Jazz, June 2021

hfnalbum.pngJoe Lovano, Marilyn Crispell, Carmen Castaldi
Garden Of Expression
ECM 351 8721 (CD and LP)

Saxophonist Joe Lovano met pianist Marilyn Crispell when she was with Anthony Braxton's quartet in the 1980s. Later, they established a rapport that led, once they'd added drummer Carmen Castaldi, to Trio Tapestry, the 2019 album whose name is also that of the group. Influenced by 'Third Stream' thinking and his time with Paul Motian (with whom Crispell also worked), Lovano's music is harmonically open, rhythmically free, sometimes even close to stasis. Now it seems even more organic and intense, helped by superb sonics. In Nov '19, after performing in the generous acoustic of Lugano's Auditorio Stelio Molo RSI, the trio began recording there the next day. SH


Will Glaser
Climbing In Circles
Ubuntu Music UBU0075

Drummer Will Glaser warmed up for this trio offering with Climbing Circles Pt 1 and Pt 2, a pair of duo albums issued digitally in 2019, one with saxophonist Matthew Herd, the other with pianist Liam Noble. Now, after starting with a zany prepared piano effect in 'Pre-Lewd', Noble puts on the mantle of Monk for a stately 'Mood Indigo', then meshes perfectly with Herd's singing sax as they romp through 'I'm An Old Cowhand', the tune Sonny Rollins made his own with a piano-less rather than bass-less trio. Glaser, though appropriately dominant in Paul Motian's 'Mumbo Jumbo', is never overbearing, but makes this a colourful, ebullient and joyful musical treat. SH


Marek Dorcik Spercasa
About Time
Hudobny Fond (Music Fund Slovakia) SF 01242531

Familiar ingredients, maybe, with a classic quintet lineup and material that's new but rooted in the hard-bop era. Yet there's great freshness and vitality, thanks partly to the brilliant teamwork of trumpeter Miguel Gorodi and tenor saxist George Crowley in the front line, but also to the different sound, effortlessly-swinging pulse and inventive writing of their leader here. Slovak drummer Marek Dorčík has worked closely with these London players since 2019, aided and abetted by the fine Irish-born Loop Collective bassist Mick Coady and pianist Tom Hewson, who comes into his own on Dorčík's 'Blue Hour' and his own dreamy 'Silent Gratitude'. A fine debut. SH


R+R=NOW Live
Blue Note 3546162; 2LPs: 3546164

Soon after the 2018 release of R+R=NOW's Collagically Speaking, keyboardist/producer Robert Glasper brought the same 'dream team' collective together on stage during his month-long residency at the Blue Note club in New York, playing music from the album and more. This seven-track live set culminates in a 25m 'Resting Warrior', while actor/rapper Omari Hardwick guests again in a gripping 'Needed You Still'. There's also a solid cover of 'How Much A Dollar Cost', which R+R member Terrace Martin co-wrote for rapper Kendrick Lamar. You don't get smooth and spacious studio sound, but you do get impassioned solos and an ear-opening new view of the music. SH