces works in Terrasson’s favour for, in seeking conciseness, the pianist has been forced to focus to a greater extent on the melodicism of the individual pieces. A higher rapid treatment of Terrasson idol Bud Powell oscillates between first acoustic and then fender Rhodes keyboards and the use of hand percussion is a subtle complement to the overall texture. Piano and percussion work in thrilling unison on the Caribbean flavoured ‘Dance’ while the hustle and bustle of the trio number ‘November’ is the piece that most harks back to his Blue Note roots.

Tim Stenhouse

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04th Jul2015

Mark Guiliana Jazz Quartet ‘Family First’ (Beat Music Productions) 5/5

by ukvibe

mark-guilianaThe phrase “rising star” gets used way too often. However, if ever it could be applied in an apt way, then it can be used with sincerity when talking about drummer/composer/band leader Mark Guiliana. “A leader worth following. A musician with vision – and beats.” said Jazz Times. “A drummer around whom a cult of admiration has formed.” said The New York Times. “He’s the guy to watch if you want to know where the great art of drumming is right now – and where it could be headed.” said Modern Drummer Magazine. Having earned an enviable reputation as a sideman, performing regularly with, among others, Avishai Cohen, Gretchen Parlato and Meshell Ndegeocelli, Guiliana has recently gone on to perform with David Bowie, founded two bands; Beat Music and Heernt, and launched his own independent record label “Beat Music Productions” as an outlet for his diverse musical vision. Add to this his Grammy nominated duo partnership with jazz icon Brad Mehldau, “Mehliana”, and we appear to have something of a jazz visionary in the making. With the release of Guiliana’s Jazz Quartet’s first outing “Family First”, I think we can now say the star has well and truly risen.

“Family First” is an acoustic jazz album of such power, virtuosity, depth and poise, that it leaves this listener in genuine awe, and extremely happy. This is what jazz is all about. Free spirited, emotionally engaging and written and performed with a rarely heard skill and mastery. The quartet is: Mark Guiliana on drums, Chris Morrissey on bass, Shai Maestro on piano and Jason Rigby on saxophone. Together they perform nine tracks, eight of these being Guiliana original compositions, plus one incredible Bob Marley cover/interpretation. The quartet are long-time musical collaborators and good friends, and the chemistry and artistry shown throughout this album shines through. Guiliana explains; “This music really highlights the strong bonds and sense of brotherhood and family that I share with these guys.” He continues; “I’ve been lucky to have been building a great musical bond with each of them over the last decade.” There is certainly a sense of togetherness on this recording, one which delivers cohesion and a fearless sense of adventure that lifts the music to the lofty place that it resides.

Guiliana’s compositional skills come to the fore right from the off. “One Month” opens the album and is a tour de force in itself. What I love about this tune is how it hits you both between the ears and deep inside the soul as it pulsates with excitement before changing pace, drawing breath, and building up again with such joyous skill. Jason Rigby’s sax playing on this track and indeed throughout the whole album, is nothing short of astonishing, being both lyrically brilliant and touchingly soulful. “Abed” drives forcefully and swings with fervour and highlights why Guiliana is so highly thought of as a drummer. The deep intensity of “2014” reminds me of the feel of the music heard on Brad Mehldau’s much underrated “Highway Rider.” There’s such a strong emotional pull to this music, this is a ballad that delivers real melancholic beauty. “Long Branch” is a breathtaking composition. Once again all 4 musicians are in full swing, with pianist Shai Maestro proving how true class shines through. For me, his skill, touch and virtuosity outshine many of his peers and contemporaries in this field. The Bob Marley tune “Johnny Was” is performed here as a thought-provoking, subtle, deeply moving piece of music. Once again the natural understanding between the musicians is incredible. They seem to play in such an assured manner that this allows them to create an electric, spine tingling energy even in the spaces between the notes. The somber mood lifts as “From You” brings us back into daylight with its warm breeze and clear air. Reminiscent of an 80’s/90’s Brecker classic, the tune drifts effortlessly, singing as it goes. Chris Morrisey’s contemplative, musing bass forms the intro to “The Importance of Brothers”. The tune develops into a march before leading us into the Coltrane-esque beginnings of “Welcome Home”. Beautiful chords and lush soundscapes create a gorgeous, uplifting atmosphere before the track moves into its full, rich melody. Guiliana’s compositions are stories that unfold with a vision and a purpose and the mood changes within these stories portray life itself; sometimes mournful, sometimes sweet and liberating. There are so many moments on this album where the emotion is at such a high point that shivers flow through the body creating a deep felt intense experience that takes the listener to a place well beyond the music itself. The last few minutes of “Welcome Home”, leading into the final piece, the title track “Family First” sum this up perfectly. I don’t mind admitting I was moved to tears at this point, this is just so stunningly beautiful.

