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Bob Downes Open Music: A Blast From The Past

Read "A Blast From The Past" reviewed by Roger Farbey

The only (slight) problem with this album is its rather whimsical title which considerably undersells its significance. In his long career, Bob Downes has made some substantial contributions to jazz and improvised music, and this album is an important addition to his discography. Comprised of previously-unreleased archival pieces dating back to the 1970s, Downes can be ...

Jean Toussaint Allstar 6tet: Brother Raymond

Read "Brother Raymond" reviewed by Roger Farbey

Jean Toussaint, a graduate of Berklee College of Music and an alumnus of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers has assembled a veritable all-star cast for his follow-up to Tate Song (Lyte Records, 2014). Even more remarkable is the permutation of personnel, which, other than Toussaint himself, changes on most tracks, affording a different perspective to the selections. ...

Dave Manington's Riff Raff: Challenger Deep

Read "Challenger Deep" reviewed by Roger Farbey

Dave Manington's third album as leader is an intriguing one. It defies the listener's expectations as it progress through its titles. For example, the Chick Corea /Flora Purim-esque opening to “Dr. Octopus" may lead the listener into false assumptions of the Latin kind. Similarly, the ensuing title track, including Tom Challenger's Albert Ayler-like tenor wails and ...

Gordon Beck: Jubilation! Trios, Quartets and Septets In Session 1964-1984

Read "Jubilation! Trios, Quartets and Septets In Session 1964-1984" reviewed by Roger Farbey

For this 3 CD box set, the estate of Gordon Beck, who died on 6 November 2011 aged 76, granted access to Beck's collection of analogue tapes of live and some studio performances. None of these recordings has ever been previously released. Beck was indubitably one of Britain's finest jazz pianists. He recorded on three key ...

Dinosaur: Wonder Trail

Read "Wonder Trail" reviewed by Roger Farbey

This is the long-awaited follow-up to Dinosaur's 2016 debut album Together, As One. But the de facto debut by this quartet actually took place on Laura Jurd's first, highly inventive, album Landing Ground released in 2012 on the Chaos Collective label, which she co-founded. In 2015 she released a second album under her own name, the ...

Billy Jenkins: Ghost Music

Read "Ghost Music" reviewed by Roger Farbey

Ghost Music is Billy Jenkins's download-only follow-up to Death, Ritual & Resonation: Eight Improvised Studies On Low Strung Guitar (VOTP, 2015). It takes a similar tack to its predecessor inasmuch as it is entirely improvised; however the guitar is missing, replaced by piano. Jenkins last used a piano on his vinyl-only album Piano Sketches 1973-84 (Wood ...

Gene Jackson Trio Nu Yorx: Power Of Love

Read "Power Of Love" reviewed by Roger Farbey

Born in Philadelphia in 1961, Gene Jackson had already determined by his late teens to become a professional drummer. He attended Berklee College of Music where his classmates numbered Branford Marsalis, Cindy Blackman, Terri Lyne Carrington and Jeff “Tain" Watts to name just a few. He's worked with many major players in jazz including Dave Holland, ...

Spirit Fingers: Spirit Fingers

Read "Spirit Fingers" reviewed by Roger Farbey

This is the debut album and brainchild of leader, pianist and composer Greg Spero, an undeniably gifted pianist and composer who has been mentored by fellow keyboardists and Miles Davis alumni Robert Irving III and Herbie Hancock. The musicians Spero assembled for his project amount to a veritable supergroup in terms of their prodigious talent. The ...

Martin Speake: Intention

Read "Intention" reviewed by Roger Farbey

Celebrating his 60th birthday in April 2018, Martin Speake has been a stalwart of the British jazz scene for some forty years, initially playing with the saxophone quartet Itchy Fingers. He is lead alto saxophonist in the redoubtable London Jazz Orchestra and his teaching duties extend to Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and London's ...

Jeff Williams: Lifelike

Read "Lifelike" reviewed by Roger Farbey

Based in London and Brooklyn, drummer Jeff Williams is a busy man. In addition to gigging and recording with his own group he currently teaches at the Royal Academy Of Music and at the Birmingham Conservatoire in the UK. This is Williams's fourth album for Whirlwind since his debut on the label with 2011's Another Time ...