Jazz, March 2021

hfnalbum.pngKeith Jarrett
Budapest Concert
ECM 0730194 (two discs); 2LPs: 0739330

This latest solo album documents Jarrett's performance at the Hungarian capital's Béla Bartók hall in July 2016, two weeks before the concert that yielded Munich 2016. As a taster, back in May 2020, ECM celebrated the pianist's 75th birthday with a digital single release of a Budapest encore, his blithe and eloquent interpretation of 'Answer Me'. But sadly, around the time the album itself was announced, it was revealed that Jarrett hadn't recovered the use of his left hand since his two strokes in 2018, and was unlikely to perform again. ECM says Jarrett himself has viewed the Budapest concert as the 'gold standard' among his solo recordings, which must be reason enough to add it to your shelf. SH


Emmet Cohen
Future Stride
Mack Avenue MAC1181; LP: MACLP1181

Many pianists have revived the 'stride' style of the 1920s, but Cohen does much more than that here. In the past, he's worked with greats of earlier generations, and curated his own Master Legacy Series of recordings with them. This time, as the album title implies, he's bringing elements of stride into a modern context. With his regular trio partners, brilliant bassist Russell Hall and drummer Lyle Poole, he romps through 'Symphonic Raps' and 'Dardanella', as well as some later standards and originals. Guest soloists are saxophonist Melissa Aldana, and Marquis Hill, whose outstanding trumpet work makes Cohen's 'Little Angel' an impressive finale. SH


Charles Mingus
Charles Mingus@Bremen 1964 & 1975
Sunnyside Records SSC1570 (four discs)

The music filling the first two CDs here, from an April '64 performance at Radio Bremen, has long been available in bootleg form, but now it's an official issue, mastered from the radio tapes with a sharper, more revealing sound. The same goes for the 1975 concert recorded in stereo in a larger hall when Mingus revisited Bremen with his current quintet, only drummer Dannie Richmond remaining from the 1964 sextet lineup. Most of the new tunes had been introduced on the Changes One and Two albums, while 'Fables Of Faubus' sounds rather different without the intensity of Eric Dolphy – you can (just) hear the once-banned words. A great package. SH


Chris Potter
There Is A Tide
Edition Records EDN1168; LP: EDNLP1168

Since he came to fame 30 years ago as sideman to bebop legend Red Rodney, Chris Potter has done everything on the saxophone, his credits ranging from Steely Dan to the Mingus Big Band to Patricia Barber. But in this at-home lockdown project, he's done everything on every instrument – keyboards, guitars, percussion – and has also overcome 'the challenge of recording without a proper studio'. You don't get the dynamics, perspectives or gloss of a normal studio album but he's done an amazing job. His perfectly realised arrangements can be grooving, as in 'Beneath The Waves', or uplifting, as in 'So Many Stars'. A one-man tour de force. SH