In summary, I cannot find enough superlatives to describe “Family First”. And if by the end of 2015 this isn’t my personal album of the year, I can’t wait to hear the one that is.

Mike Gates

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03rd Jul2015

Melody Gardot ‘Currency of Man’ (Decca) 4/5

by ukvibe

melody-gardotSinger-songwriter Melody Gardot occupies musical territory somewhere between the smoky folk-blues of Cassandra Wilson and the jazzy neo-soul of Erykah Badu with a voice that bears something of a resemblance to that of Annie Lenox. That is all part of the chemistry that makes her a highly individual musician and on this new all original set of recordings Gardot has come up with a sound that takes in acoustic and electric blues, sometimes with a rock tinge. funk and soul, with the ocasional jazz chord change, and yet still sounds utterly convincing. She excels on the dramatic strings that lend a film soundtrack quality to ‘Don’t talk’ that is a percussive mid-tempo number and the soulful delivery from the vocalist works a treat. Nina Simone is conjured up on ‘Morning Sun’, and this writer would like to hear more of the gospel hues evident in this song. The influence of Billie Holiday is discernible on the lush, jazzy ‘If I ever recall your face’ that could almost be in terms of style a modern-day take on ‘Strange Fruit’, though devoid of that song’s profound social significance. Country folk-blues are usefully evoked on ‘Don’t misunderstand’ with a repetitive chorus that is truly addictive. An uptempo and funky ‘Same to you’ features a bass line not dissimilar to Chic’s ‘Good Times’ and a funky urban groove is equally present on the sparsely produced ‘It gonna come’ with some epic 1970s style strings thrown in there for good measure. Melody Gardot is a vocalist with a difference and yet still deeply rooted within the blues, jazz and soul tradition and this fine album will only enhance her already burgeoning reputation.

Tim Stenhouse

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03rd Jul2015

Diana Krall ‘Wallflower’ (Verve) 3/5

by ukvibe

diana-krallPianist-singer Diana Krall established an international reputation via her delicious covers of the Great American Songbook tradition, yet there is another sides to her that is interested both in composing her own songs and in interpreting more contemporary pop tunes. It is the latter that is the focus of this latest album, and, while the numbers are as tastefully executed as ever, the jazz content has been diluted in the process and Diana Krall is not so much as pop singer, as a jazz singer fully capable of reaching out to an audience beyond the confines of jazz and there is a nuanced difference between the two. Be that as it may, her voice displays true emotion on an intimate interpretation of the soul song, ‘Superstar’ with stirring strings. This compare favourably with the superlative rendition that Luther Vandross gave to the number. An understated and decidedly down tempo ‘California Dreaming’ provides an entertaining alternative reading to the old chestnut and some delightful finger snapping indicates that the jazzer in Krall has not entirely vanished. However, some of the material covered does verge on the MOR such as Gilbert O’Sullivan’s ‘Alone again (naturally)’ and even that gem of a pop original from 10CC, ‘I’m not in love’, sounds plain out-of-place here devoid of any meaningful context. Now fully refreshed from this brief departure, hopefully Diana Krall will return to her more familiar terrain and that more compelling of formulas as part of a piano trio plus guitar.

