World of Jazz 464

  • Scottish National Jazz Orchestra “Lonely Women” from Where Rivers Meet (Bandcamp) 00:00
  • The Ornette Coleman Trio “European Echoes” from At The “Golden Circle” Stockholm – Volume One (Blue Note) 11:49
  • Mike Gibbs “Five For England” from Revisiting Tanglewood 63: The Early Tapes (Jazz In Britain) 20:16
  • Farnell Newton “A Child Not Yet Born” from Feel The Love (Posi-tone) 30:28
  • Craig Taborn “Now In Hope” from Shadow Plays (ECM) 36:02
  • Scottish National Jazz Orchestra “Ghosts” from Where Rivers Meet (Bandcamp) 42:13
  • Albert Ayler “For John Coltrane” from In Greenwich Village (Impulse!) 1:00:35
  • John Coltrane “Kulu Se Mama (Juno Se Mama)” from Kulu Se Mama (Impulse!) 1:14:09
  • Farnell Newton “Feel The Love” from Feel The Love (Posi-tone) 1:33:20
  • Craig Taborn “Conspiracy Of Things” from Shadow Plays (ECM) 1:37:54
  • Mike Gibbs “Tangelwood ’63” from Revisiting Tanglewood ’63 (Jazz In Britain) 1:43:22
  • Farnell Newton “Pale” from Feel The Love (Posi-tone) 1:54:51

On this weeks show new releases from Craig Taborn and Farnell Newton plus some classic ’70s jazz from Britain with a recent release from Mike Gibbs. There is also a look at the new album from the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra which in part includes music influenced by pioneering saxophonists. I am also featuring tracks from the musicians they honour on that release, Albert Ayler and Ornette Coleman.

Scottish National Jazz Orchestra

A twenty-fifth anniversary release and music from its acclaimed concert series, Where Rivers Meet is released through Bandcamp.In a move that reflects the change in the way the public consumes music, the orchestra is making Where Rivers Meet available through the internet music company as a download four months ahead of the physical release on CD.

Where Rivers Meet itself is a product of Covid times. A celebration of the free-spirited, blues and gospel-influenced jazz that reflected the turbulent times in America during the 1960s, the concert series was staged online from the 12th century St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh in May during the SNJO’s silver jubilee year.

Orchestra founder-director, saxophonist Tommy Smith says: “The setting of St Giles was really inspiring. It’s just unfortunate that we couldn’t have an audience with us to share the event due to the Covid restrictions at the time. Everyone in the orchestra really put their hearts and souls into the music, however, and we’re really happy with the results.”

Where Rivers Meet comprises four suites dedicated to pioneering saxophonists Albert Ayler, Anthony Braxton, Ornette Coleman and Dewey Redman and arranged by Paul Harrison, Paul Towndrow, Tommy Smith and Geoffrey Keezer. Saxophonists Martin Kershaw, Konrad Wiszniewski, Paul Towndrow and Tommy Smith are the featured soloists and the project has already enjoyed critical acclaim.

London Jazz News described Wiszniewski’s contribution as “beguiling” and remarked on the arrangement of Dewey’s Tune from the Redman suite as providing “a prime example of big band bounce.” And leading jazz blog Bebop Spoken Here found Towndrow’s interpretation and execution of Coleman’s compositions “triumphant.”

While recognising that there is still an appetite for physical copies of recordings, Tommy Smith regards the association with Bandcamp in making Where Rivers Meet available online as an exciting step forward. Smith is also appreciative of the support that audiences have shown for the SNJO over its twenty-five-year history.

“It’s been a quick quarter of a century,” he says. “One hundred seasons have cycled through their revolutions, and the SNJO have followed similar curvaceous evolutions during our short stint on the earth. We hope that Scotland’s connectivity and pathways become stronger so that musicians have a stable future and a strong voice in the country we call home. Many thanks for supporting the art and allowing us to play for you. You never know what the wind will bring.”

ORNETTE COLEMAN SUITE featuring PAUL TOWNDROW
orchestration Tommy Smith

• Lonely Woman
• Peace
• Broadway Blues

ALBERT AYLER SUITE featuring TOMMY SMITH
orchestration Geoffrey Keezer

• Ghosts
• Goin’ Home (Dvořák)
• When The Saints Go Marching In (James M. Black)

Orchestra members :

Martin Kershaw clarinet & alto saxophone
Paul Towndrow alto saxophone
Tommy Smith tenor saxophone
Konrad Wiszniewski tenor saxophone
Bill Fleming bass clarinet & baritone saxophone
Jim Davison lead trumpet
James Copus trumpet & flügelhorn
Christos Stylinades trumpet & flügelhorn
Kieran McLeod lead trombone
Liam Shortall trombone
Michael Owers bass trombone
Pete Johnstone piano
Calum Gourlay acoustic bass
Alyn Cosker drums

Ornette Coleman

At the “Golden Circle” Stockholm is a live album in two volumes by the Ornette Coleman Trio, documenting concerts on the nights of December 3 and 4, 1965, at the Gyllene Cirkeln jazz club in Stockholm. Both volumes were released in early 1966. This marked the beginning of Coleman’s contract with Blue Note after he left Atlantic Records. The music has been described as “brilliant, optimistic closely unified thematic improvisations”.

Ornette Coleman — alto saxophone, violin, trumpet
David Izenzon — double bass
Charles Moffett — drums

Albert Ayler

At the urging of John Coltrane, Impulse! Records’ first recordings of Ayler were made live. A single track recorded at the Village Gate in 1965 was released on the album The New Wave in Jazz and Albert Ayler in Greenwich Village was recorded at the Village Vanguard and Village Theatre, New York City in 1966 and 1967. Unusually, Ayler plays alto rather than his more usual tenor on the opening track, a tribute to Coltrane, who was present when the two tracks on side two of the album were recorded. The two versions of Ayler’s band heard on the record both feature two bass players, which “sharpens the sound considerably, producing a rock-solid foundation for Ayler’s raw witness”.

