Jazz (October 2018)

hfnalbum.pngJohn Coltrane
Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album
Impulse! 6749295/6749299 (two discs); LP: 6749300/6749301(two discs)

Astonishing that a complete Coltrane studio session could lie unreleased for 55 years. But here is the classic quartet, recorded by Van Gelder in March '63 and sounding as if it were yesterday. The master was lost, so the source is a reference tape Coltrane took home from the date. There are two sparky, untitled originals, and studio takes of 'One Up, One Down', a title until now found only on a live album. There's a piano-less 'Impressions' where McCoy Tyner lays out and an early 'Nature Boy' very different from the 1965 album version. Takes for the seven-track 'Standard' album were selected by none other than Ravi Coltrane, while the 'Deluxe' double albums add a set of alternates. Collectors won't hesitate for a second. SH


Tony Kofi and The Organisation
Point Blank
The Last Music Company LMCD209

Here's a collaboration that sounds as if it was always meant to be, as leading UK saxophonist Tony Kofi teams up with a sophisticated yet fiercely grooving organ trio. He plays baritone throughout, agile, sinuous and effortlessly commanding as the group expertly negotiates such challenging and unhackneyed post-bop themes as Pepper Adams' 'Bossallegro' and Woody Shaw's 'Moontrane'. At the keys and the pedals is Pete Whittaker, Hammond hero of many other organ projects including the Nigel Price Trio. He's abetted here by guitarist Simon Fernsby, with big-band maestro Peter Cater ever-present on drums and lifting the group to new heights. SH


Bansangu Orchestra
Bansangu Orchestra
Pathway Records PBCD0121

This strikingly different big band was formed by UK saxophonist Paul Booth, with Giorgio Serci and Kevin Robinson, in 2014. Booth's credits include a long association with Steve Winwood, and in fact this album was recorded in Winwood's studio in 2016. The name comes from Airto's attempt to say 'band sounds good', and this band plays original compositions and arrangements that showcase musical influences from around the globe. It's a stellar lineup with Jason Yarde, Shanti Paul Jayasinha, Ryan Quigley and Rod Youngs in the ranks, and with guest spots for Jonathan Mayer on sitar and Seckou Keita on kora, not to mention Oli Rockberger. Eclectic and enjoyable. SH


Mark Kavuma
Ubuntu Music UBU0007

Fiery and supremely accomplished, London-based trumpeter Mark Kavuma plays driving, exciting music that's rooted in 1950s/'60s hard bop. Propelled here by exuberant LA-born drummer Kyle Poole and Laura Jurd bassist Conor Chaplin, are two saxes: Kavuma's long-time front-line colleague Ruben Fox and the harder-edged Mussinghi Brian Edwards. Pianist is Reuben James, best known for working with Sam Smith, while guitarist Artie Zaitz adds a bluesy edge. All the tunes are strong Kavuma originals except 'Carolina Moon', which picks up on Monk's jagged rearrangement of the old tune, and an unexpected, heartfelt 'Abide With Me'. SH