Tim Stenhouse

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02nd Jul2015

Julie Dexter & Thehc3 ‘The Smiling Hour’ (Ketch A Vibe) 3/5

by ukvibe

julie-dexterWe are impressed by Ms Dexter’s new album “The Smiling Hour”. Julie Dexter, from Birmingham, UK to Atlanta, US with talent! She has been performing and growing in reputation for over a decade. Her newly released album comes on her own record label, Ketch A Vibe. She has toured with Courtney Pine, collaborated with Khari Simmons on Moon Bossa (back in 2007). Worth noting, Khari Simmons notably worked recently with another hugely talented lady, Cecilia Stalin, on her “The Story of Love” EP. So on her new album, Dexter has Thehc3’s trio close by: Henry Conerway III on drums, Nick Rosen on keys and Kevin Smith on bass.
An amalgam of jazz, soul, funk, Julie Dexter manages to come across as her own self. To be clear, there could be a few parallels drawn here, but suffice to say, Dexter has succeeded to create a real persona because she has real talent. This, in itself, is quite rare these days. Her soft and clear voice ability is astounding especially on jazz standards like “Afro Blue”. And talking about standards, there are quite a few on the album, but the smoothness with which Dexter performs these only adds on to the massive points she has already accumulated. Her reputation is impeccably intact and rising all the time. Listening to a song like “Never Let Me Go” (Joseph Scott) explains why, but then again…. there is also the beautiful “Black Nile” (Wayne Shorter), Rosen’s solo on this track is smooth as ice and combined with a perfectly pitched voice by Ms Dexter, it is indeed a good rendition.
“The Nearness of You” a 1938 jazz standard by Hoagy Carmichael sees Julie Dexter sing this with a calm and deeply meaningful tone. Not too serious, not too deep, one can tell she is feeling it. Love the way the artist makes this song hers. It is done simply and elegantly. No frills.
“The Smiling Hour” could almost be the perfect night-time album, it has tones that go so well whilst listening deep throughout the dark hours, but then one realises it is easy smooth sailing from morning to night: Julie Dexter and Thehc3 offer the listener a different kind of work. In “That’s Livin”, the singing comes across with pain, we need to pay attention to the words, Dexter portrayal is accurate, no need to add more to the presentation, there is real drama in her voice.
“Cotton Tail” – a sheer journey of solos turning the tempo up with the great Kevin Smith on bass whilst Nick Rosen and Henry Conerway complement the playing in equal manner.
The album concludes with “Afro Blue” – a jazz standard played and sung by many but not always rendered as it should. Ms Dexter sings it with effortlessly lustrous tones. My favourite track, for sure. A good album to return to the scene with.

Erminia Yardley

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02nd Jul2015

Weldon Irvine ‘Live at Dean Street’ (Squatty Roo) 2/5

by ukvibe

Weldon IrvineBorn in Virginia in 1943 before moving to New York in 1965, Weldon Irvine became an accomplished musician and songwriter playing organ, piano, electric piano and synthesiser, but he was also a composer, arranger and producer during his diverse career. His achievements are quite varied, including writing ‘Young, gifted and black’ for Nina Simone while her bandleader, arranging Tom Browne’s party anthem ‘Funkin’ for Jamaica’ and towards the end of life, acting as a somewhat mentor to Mos Def, Common and Q-Tip and even giving them piano lessons and playing organ on Mos Def’s seminal ‘Umi says’.
His most significant work however are his 1970s solo albums, Liberated Brother (1972) and Time Capsule (1973) released on his own tiny independent Nodlew record label, In Harmony (1974) on the legendary Strata East label, and then his three distinguished RCA Victor albums with an obvious increased budget and personnel, Cosmic Vortex (1974), Spirit Man (1975) and Sinbad in 1976. All are highly recommended and incorporate his masterful blend of jazz, soul and funk influences.
Interestingly, some of his compositions have become more popular by others with Freddie Hubbard’s version of ‘Mr. Clean’ becoming somewhat of a standard and Stanley Turrentine’s funky breakbeat nugget ‘Sister sanctified’ often sampled by the hip-hop community. And even Jamiroquai got in on the act by regular performing ‘We getting down’ within live sets, probably Weldon’s most well-known track.

So where does this 1992 live recording from Dean Street, Brooklyn fit in? Well, this was when there was a significant resurgence in Weldon’s musical output with record collectors clambering to find his original 1970s vinyl albums. Unfortunately, he doesn’t perform any of those well-loved recordings here, with this 16-song set consisting of 13 standards, which include quite a bouncy Latin-esque 13 minute version of ‘Summertime’, a somewhat smooth jazz rendition of Grover Washington’s ‘Just the two of us’ and even an extended version of ‘Tequila’ (yes, that ‘Tequila’).

Other standards include a funky version of ‘Blue in Green’ the classic Miles Davis piece, Nica’s Dream (Horace Silver) and a blistering version of Stevie Wonder’s ‘Rocket love’ – a song I’ve never heard covered live before. An uncredited female vocalist presides over the classic ballads ‘Since I fell for you’ and ‘Teach me tonight’, which in the jazz world was popularised by Dina Washington.

This recording features Weldon mainly playing organ but also piano and electric piano during the set. Personally, I prefer his piano and electric piano work here rather than his organ playing, with ‘Song for my father’ another classic Horace cover displaying his fluid piano chops.