Albert Ayler – alto saxophone, tenor saxophone
Donald Ayler – trumpet
Bill Folwell – bass
Joel Friedman – cello
Henry Grimes – bass
Beaver Harris – drums
Michel Sampson – violin
Alan Silva – bass

John Coltrane

The track “Kulu Sé Mama (Juno Sé Mama)” was written by Juno Lewis, who had met Coltrane through a mutual friend four days prior to the recording session. Lewis was a drummer, drum maker, singer, and composer based in Los Angeles. According to Jon Thurber of the Los Angeles Times, Lewis “showed Coltrane his long work, ‘Kulu Se Mama,’ a lengthy autobiographical poem that reflected his pride in his ancestors and strong sense of tradition… Coltrane invited Lewis into a Los Angeles studio to join Coltrane’s regular band” for the recording session. “Kulu Sé Mama (Juno Sé Mama)” marked Lewis’ first appearance on a recording. He sang in “an Afro-Creole dialect he cites as Entobes” and played “Juolulu, water drums, the Dome Dahka, and… bells and a conch shell.”

The rest of the band

John Coltrane — tenor saxophone
Pharoah Sanders — tenor saxophone, percussion
McCoy Tyner — piano
Jimmy Garrison — double bass
Donald Rafael Garrett — clarinet, double bass, percussion (#1, 4)
Frank Butler —drums, vocals
Elvin Jones — drums

Mike Gibbs

Reissued June 2021 recordings from May and November 1970

On Five for England

Nigel Carter, Henry Lowther, Harry Beckett – trumpet
Chris Pyne, Mike Gibbs – trombone
Dick Hart – tuba
Alan Skidmore, Tony Roberts, Stan Sulzmann – saxophone/flute
Chris Spedding – guitar
Mick Pyne – piano, organ
Roy Babbington – bass, bass guitar
Jeff Clyne – bass
John Marshall, Clive Thacker – drums
Frank Ricotti – percussion

On Tanglewood ’63

Henry Lowther, Harry Beckett – trumpet
Malcolm Griffiths, Mike Gibbs – trombone
Dick Hart – tuba
Tony Roberts, Stan Sulzmann, Jim Phillip – woodwind/reeds
Chris Spedding – guitar
Mick Pyne – piano
Roy Babbington – bass guitar
John Marshall – drums
Frank Ricotti – percussion

Farnell Newton

Emotional integrity is the keynote address when Farnell Newton plays his trumpet with heartfelt and hopeful expressiveness entreating us to “Feel the Love.” As this 2021 album covers a wide range of moods and genres, Newton’s trumpet playing remains steadily focused on portraying the subtle and tasteful elements of his style. He pushes melodicism to the forefront while also demonstrating his formidable command of the instrument. The whole album is truly a labour of love.

To make this happen, Newton travelled east from Portland Oregon to New York City, to work with Posi-Tone and their capable rhythm section of pianist Art Hirahara, bassist Boris Kozlov, and drummers Rudy Royston and Joe Strasser. The album also features wonderful guest appearances from several of Farnell’s favorite saxophonists, including Jaleel Shaw, Braxton Cook, Brandon Wright, and Patrick Cornelius. With an amazing combination of diverse talents, several brilliant performances, and an evocative program of musical compositions, Farnell Newton keeps everything moving steadily straight forward, and continues to announce he is an important and emerging voice on today’s jazz scene.

The core band is

Farnell Newton – trumpet
Art Hirahara – piano
Boris Kozlov – bass
Rudy Royston – drums & percussion/

with Joe Strasser – Drums and Brandon Wright on tenor on A Child Not Yet Born

and Jaleel Shaw – alto and Michael Dease – trombone on Pale

Craig Taborn

Ten years have passed since Craig Taborn’s Avenging Angel album was released, bringing strikingly fresh ideas to the solo piano idiom. “It reflects Mr Taborn’s galactically-broad interests,” said the New York Times, “along with his multifaceted technique,” while the Guardian saluted Craig’s “world of whispered, wide-spaced figures, ringing overtones, evaporating echoes and glowering contrapuntal cascades”.

In the interim Taborn has appeared in ECM contexts large and small. We’ve heard him in his trio with Thomas Morgan and Gerald Cleaver on Chants and in his Daylight Ghosts quartet with Chris Speed, Chris Lightcap and Dave King. He’s played piano duets with Vijay Iyer on The Transitory Poems, performed Ches Smith’s music on The Bell, contributed to Roscoe Mitchell’s AACM tribute Bells for the South Side, and to Chris Potter’s music for ensemble and strings on Imaginary Cities. Alongside all of these activities, the solo music has continued to gather strength.

Over the last decade Taborn has refined and developed his approach, attaining new high ground with Shadow Plays. For Craig the recording is “part of the same continuum as Avenging Angel. Where that was a studio recording, this one is live, but that process of spontaneous composition goes onward.” The new album is a stunning live recital from the Mozart-Saal of the Wiener Konzerthaus, where the programme was headlined Avenging Angel II. In this fully improvised concert, Craig explores sounds and silences, swirling colours, densities and forms, creating new music with both poetic imagination and an iron grip on his material. His control of his craft as he unerringly creates narratives and structures from the hint of a revealed pattern, following where intuition and experience lead him, is extraordinary.

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