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Articles by Roger Farbey

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Line Matter: In Motion

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The hauntingly memorable melody to “Into The Woods," one of five tracks on In Motion written by Jonathan Moore, is enhanced by the guitarist's subtle yet assured technique which recalls the likes of Bill Frisell and Pat Metheny. Moore's opening salvo is hotly pursued by Francesco Acanfora, adding a confident tenor solo. Whilst the second and third tracks, respectively, “Walking In Circles" and Sebastien Jego's composition “Fanny" are both gently lyrical, there's a palpable sea-change in mood with ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Donny McCaslin: Blow

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At first listen, Blow sounds more like a rock album than a jazz one. The catchy “What About The Body" could arguably be mistaken for one of King Crimson's more vituperative numbers featuring Adrian Belew. Ryan Dahle's emotionally-charged vocals are equally at the forefront of the explosive “Club Kidd." But the selection also includes three instrumental tracks too, such as the grungy, anthemic “Break The Bond," the polyrhythmic “Beast," and “Exactlyfourminutesofimprovisedmusic" (which speaks for itself) all underpinned by Tim Lefebvre's ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Phronesis: We Are All

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The incendiary playing on the opener “One For Us" augurs well for the rest of this, the eighth album by Phronesis. Their previous CD, The Behemoth was released in 2017 to widespread critical acclaim. It seems incredible that Jasper Høiby's brainchild has racked up so many consistently excellent recordings to date. Ivo Neame's “Matrix For D.A." opens with elliptical piano-phrases vying with equally curt percussion, but the duet is rapidly joined by pizzicato bass to balance the piece. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Michael Gibbs With The Gary Burton Quartet: Festival 69

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On the first two discs of this previously unreleased three CD set, recorded at a single concert on 20th November 1969, the music is regularly punctuated by Gary Burton's announcement tracks, which are not always easily intelligible. However, his announcement preceding Steve Swallow's joyously rousing “Portsmouth Configurations" (actually “Portsmouth Figurations," from the 1967 RCA studio album Duster) is clear enough to discern that it features drummer Bill Goodwin, but Burton doesn't mention, as implied on the inner sleeve annotations, the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

New York All-Stars featuring Eric Alexander And Harold Mabern: Burnin' In London

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Who would have thought that in this day and age a contemporary hard-bop / post-bop live CD could sound so good? Recorded live at London's Pizza Express Jazz Club on 20th and 21st November 2017 this little gem qualifies as a winner for the sheer visceral excitement conjured-up by its four participants. Senior partner in the band is veteran pianist Harold Mabern, registering a sprightly 81 years at the time of recording, whose playing here is absolutely incandescent. His former ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tom Barford: Bloomer

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The Kenny Wheeler Jazz Prize, founded in 2011, is awarded each year to a young artist who demonstrates excellence in both performance and composition, selected from all graduating jazz musicians at the Royal Academy of Music. The prestigious prize includes a release of the artist's proposed recording on Edition Records. Thus it is that the 2017 winner of this highly sought-after prize, Tom Barford, who graduated from the RAM with first class honours, was able to record this, his debut ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kate Westbrook: GRANITE

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Over the years, Kate Westbrook has recorded an impressive number of albums with her husband Mike; from 1975's For The Record onwards. She's released a clutch under her own name too, including Good-Bye Peter Lorre (2005), Cuff Clout (2004) and The Nijinska Chamber (2006)--all on Voiceprint Records. Without doubt, her vocal delivery is stylised and idiosyncratic, arguably reminding listeners of renowned German interwar cabaret and theatrical singers such as Lotte Lenya and Marlene Dietrich. However, she's not just a one ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chet Baker: Live In London Volume II

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Somewhat incredibly, these sessions from 1983 were recorded on a domestic audio cassette recorder. The John Horler Trio was employed to back Chet Baker on his six consecutive nights at The Canteen in London, a short-lived jazz venue in the heart of the City. Jim Richardson, bassist on these dates, gained Baker's permission to record these sessions and although the tapes were only intended for personal enjoyment, they have now been painstakingly restored for the benefit of everyone.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bansangu Orchestra: Bansangu Orchestra

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The eponymously titled Bansangu Orchestra is the brainchild of British saxophonist Paul Booth, guitarist Giorgio Serci and trumpeter Kevin Robinson. Booth, who is the band's musical director, has played and recorded with Steve Winwood, Eric Clapton, and Snowboy, and from the jazz world, Michael Janisch, Sax Appeal, The Mike Garrick Big Band and Tim Garland's Northern Underground Orchestra to name just a few. Booth's multi-layered “Cross Channel" kicks off proceedings and both Steve Fishwick on trumpet and Booth ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kamasi Washington: Heaven & Earth

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Taking inspiration from his 2017 release Harmony Of Difference, Kamasi Washington has once again employed the use of strings and choir on this gargantuan release. The sonic augmentation has the effect of rendering many of the tracks like a cross between John Coltrane and Carl Orff or perhaps Sun Ra and Sir Karl Jenkins. Granted there's been a terrific amount of hype surrounding Heaven And Earth but there is justification for this inasmuch as the whole work delivers ...