Jazz, February 2020

hfnalbum.pngMarius Neset/London Sinfonietta
ACT Music ACT 9048-2

An unrivalled master of his instrument, the Norwegian saxophonist is also a remarkable composer. This second collaboration with the London Sinfonietta and conductor Geoffrey Paterson follows his 2016 Snowmelt project and was a commission for the 2018 Kongsberg Jazzfestival. Speaking of Snowmelt, Neset said that the three words in his mind before he started writing were 'acrobatic, virtuosity, romantic' and maybe that still applies. He chose the name Viaduct to connote 'a connection to different musical ideas... how you go from one world to another'. He runs the gamut of 20th century art music, and jazz rhythms too, with the Sinfonietta players rising brilliantly to the most extreme demands. SH


Charles Lloyd Quartet
Montreux Jazz Festival 1967
TCB Music 02462 (two discs)

By the time he appeared at the first Montreux Jazz Festival, Lloyd's quartet had become the one jazz group that could reach rock audiences in the Summer of Love. They could get exploratory and 'progressive' on 'Sweet Georgia Bright', or become dreamily psychedelic on 'Love Ship'. Alongside Lloyd's always intriguing tenor sax, and his weaker but somehow appropriate flute, you get amazing playing from the youthful Keith Jarrett, eg, in his Tatumesque intro and fabulous solo on 'Love Song For A Baby'. The long-running Swiss Radio Days series has brought us many gems from the broadcaster's vaults, but this 1967 one is really special. SH


Jean Toussaint Allstar 6Tet
Live At The Jazz Cafe 091218
Lyte Records LR049 (two discs)

Saxophonist Jean Toussaint spent four years with Art Blakey in the 1980s before moving to the UK. He's followed Blakey's precepts ever since, encouraging young talent and always putting on a great show. Alongside trumpeter Byron Wallen, trombonist Dennis Rollins and pianist Andrew McCormack are the younger London musicians Daniel Casimir on bass and Empirical drummer Shaney Forbes. They stretch out on 'Amabo', (named for Obama of course), on two more tunes from 2018's Brother Raymond and some new originals. Nothing goes on too long – though there's too much audience response in the mix – and 'Moanin'' brings a memorable evening to a rousing end. SH


Telarc TEL00081

Hiromi's new solo album marks the end of her 30s, but its theme looks back further as, she says, her first piano teacher 'taught me to see colours through music'. It opens with a typically spectacular attack on the piano in 'Kaleidoscope' but in 'Whiteout' she conjures a snow scene with Debussyan delicacy, while 'Yellow Wurlitzer Blues' is a kind of hyperspace boogie plus harmonic twists. With 'Rhapsody In Various Shades Of Blue' she revels in Gershwin's bravura but adds other references, even The Who's 'Behind Blue Eyes'. Finally there's the delightful classical-style nostalgia of 'Sepia Effect'. A fabulous pianist as always, and a great artist too. SH