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Articles by John Sharpe

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jonas Cambien Trio: We Must Mustn't We

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Why change a winning formula? Norwegian-based Belgian pianist Jonas Cambien maintains his run of success with We Must Mustn't We, the follow-up to the excellent A Zoology of the Future (Clean Feed, 2016) by the same trio, comprising reedman André Roligheten and drummer Andreas Wildhagen. Cambien presents the same distinctive mixture of lurching rhythms, unusual saxophone timbres and imaginative percussive textures across a program of 12 cuts. They sound like no-one else. Most of the tracks are short ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Matt Piet & His Disorganization: Rummage Out

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Perhaps it was pianist Matt Piet's appearances with esteemed reedman Dave Rempis on the co-operative Hit The Ground Running (Aerophonic, 2016) which first started to garner him attention, but he is certainly beginning to gain a reputation in his own right, a trend which can only be furthered by the release of Rummage Out. Piet set aside his classical studies to focus on jazz during his stint at Berklee College of Music and, since his return to his native Chicago ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Nasheet Waits Equality: Between Nothingness And Infinity

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Here's one that almost got away. There's so much good new music issued now that it can be hard to keep track even within a single genre. Of course that's part of the reason websites like All About Jazz exist: they help with the filtering. Drummer Nasheet Waits' stellar Equality Quartet gave one of the standout sets at the 2018 Vision Festival, featuring the line up and material from this album which came out unheralded in 2016 on the French ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Alexander von Schlippenbach / Globe Unity Orchestra: Globe Unity - 50 Years

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The internet. Mobile phones. Social media. The Fall of the Berlin Wall. A lot's happened over the last 50 years. When pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach first assembled the Globe Unity Orchestra in the autumn of 1966, John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk still walked the earth. The GUO was one of the first expressions of a truly European style not beholden to such American forebears, part of what eminent jazz scholar Ekkehard Jost termed the Emanzipation. In an incredible ...

IN PICTURES

Brighton Alternative Jazz Festival 2018

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The third Brighton Alternative Jazz Festival took place over six separate days in October, but the undoubted centerpiece was the day long series of concerts held in St. Luke's Church on Saturday 13 October in front of a healthy-sized audience. Adventurous programming embraced a range of styles which taken together gave a well-rounded definition of what alternative jazz might encompass. The music consistently soared amid the resonant acoustics of the church. The day began with Manchester-based Adam ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Not Two...But Twenty! Festival

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Not Two...But Twenty! Festival Wlen, Poland September 21-23, 2018 Intro There are some things worth celebrating in style, one of them being marked persistence in the face of adversity. That pretty much describes the continued existence of any jazz record label in these straitened times. To mark its 20th anniversary, Not Two Records convened an unprecedented line up of thirteen musicians from nine countries for a three day festival in the small village ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Thomas Heberer / Yoni Kretzmer / Christian Weber: Big

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On a preliminary scan of the album sleeve, the instrumentation suggests chamber jazz, while the collective genesis of the six pieces suggests free jazz or free improv. But that tells only part of the story. In fact what German-born, NYC-based trumpeter Thomas Heberer (Nu Band, ICP Orchestra), Israeli saxophonist now resident in Brooklyn Yoni Kretzmer (Outnow label boss, 2 Bass Quartet, Five) and Swiss bassist Christian Weber (Michael Wollny, Lisa Allemano) demonstrate is a keenly honed unity of purpose which ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ramon Lopez: Threefold

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A quick glance at the discography of Spanish drummer Ramon Lopez reveals a musician steeped in diversity, both geographical and stylistic. It's striking that so few of his releases share the same line up, notwithstanding his enduring partnership with pianist Agusti Fernandez. So perhaps it's no surprise that on Threefold he pilots the debut of a multinational trio completed by British trumpeter Percy Pursglove and Polish acoustic bass guitarist Rafal Mazur. The association with Pursglove stems from the involvement of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kyoko Kitamura's Tidepool Fauna: Protean Labyrinth

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For her second leadership outing following Armadillo In Sunset Park (self produced, 2012), vocalist Kyoko Kitamura assembles a group which she calls Tidepool Fauna. And giving the group an identity seems entirely appropriate as what they create is very much an ensemble music. That's made all the easier by having such accomplished talents as saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and bassist Ken Filiano on board, and drummer Dayeon Seok confirms that she is at home in such company too. Kitamura herself might ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rodrigo Amado: A History Of Nothing

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In A History Of Nothing, Portuguese saxophonist Rodrigo Amado helms a stunning lesson in group interchange and shifting dynamics on five seat-of-the-pants excursions. Captured in a studio in the midst of a European tour, the album reunites the reedman with the starry crew responsible for This Is Our Language (NotTwo, 2015), namely veteran multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee, bassist Kent Kessler and drummer Chris Corsano. In doing so it presents four musicians at the top of their game.If the last ...