Jazz, February 2021

hfnalbum.pngLAN Trio (Argüelles, Laginha and Norbakken)
Edition Records EDN1164, LP: EDN1164LP

Three very distinctive instrumental voices, in a refreshing and open-sounding lineup that justifies the label's 'super-trio' accolade as they launch their second album together. British saxophonist Julian Argüelles came to prominence with Loose Tubes in the 1980s and has recorded prolifically ever since. Like Portuguese pianist Mário Laginha and drummer Helge Andreas Norbakken, he's long been open to African musical influences, but plays with a European sensibility. He offers engaging musical logic on his clean-sounding tenor sax and is matchlessly clear and lyrical on soprano. Recorded in Lisbon, it's a sonically satisfying album as well as a musical treat. SH


Elina Duni, Rob Luft
Lost Ships
ECM 0739322

This collaboration started in 2017, when the virtuoso British guitarist met informally with the Albanian-born, Swiss-based singer in Lausanne while she worked on her Partir solo album. Luft's versatility, electronics skills and selfless empathy helped Duni explore a variety of song genres. Which, with UK pianist Fred Thomas doubling on percussion and Swiss flugelhorn player Matthieu Michel, the two do brilliantly here, while their heartfelt title song and other originals engage with contemporary issues including Europe's migration crisis. Luft also gives perfect support in two traditional Albanian songs, where Duni still has the power to stop your heart. SH


Patrick Cornelius
Acadia: Way Of The Cairns
Whirlwind Recordings WR4766; 2LPs: WR4766LP

Back in 2016, the Texas-raised, New York-based saxophonist themed his octet album While We're Still Young on A A Milne's poems. This time, he's partly re-convened the Transatlantic Collective of a decade ago and, as America's National Parks, including Acadia in Maine, come under threat, the group's new name makes a serious point. With dense yet free-flowing piano from Estonian pianist Kristjan Randalu, the music is driven by Luxembourg native Paul Wiltgen on drums and American bassist Michael Janisch (also owner of the London-based Whirlwind label). But don't miss the almost filmic nostalgia of 'Valse Hesitante', or the warm evocation of 'Seawall Sunrise'. SH


Various Artists
Blue Note Re:imagined
Decca 710012 (two discs); 2LPs: 890927

Among the young artists revisiting their jazz influences here are London's Ezra Collective with Wayne Shorter's 'Footprints' (1967) and Alfa Mist, spacey on Eddie Henderson's 'Galaxy' of 1975. The opener is Blue Note at one remove as Jorja Smith covers St Germain's 'Rose Rouge', in which the French house/nu jazz artist sampled soul singer Marlena Shaw's 1973 live recording. But then come saxophonists Shabaka Hutchings, reworking Bobby Hutcherson's 'Prints Tie', and Nubya Garcia, following up her own album Source with a muscular tribute to Joe Henderson in 'Shade Of Jade'. Go online for a playlist that lines up these 16 new tracks with the originals. SH