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Tori Freestone Trio: El Mar De Nubes

Read "El Mar De Nubes" reviewed by Roger Farbey

The third album by Tori Freestone's trio, following her debut In The Chop House (Whirlwind Recordings, 2014) and follow-up El Barranco (Whirlwind Recordings, 2016) is no less intriguing than its two predecessors. As with El Barranco, she takes her inspiration for El Mar De Nubes from her visits to the Canary Islands and, specifically, from Tenerife's mountainous terrain on its north-eastern corner, at the Mar De Nubes (literally translated as a “Sea of Clouds") with its spectacular, breathtaking vista, as ...

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Partisans: Nit De Nit

Read "Nit De Nit" reviewed by Roger Farbey

Definitely not to be confused with the Welsh punk rock group of the same name (albeit with the added definite article in the title), Partisans have been around for well over two decades. Their debut album Partisans was released jointly under Julian Siegel and Phil Robson's names on the EFZ label in 1997. Since then, as Partisans, they've released Sourpuss (2000), Max (2005) and By Proxy (2009) on the Babel label and more recently, Swamp (2014) on Whirlwind Recordings.

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Jeff Williams: Bloom

Read "Bloom" reviewed by Roger Farbey

In a new departure, Jeff Williams has forsaken the quartet, quintet or sextet configurations of his previous four albums for Whirlwind in favour of this very convincing trio format. In tandem with this slimmed-down enterprise, he's employed a pianist and composer who is undoubtedly a rising star of jazz. Carmen Staaf graduated with a joint degree from Tufts University (Anthropology) and the New England Conservatory (Jazz Performance) and thence became one of Berklee College of Music's youngest faculty members. She's ...

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Scopes: Scopes

Read "Scopes" reviewed by Roger Farbey

Formed in 2018, Scopes comprises a group of musicians hailing from four different European countries, led by Austrian drummer Mathias Ruppnig and German bassist Tom Berkmann. Coincidentally, both leaders have collaborated with Kurt Rosenwinkel and John Hollenbeck. Ruppnig studied or participated in workshops with big jazz names including Kendrick Scott, Peter Erskine, Jimmy Cobb, John Abercrombie, Bob Brookmeyer, Wolfgang Muthspiel and Adam Nussbaum. Berkmann graduated from Manhattan School of Music in New York with a Master of Music degree, where ...

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Seamus Blake: Guardians Of The Heart Machine

Read "Guardians Of The Heart Machine" reviewed by Roger Farbey

Seamus Blake was born in 1970 in London, England but raised in Vancouver, Canada. He studied jazz at Berklee College of Music and following his graduation moved to New York Cit, where he became a fixture on the jazz scene including being a member of the Mingus Big Band. He's played or recorded with Victor Lewis, John Scofield, Chris Cheek, Bill Stewart, Ethan Iverson and Dave Douglas and appeared as a sideman on over 70 albums. In 2017 ...

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Quinsin Nachoff's Flux: Path Of Totality

Read "Path Of Totality" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

Quinsin Nachoff is a saxophonist and composer who draws inspiration from the world around him. The 2017 solar eclipse, the 2016 American presidential election, Kenny Wheeler and John Cage all figured in the creation of the music on Path Of Totality, an ambitious program combining jazz, classical music and prog rock. It is performed by his group Flux, an impressive collection of forward-thinking musicians, Nachoff and David Binney on saxophone, Matt Mitchell on all manner of keyboards and both Kenny ...

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John Turville: Head First

Read "Head First" reviewed by Roger Farbey

Head First is British pianist John Turville's first album in a quintet format. His previous albums Midas (2010) and Conception (2012), both on the F-IRE label, were trio dates and, on his most recent album Red Skies (Splash Point Digital, 2013), he duetted with vocalist Brigitte Beraha. He has also been a member of the Solstice sextet whose album Alimentation (Two Rivers, 2016), featuring Beraha and saxophonist Tori Freestone, was received with critical acclaim. The set opens with ...

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Quinsin Nachoff's Flux: Path Of Totality

Read "Path Of Totality" reviewed by Roger Farbey

The title of Quinsin Nachoff's ambitious double album refers to the August 2017 lunar eclipse, when the moon passed in front of the sun and cast a shadow known as the “path of totality." This event also gave rise to a twin-headed metaphor reflecting both his band's creative evolutionary process and the current political and environmental discord in which (hopefully) light will triumph over darkness. Nachoff's approach is to employ his quartet as a nucleus for the album but also ...

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Jasper Blom Quartet: Polyphony

Read "Polyphony" reviewed by Roger Farbey

Saxophonist Jasper Blom's double album Polyphony, released on Whirlwind, centres around two key elements. Firstly, his long- standing penchant for adding a guest soloist to his quartet, reflected in each disc having its own additional musician. On the first CD there is trumpeter Bert Joris, with whom Blom and his quartet have played for several years, whereas on the second CD, the extra player is Nils Wogram on trombone. The music on both discs was recorded live at Amsterdam's famous ...

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Preston Glasgow Lowe: Something About Rainbows

Read "Something About Rainbows" reviewed by Roger Farbey

Several points of note emanate from this second Preston Glasgow Lowe album which smartly follows-up their eponymous debut album (Whirlwind, 2016). The first is that David Preston still employs his trademark tintinnabulating guitar tone. Then there's Laurie Lowe's drumming which even on a quiet-ish number like “Fumes" is subtly spectacular. “Beat 5" continues in the same vein as its predecessor, but things change dramatically on the title track. If this is jazz shredding then it's of a very ...

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Josephine Davies' Satori: In The Corners Of Clouds

Read "In The Corners Of Clouds" reviewed by Roger Farbey

It's interesting to compare In The Corners Of Clouds with Josephine Davies' previous album simply entitled Satori (Whirlwind, 2017). That live album was recorded at a gig in London in 2016, whereas In The Corners Of Clouds was recorded at Buffalo Studios, London in February 2018. The line-up has changed slightly too with Paul Clarvis replaced by James Maddren on drums, but essentially both share the attributes of consistent inventiveness. The serpentine, Eastern-inflected “Wabi Sabi" catches and holds ...

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Ingrid Jensen and Steve Treseler: Invisible Sounds: For Kenny Wheeler

Read "Invisible Sounds: For Kenny Wheeler" reviewed by Roger Farbey

The trumpeter Kenny Wheeler who died on 18 September 2014, aged 84, was one of the true greats of jazz but one who never quite attained the popular recognition that some of his contemporaries achieved. Nevertheless, to his peers and audiences around the world he was an international treasure. Born in Canada in 1930, Wheeler moved to England in 1952, playing with a variety of bands including, notably, John Dankworth's orchestra with whom he recorded the first album of his ...