promises a funk-dance heaven, we’re quickly put straight by the rock-pop of ‘Encore’, and it’s Andrews the vocalist rather than trombonist who is to the fore throughout. There are flashes of the trombonists’ marching band heritage with ‘Lagniappe’ while Beck is predictably incendiary on the pop rap of ‘Do To Me’. Those who enjoyed the Soul Rebels Brass Band’s Unlock Your Mind will dribble all over this. Andy Robson
Mauricio Velasierra RodarLotusArtsBox LABox02 | Mauricio Velasierra (kena, kenacho, moseno, pinkullo), Henrik Jensen (b), Jenny Adejayan (c), Camilo Menjura (g, charango, tiple, v), Gregorio Merchan (d, p), Lilli Loncheva (perc), Kate Read (viola), Mark Stefanicki (hurdy gurdy), and Stephanie O’Brien (paraguyan harp). Rec. date not stated Colombian composer, experimentalist and Andean flute maestro Mauricio Velasierra fuses modern harmonies with traditional rhythms, flirting cheekily with jazz along the way. The big deal? He does so while playing the kena – the diatonic keyless Andean flute, a deceptively simple looking instrument that he’s spent over a decade mastering. All the instruments here on Rodar (that’s ‘to roll’ in Spanish) have been picked for their kenacompatibility: the charango guitar, sikus pipes and Paraguyan harp among them. Wielding the kena as a fully chromatic instrument, Velasierra’s understated glissandos shift, mesh and shoot off on unexpected tangents. ‘Hey Simona’, a tapestry of Colombian rhythms, combines an insistent kena with upbeat percussion. ‘Melquiades’, an ode to a character from Garcia Marquez’s ‘100 Years of Solitude’, is an excursion of key changes that lead to a fluttering bass solo (duly echoing the yellow butterflies of the book). Each track is conceptual, with its own self-contained narrative. ‘Carrilera’ tells of railways through forgotten landscapes; ‘Llatoco’ is about the, er, courting of llamas. Velasierra plays the London Jazz Festival this month. Jane Cornwell
Reggie Washington A Lot Of Love, Live! Jammin’ Colours/Bang S104 | Reggie Washington (b, el b, drum samples), Ravi Coltrane, Erwinn Vann (ts), Gene Lake and Stéphane Galland (d). Rec. 2006 Subtitled My Trios, this is essentially a document of the American and European ensembles headed by the experienced New York bassist. Known above all for his work with Steve Coleman and other figures in the M-BASE affiliation, Washington can play intricate, often scalar figures at speed without losing an iron grip on the pulse of a song, and his ability to swing hard on zig zag changes – particularly when he’s on the upright – or infuse cumulative tension into an ostinato line by way of the slightest shifts of accent
Miguel Zenón is impressive. Like many of the bassists in the Pastorius-Miller-Bailey lineage, Washington has an innate feeling for the earthy aggression of funk as well as the more lateral, aerial finesse of jazz, and the material is really marked by an organic flow between the two aesthetics, no more so than on the very sensitive handling of Bill Frisell’s ‘Strange Meeting’ where the sly, loping rhythmic centre established by the bass shifts into hazy, creeping countermelody to reinforce the unsettling sentiment of the title. Other reprises include Miller’s ‘Mr Pastorius’, Wayne Shorter’s ‘Fall’, and Serge Gainsbourg’s ‘Requiem Pour Un Con’, cheekily bolstered by the integration of James Brown’s ‘Soul Power’. That said, Washington’s originals, above all ‘Fanny’s Toy’, where he overdubs an almost vocoder-like bass solo over a languorously twisting main riff could possibly be a sizeable soul hit if the likes of Erykah or Omar were drafted in for vocal duties. Indeed a “soul singer’s session” with guests of that calibre is an obvious future project for a player-writer with such a firm grip on the pop as well as arthouse strand of black music. Kevin Le Gendre
