- Enrique Peña “Gris” from Intersticios (ears&eyes) 00:00
- Scottish National Jazz Orchestra “The Very Thought Of You” from Where Rivers Meet (Bandcamp) 05:35
- Dewey Redman “If I Should Lose You” from Living On The Edge (Black Saint) 12:59
- Craig Taborn “Shadow Play” from Shadow Plays (ECM) 21:58
- Gary Eastman “Trust Me” from Trust Me (WMC Records) 40:27
- Shawn Maxwell “A Change of Climate” from Expectation and Experience (Self Released) 47:09
- Shawn Maxwell “Alternative Facts” from Expectation and Experience (Self Released) 48:11
- Philippe Côté with Marc Copland “The Bond” from Bell Tolls Variations (Odd Sound) 53:06
- Philippe Côté with Marc Copland “Alchemy I” from Bell Tolls Variations (Odd Sound) 57:01
- Enrique Peña “Incertidumbre” from Intersticios (ears&eyes) 1:00:38
- Scottish National Jazz Orchestra “Composition 40M” from Where Rivers Meet (Bandcamp) 1:07:22
- Anthony Braxton, Milford Graves & William Parker “First Meeting” from Beyond Quantum (Tzadik) 1:18:05
- Craig Taborn “Bird Templars” from Shadow Plays (ECM) 1:33:42
- Philippe Côté with Marc Copland “Mystery of the Seed” from Fleur Revisited (Odd Sound) 1:50:23
- Enrique Peña “Archipelago” from Intersticios (ears&eyes) 1:56:05
This week new albums from Enrique Pena, Gary Eastman, Shawn Maxwell and Phillip Cote with Marc Copland. Also continuing my look at the recent releases by Craig Taborn and the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra with their suites inspired by Dewey Redman and Anthony Braxton.
The second album as leader from the Colombian guitarist (based in Buenos Aires, Argentina). Unique instrumentation with the bass clarinet as a melody instrument, with a wonderful performance by Inti Sabev; and the flawless participation of double bassist Juan Bayón.
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.”
DEWEY REDMAN SUITE featuring KONRAD WISZNIEWSKI (Tenor Saxophone)
orchestrated by Paul Towndrow
ANTHONY BRAXTON SUITE featuring MARTIN KERSHAW (Clarinet & Alto Saxophone)
orchestrated by Paul Harrison
Dewey Redman – tenor saxophone, alto saxophone
Geri Allen – piano
Cameron Brown – bass
Eddie Moore – drums
Recorded at the A & R Recording Studio in New York City on September 13 & 14, 1989
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.
On Trust Me, Eastman along with organist Greg Lewis and drummer Taru Alexander provide a fresh spin on the classic jazz organ trio with their individual sounds, solos, and inventive interplay. They perform eight of the guitarist’s originals and, while the music swings and grooves soulfully, it is far from predictable. Eastman provides a variety of rich melodies, his chord changes are original, and each of the musicians contributes to the music’s surprising twists and turns.
On Expectation & Experience, his tenth recording as a leader, Chicago-based woodwind specialist Shawn Maxwell is accompanied by almost thirty musicians—but never by more than three on any of its seventeen tracks. Maxwell says the compositions were written during the global Covid-19 pandemic, and the musicians were mustered singly, most in their own homes.
Philippe Côté with Marc Copland
“Variation, recomposition, different viewpoints, respecting original ideas while looking for my own material, and also finding other angles and layers of meaning in my own work: these are all central themes in the creation of this project,” says Montreal-based multireedist and composer Philippe Côté of his new paired album release The Bell Tolls Variations / Fleur Revisited. Playing soprano saxophone and bass clarinet, Côté joins forces with acclaimed pianist Marc Copland on both these evocative multi-movement suites, navigating Côté’s involved orchestrations and undertaking bold improvised flights in synergy with the members of the Quatuor Saguenay String Quartet (formerly Quatuor Alcan).
Recorded at Orange Music Sound Studio in West Orange, New Jersey on May 11, 2008
As close to an allstar power trio as jazz fans can get