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The Darius Brubeck Quartet: Live In Poland

Read "Live In Poland" reviewed by Chris May

Early on in his career, the pianist Darius Brubeck bowed to the inevitable. Accepting that he was always going to be compared to his father, Dave Brubeck, he both embraced his heritage and sidelined it. In the 1970s, embracing it, he was a member of Two Generations Of Brubeck and The New Brubeck Quartet, groups which played original material but had audiences who came along mainly to hear performances of tunes written by or associated with Brubeck père: “(It's A) ...

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Dave O'Higgins & Rob Luft: Plays Monk & Trane

Read "Plays Monk & Trane" reviewed by Chris May

Hearing the young British guitarist Rob Luft for the first time on his debut album, Riser (Edition, 2017), was rather like hearing American guitarist Johnny Smith for the first time on Moonlight In Vermont (Roost, 1956). You knew you were listening to something special. And while much separates the players' styles, much unites them, too: Smith's signature was long-form chorded passages, Luft's is effervescent single-note runs, but both approaches are intensely melodic and are enabled by virtuosic techniques, lightly worn. ...

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Quentin Collins Sextet: Road Warrior

Read "Road Warrior" reviewed by Chris May

Hard-bop with a modern twist from the British trumpeter Quentin Collins, who is probably best known for his work with the Kyle Eastwood Band and who leads his own transatlantic group on Road Warrior. The frontline is completed by two British-based saxophonists, Leo Richardson on tenor and Meilana Gillard on alto. The rhythm section is out of New York: pianist Dan Nimmer, bassist Joe Sanders and drummer Willie Jones III. The international set-up is reinforced by producer Jean Toussaint, a ...

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Paul Booth: Travel Sketches

Read "Travel Sketches" reviewed by Chris May

The intense media interest surrounding the rise of the British woke jazz movement is welcome, but it is increasingly monopolising local bandwidth. Great British jazz which adheres more closely to the founding American tradition is becoming sidelined. Babies and bathwater come to mind. One of the few British labels looking at the 360-degree picture is Ubuntu Music, on which tenor saxophonist Paul Booth's Travel Sketches is released. Ubuntu—the label's name is taken from the Southern African word meaning ...

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Leo Richardson Quartet: Move

Read "Move" reviewed by Roger Farbey

The follow-up to Leo Richardson's debut album The Chase (Ubuntu, 2018) reveals that the tenor man is no one-trick pony. These fifty minutes of hard bop further demonstrate that, in addition to being a composer of well-constructed, memorable tunes, Richardson is also rapidly emerging as one of the UK's top saxophonists. At odds with its subtly ironic title, “The Demise" is actually a sprightly, upbeat number which instantly grabs the listener's attention; Richardson's ebullient tenor naturally takes centre ...

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Mark Kavuma: The Banger Factory

Read "The Banger Factory" reviewed by Roger Farbey

The Banger Factory, the follow-up to Mark Kavuma's debut album Kavuma (Ubuntu, 2018) is no less impressive than its predecessor. The title derives from the name of the band that Kavuma leads, which plays regularly at the Prince of Wales (aka POW) venue in Brixton, London. Deschanel Gordon's pensive piano introduction, evoking shades of McCoy Tyner in its expansiveness, heralds the ensemble start proper to “Dear K.D.," a tune dedicated to Kenny Dorham. Kavuma's initial feisty trumpet solo makes its ...

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Mark Kavuma: The Banger Factory

Read "The Banger Factory" reviewed by Chris May

An associate of the Tomorrow's Warriors and Kinetika Bloco community projects through whose ranks have passed practically all the leading musicians in London's woke-jazz world, trumpeter Mark Kavuma stands a little apart from many of his peers. While the new London scene is characterized by hefty infusions of modern Caribbean and African music and London club styles, reflecting the cultural heritages and lived experiences of the majority of its vanguard players, the core strand of Kavuma's music is foursquare in ...


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