Jazz (December 2018)

hfnalbum.pngWayne Shorter
Blue Note 6714396 (three discs); 6714397 (3LP + 3CD box)

The saxophone legend's Without A Net included live-on-tour quartet tracks, but its centrepiece was 'Pegasus' with The Imani Winds. Just as the album was released in Feb '13, the quartet joined the Orpheus CO to perform 'Pegasus' and three other extended works by Shorter, first at Carnegie Hall, then in the studio, as you'll hear on CD1 here. Quartet-only explorations of 'Lotus', 'Prometheus Unbound' and 'The Three Marias' are among six subsequent 'live in London' tracks that make up discs 2 and 3. Included in the package, and the newest part of it, is a graphic novel penned by Shorter and drawn by Randy DuBurke. A significant release, but a weighty investment unless you're a dedicated fan. SH


Camilla George
The People Could Fly
Ubuntu Music UBU0015; LP: UBULP0015

Here London-based saxophonist Camilla George digs into her African heritage and references a favourite childhood story, in which people who knew magic could 'fly like blackbirds over the fields'. Unchanged since 2016's Isang, her hardworking quartet again has the brilliant Sarah Tandy on piano, Daniel Casimir on bass and Femi Koleoso on drums, but on three numbers we also hear distinctive guitarist Shirley Tetteh, from the great all-girl septet Nérija. Guest drummer Winston Clifford clanks chains on 'The Most Useful Slave' and Omar Lye-Fook adds the vocal on Curtis Mayfield's 'Here But I'm Gone' to close a thought-provoking and uplifting album. SH


All About That Basie
The Count Basie Orchestra/Scotty Barnhart
Concord Jazz CJA00109

To start with, Take Six soar over the 1955 arrangement on 'Every Day I Have The Blues', while 'April In Paris' is refreshed by organist Joey DeFrancesco, and Kurt Elling takes on the Sinatra role in 'Don't Worry 'Bout Me'. But to a mix of Basie classics, CBO leader Scotty Barnhart stirs in skilfully re-arranged pop tunes. Earth, Wind & Fire's 'Can't Hide Love' becomes a vehicle for trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, 'Tequila' one for trumpeter Jon Faddis. There are tributes to Leonard Cohen ('Hallelujah') and Adele ('Hello') while 'My Cherie Amour' has harmonica from Stevie himself. Barnhart and the CBO are heirs to an amazing legacy, and they're looking after it. SH


Omar Sosa & Yilian Cañizares
Otá Records OTA1032

Born in Cuba but living in Switzerland since 2000, the astonishing Yilian Cañizares began as a classical violinist before taking inspiration from Stephane Grappelli and mixing jazz, classical and Cuban-African influences in her own spectacular singing and playing style. But she's somehow shifted a gear in joining the celebrated pianist Omar Sosa, a Cuban expatriate of an older generation. Their music here seems ambient in effect though it's really deeply meditative, starting from the theme of water and its fundamental significance for all life. Self-produced by the duo in Italy, this album has sonics that are spacious as if full of light. It's just gorgeous. SH