Being a personal fan of Weldon’s music, it is quite difficult not to be frustrated when playing the album due to the very poor recording quality. It’s bad meaning bad not bad meaning good. This would have been called a ‘live bootleg recording’ pre-internet and passed around on cassette tape.

In the digital age, you can find unreleased live shows of artists uploaded to Blogs and other platforms for free and maybe this should also be the case here. Nonetheless, this is the only way to obtain this recording and there does not seem to be much in the way of unreleased material available since Weldon unfortunately committed suicide in 2002.

So if you’re a die-hard Weldon aficionado or a completest then maybe yes, track down this release to complete the collection, but be warned that the quality is the worst I’ve known for a CD release. But if you’re not, just return to Weldon’s other releases to enjoy his genius, as this should not be your first exposure to Weldon’s music.

Damian Wilkes

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01st Jul2015

Charles Aznavour ‘Encores’ (Universal France) 4/5

by ukvibe

charles-aznavourThis is actually Charles Aznavour’s fifty-first album and, while the voice is not quite like it was at his peak from the late 1950s through to the mid-1970s, what it may lack in some respects, it has gained in emotional intensity. Indeed the quality of the song writing from this melancholic minstrel are as strong as ever and this is one of his best albums in years, if not a decade or two. A decidedly breezy accordion led, ‘Les petits pains au chocolat’, is firmly in the classic chanson tradition and a lovely uplifting song at that. His multiple influences are showcased here with gospel discernible on ‘Sonnez les cloches’ while the jazzier elements to his career take on a Brazilian bossa nova feel on ‘Ma vie sans toi’. Quite possibly, a future Brazilian music project might just suit Aznavour down to the ground. Musical reminisces abound on ‘De la môme à Edith’, the Edith in question being Piaf and Aznavour is on top from when philosophizing on the trials and tribulations of falling in and out of love as illustrated magnificently on ‘Avec un brin de nostalgie’ and the heartfelt ‘T’aimer’.
One online reviewer has remarked of Aznavour: ‘ ça swingue, ça jazze, ça émeut’ (‘He swings, with a jazzy and emotional beat’) and that pretty much sums up Charles Aznavour and his craft. What is beyond argument, however, is that nobody masters melancholy, or nostalgia in the French language better than him and that will remain his lasting legacy.

Tim Stenhouse

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01st Jul2015

Bernard Lavillers ‘Acoustique’ (Wrasse/Universal France) 4/5

by ukvibe

bernard-lavilliersA recent BBC documentary focused on a brief history of the French chanson tradition and within time constraints made a pretty good stab at introducing a wider public to the music, but in so doing it missed a few major singers, including Renaud, Jacques Higelin and Alain Bashung. Bernard Lavilliers is one such example and he occupies the unusual territory in France of using his extensive travelling throughout the globe as the pretext for his song writing and, from the late 1970s onwards, that has invariably incorporated world roots beats with some of the finest practitioners of those rhythms. Among the guests one is likely to find the late Cesaria Evora, numerous African, reggae and even salsa musicians of the highest calibre. Khaled is the only other French resident (but of Algerian nationality) to even approach Lavilliers in terms of musical métissage and one who has fused different roots influences, invariably that has been reggae with rai.
Now in his sixth decade, Lavilliers has widened his repertoire and this current release from 2014 is both a retrospective of his earlier material and a reworking of some old favourites. While it is emphatically not a rehashed ‘Best of’, it does serve as a useful introduction and foot in the door to the Lavilliers canon of work. A potential hit single and duet with Faada Freddy in ‘Melody tempo harmony’ ends the album in an uptempo vein and on a somewhat triumphant note and introduces a newer element of fusing dance style, with reggae and funk added to the mix

Balladry is not something normally associate with the persona of the singer, yet he is capable of the most delicate of love songs and ‘Betty’ is a fine example of his late 1970s period. His travelling has inspired many a song and in the case of ‘On the road again’, it was a trip to Ireland that motivated him and this folk-tinged number is one of his most melodic ever compositions and an ideal way for non-French speakers to hear him. The gentle sounding ‘Manila Hotel’ from the mid-1990s is helped on its way by the use of accordion.

