Jazz, October 2023

hfnalbum.pngZoe Rahman
Colour Of Sound
Manushi Records MANUCD 0007

After an Oxford music degree, Zoe Rahman studied jazz at Berklee with Joanne Brackeen, but only discovered the music of her Bengali heritage when making cassettes for her father, then in hospital. Melting Pot and Where Rivers Meet followed, both with younger brother Idris Rahman on clarinet. Recently she's toured and recorded as a duo with Courtney Pine, but here she reunites with Idris as well as her long-time trio bandmates, bassist Alec Dankworth and Gene Calderazzo on drums, now heard at the core of an octet. Rahman's striking and expansive compositions really blossom now, with contributions from trumpeters Alex Ridout and Byron Wallen, Rowland Sutherland on flute and trombonist Rosie Turton. SH


Linley Hamilton
Ginger's Hollow
Whirlwind Recordings WR4808 (CD and LP)

When not broadcasting or teaching, the busy Ulster trumpeter can be heard joyfully leading the quintet here. As with 2020's For The Record, long-time colleagues Cian Boylan on keyboards and Derek 'Doc' O'Conor on tenor are joined by the US rhythm team of bassist Mark Egan and drummer Adam Nussbaum. They bring a funky, jazz-rock urgency to most tracks, but with a change of pace for the dreamy, bossa-like title tune (named for a fondly remembered cat), Boylan switching evocatively to Rhodes. O'Conor's solo work is wild and snaking but Hamilton's, notably on the minor-key groove of 'Place At The Ace', is precise, structured and excellent. SH


David Hazeltine Trio
Blues For Gerry
Criss Cross Jazz 1415

Straight-ahead pianist David Hazeltine, who recorded eight Criss Cross albums as leader between 1995 and 2010, makes a great return to the label here with his classic New York trio, Peter Washington eloquent on bass, Joe Farnsworth crisp and swinging at the drums. He explores standards like 'Tangerine', 'Skylark' and 'Body And Soul' absorbingly, with effortless invention, and offers originals that include one whimsical blues with far-out harmonies. The Dutch label's founder Gerry Teekens passed away in 2019, and Hazeltine happily remembers him as a hands-off producer: 'His one request was always "there's got to be a blues". So I wrote "Blues For Gerry"'. SH


Dan Wilson
Things Eternal
Brother Mister BRO4005

Family pictures surround the guitarist on the cover of an album that reflects the loss of his grandparents. Like 2021's Vessels Of Wood And Earth, it's essentially a quartet session, this time with Glenn Zaleski on Fender Rhodes alongside bassist Brandon Rose and drummer David Throckmorton, with some wide-ranging material made accessible by guest vocals. There's another Stevie Wonder tune, 'Smile Please', while Jessica Yafanaro is outstanding on Sting's 'Let Your Soul Be Your Pilot'. Instrumentally, Wilson dazzles at an impossible tempo on Freddie Hubbard's 'Birdlike', swings affectionately on 'Eleanor Rigby', and he's always warm, engaging and admirable. SH