This is Malija's successor to their 2015 debut album The Day I Had Everything. The trio first played together on Mark Lockheart's album but that was in a quintet configuration with trumpet and drums. The three protagonists in this affair are now very well-known on the European jazz scene. Mark Lockheart, an alumnus of Loose Tubes, has made numeruous albums under his ow name and in collaboration. The Danish bassist Jasper Hoiby is leader of the renowned trio Phronesis and Liam Noble, like Lockheart, has been a stalwart of the U.K.jazz scene for years.
For those unfamiliar with Malija's sound, it might take a couple of tracks to get used to it, but the labyrinthine twists and turns of "Kindred Spirit" manifest an accurate template for the ensuing nine tracks. The serpentine, sprightly "TV Shoes" alternates between harmonic and unison melodies and yet by the close it has resolved into a real swinger, fading into the distance.
Høiby's "Hung Up" benefits from a perceptible groove, established courtesy of an obligato piano and bass figure. Subtle pizzicato bass and delicate piano frame the background for Lockheart's soaring soprano saxophone on "Mila." Noble's "Panda Feathers" has an airy Brubeckian feel, perhaps unsurprisingly so since Noble released a highly acclaimed album of Brubeck tunes in 2009. Høiby's arco bass leads on Lockheart's lugubrious composition "Sanctuary" which is sharply contrasted by the ensuing lively "Elegantly Posh" again penned by Lockheart.
Messrs Lockheart, Høiby and Noble have again conjured-up an album of fascinating and often mesmeric tunes, all of which are seamlessly interwoven originals. As earlier drummer-less trios have proved (those led by Jimmy Giuffrewere a perfect example), these work on a different intellectual level, more cerebral and less visceral, perhaps requiring a little more attention from the listener, but in so doing yield greater dividends.
Track Listing: Kindred Spirit; TV Shoes; Hung Up; A Wing And A Prayer; Moon Stairs; Mila; Panda
Feathers; Sanctuary; Elegantly Posh; Spaced Out.
Personnel: Mark Lockheart: soprano and tenor saxophones; Jasper Høiby: double bass; Liam
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone. Feet in the dirt, or barefoot on a stage with sequins--it's soul beats in my chest.
I was first exposed to jazz while others listened to surf music in the '50s and '60s, it was Monk, Miles, Satchmo and Ella, Rosemary Clooney and Julie London followed. Margaret Whiting, Les McCann, Willie Bobo, Andy Simpkins, Snooky Young, Bill Basie and Helen Humes. The first time I heard Topsy, Take 2, I about passed out at the age of ten.
I've hung with Les McCann who more than 30 years after our first meeting became my duet partner on my CD, Don't Go To Strangers. Karen Hernandez from the start, Jack Le Compte on drums, Lou Shoch on bass, Steve Rawlins as my arranger and pianist, Grant Geissman - guitar genius, Nolan Shaheed, Richard Simon, and more. The big boys. My Red Hot Papas. The best show I ever attended was...
I met Helen Humes first back in 1981 and helped turn one Playboy Jazz Festival night into her tribute, bring the Basie Band to stage, her joy boys. Before she took the stage for the last time to sing, If I could Be With You One Hour Tonight thousands of copies of the newspaper I wrote for carried her story. It was kismet, her being held by Joe Williams backstage. Soon in my life were the great Linda Hopkins who told me I sang the song she wrote better than her, which floored me of course, the energizing Barbara Morrison and the stellar Marilyn Maye who guided me professionally.
My advice to new listeners... let your backbone slip and feel your body stripping back the barriers that prevent us from being one with the music.
Remember none of us are strangers, we just haven't met yet.