An ode to his native Saint-Etienne from the mid-1970s now has a new added significance with the inhabitants of that city facing the wrath in recent years from the hallowed pen of Le Monde and this features a heavy bassline and spoken introduction. The profoundly humanist and universal message behind Lavilliers’ music never found a better vehicle than on the mid-1980s hit ‘Noir et blanc’ that argues in favour of a diverse and cosmopolitan France and the apparent simplicity of the lyrics disguises a far more complex reality. Lavilliers early period as a rocker (and that earned him a reputation as a ‘loubard’ or bad boy) is only fleetingly alluded to on ‘Les barbares’ and ‘Traffic’. He has clearly moved on since then and expanded his horizons. In its place a new social conscience is and the dire consequences of youth and gun culture is explicitly referenced in ‘Petit’. A lavish booklet with full lyrics in French only will delight many a student of French. Another consistently high quality release from a singer who matures like a fine Bordeaux.

Tim Stenhouse

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30th Jun2015

Various ‘A New life. Private, Independent and Youth Jazz in Great Britain 1966-1990′ 2LP/CD/Dig (Jazzman) 4/5

by ukvibe

a-new-lifeThe ongoing search for rare and hitherto unavailable jazz grooves has reached a logical conclusion here with a timely exploration of the lesser known side to British jazz. While the likes of Tubby Hayes, John McLaughlin and co have rightly been eulogised, even these all-time greats had to serve an apprenticeship somewhere and so re-examining the youth aspect of British jazz was always likely to be a win-win situation. So it proves on this excellent overview of the mid-1960s through to 1990 with the usual meticulous attention to detail and lavish illustration that has become a Jazzman release hall-mark. While a single release could never aim to be fully comprehensive, this nonetheless fills in more than the odd gap in our knowledge base and in the process throws up a whole host of jazz musicians, the majority of whom have been woefully neglected. By the 1970s jazz was very much on the retreat in the UK and thus it was left to independent labels to hold the fort. A very US sounding piano vamp greets the listener on the intro to ‘Martini Sweet’ by Joy, a group that makes one think of the Elvin Jones formations on Impulse. This writer especially likes the use of collective brass that included US trumpeter Jim Dvorak. Alongside drummer Keith Bailey, Dvorak co-founded the group in 1973 and the fiery alto saxophone solo comes courtesy of Chris Francis. There is even a slight Strata East independent sounding feel here which is surprising and this reviewer would like to hear more of them. Of any of the names, Graham Collier is one that will ring a bell with some and ‘Darius I’ is a fine piece of jazz fusion with subtle and catchy repetitive electric piano from Geoff Castle and trumpet/flugelhorn from Harry Beckett, a stalwart of the London jazz scene.

What impresses in this selection is the importance of jazz in the regions and the Midlands East and West both seem to have been fertile ground for the development of new jazz talent. In Walsall leader John Hughes founded in 1975 the Walsall Youth Jazz Orchestra and this served as an extremely useful training ground for musicians of the calibre of the Argüelles brothers, Jason and Steve, and Martin Shaw among many others. An interesting selection of a Chick Corea/John Patitucci original from the late 1980s, ‘The Dragon’ is the pretext for an enticing and delicate number that showcases piano and flute and is the most recent recording on the anthology. Moving from west to east, Nottingham did have a famous jazz record shop and Ken Clarke hails from that area too. What is less well-known is the existence of the Nottingham Jazz Orchestra and they offer up a terrific number, ‘Sixes and Severns’ that is part of a larger suite and the Severns in question is a homage to a long-established restaurant that date from medieval times and was re-assembled in the late 1960s. Back to the very heart of the West Midlands and its major city, Birmingham, and we have a group in Polyphony that should have enjoyed a far greater following. From 1973 comes the album title track, ‘Cameo’, the group was the brainchild of former Aston University student and pianist Dave Bristow who invited guitarist Richard Bremner and another member and Polyphony was thus created. The piece is a mainly acoustic number with jazz-rock guitar gently in the background, but never too intrusive. Another mysterious group that we need to know and hear more of. In a downbeat and reflective vein, the group Quincicism offer ‘Trent Park Song’ from 1973 and this includes a lovely soprano saxophone solo from Ken Eley and wordless vocals from Katy Zezerson. Fusion flavours trickle through in parts during the overall listening, but one of the strongest contenders for combining disparate genres is West Country group Indian Highway where flamenco and Wes Montgomery guitar licks seemingly collide in harmonious unison on ‘We Three Kings’. Quite possibly a second volume will be required at some point with Scotland a next potential destination of choice. In the meantime, revel in the rare sounds of UK jazz.

Tim Stenhouse

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