Miguel Zenón Alma Adentro: The Puerto Rican SongbookMarsalisMusicMARS0016 | Miguel Zenón (as), Luis Perdomo (p), Hans Glawischnig (b), Henry Cole (d) and woodwind ensemble (orch/cond Guillermo Klein). Rec. February 2011 This is arguably the most adventurous and creative recording in the Puerto Rican saxophonist’s career thus far – and also the most successful and with possibly the widest appeal. Highly respected for his deep understanding of both jazz and his heritage culture, Zenón takes things a step further here by paying tribute to his home country’s popular, mainly boléro, song writers: the Puerto Rican equivalents of America’s George Gershwins and Cole Porters. There are two apiece by Bobby Capo, Tite Curet Alonso, Pedro Flores, Rafael Hernández and Sylvia Rexach. With the aid of the equally talented Argentinian composer/ orchestrator Guilliermo Klein (of Las Gauchos fame), together they have created a setting where jazz improvisation by his basic quartet interacts with and is enhanced and cushioned by a 10-piece woodwind ensemble. Klein’s joyful swirling scored sounds are evident from the very first track, Capo’s ‘Jugete’ and again in the riff over the fade of Hernandez’ ‘Silencio’, which really grooves and which is greatly helped by the fact that everyone was recorded in the same room, with the varied moods of the songs’ lyrics shaping the overall concept of each track. This reviewer has often felt that Zenón has played with more passion on other people’s records than his own. That certainly isn’t the case here. Maybe partly because all these songs have personal connotations for him and invoke memories of his childhood and upbringing, his lead and solo work is perhaps his most emotional on record and his interaction with the woodwind and his rhythm section make this a memorable recording. Tony Hall
Short Cuts// New Releases
James Annesley Virtual Proximity II jamesannesley.com | This one-man band Aussie multi-reedsman jams both spacey abstractions and clubby jazz licks over an eerie, noir-ish mixture of loops, samples and electronic manipulations, with just the occasional acoustic instrument intervention.
Artistry Jazz Group Too Darn Hot Volenza | A Swedish straightahead tribute to Cole Porter made up of 15 songs (a handful of them sung by Vivian Buczek) and arranged by Bud Powell-influenced pianist Jan Lundgren who leads a bar room guitar trio.
Josh Nelson Discoveries Steel Bird Music | This is already young West Coast-based pianist/composer Josh Nelson’s fifth album as leader and he puts an unexceptionally breezy LA spin on the cool ensemble charts of late-1960s Herbie Hancock and Brazilian Metheny-like romanticism.
Deborah Pearl Souvenir Of You Bee Cee | An album of Benny Carter tunes with new lyrics by this vocalese singer, a friend of the late saxophonist’s wife, with a couple of tunes actually overlaid with the sound of Benny and his big band.
John Basile Amplitudes String Time | Originally meant as a duo, this Bostonbased guitarist conceived the material with just with the help of an iPhone app, overlaying his guitars effectively and with surprising warmth on a standards and contemporary guitar set.
Jon Regen Revolution jonregen.com | Jazz pianist Jon Regen is also a singer/ songwriter who can play all right, but this is fairly predictable Billy Joel/Randy Newmanish fare. With a deceptive simplicity at times Revolution needs further listening to reveal itself.
Bonobo Trio Together Bauer Studios | Saying they’re the French answer to The Bad Plus might seem like lazy journalism, but this young piano trio seem to display the kind of unruly charisma, memorable songlike themes and improvising wit to justify such comparisons.
Mark De Clive-Lowe Renegades Tru Thoughts | Long championed by DJ Gilles Peterson, this is the now Los Angeles-based hip nu-jazz producer’s ninth CD and it treads an expressive path between clubby rhythms and live acoustics, with a few jazzy guests, Bembe Segue, Richard Spaven and Pino Palladino.
Grupo Falso Baiano Simplicade: Live at Yoshi’s Massaroca | A San Francisco choro band made up of reeds, guitar, mandolin and percussion with a typically chirpy urban dance style and a special guest in Brazilian pianist and exHermeto sideman Jovino Santos Neto. Kari Ikonen and Karikko The Helsinki Suite Eclipse Music | Featuring French cellist Vincent Courtois and Belgian trumpeter Laurent Blondiau, this Finnish pianist-keyboardist/moog player sometimes sounds like a chamber classical group performing from Herbie Hancock’s 1970s trippy Mwandishi songbook.
Peter James Trio Soul Story Mulberry | All Royal Academy alumni since the1990s, graceful pianist Peter James leads a piano trio with influences from Chick Corea to EST, alongside bassist drummer Tom Hooper and bassist Jeremy Brown.
Jazz Proof Jazz Proof jazzproof.com | Twenty-five-year-old saxophonist and Partikel leader Duncan Eagles and guitarist Dan Redding are the central members of this young London-based quintet who mix tight grooves of bossa, 1970s R&B-jazz and JB funk in an over familiar, standardised fashion.
Skelton Skinner All Stars Big Band Cookin’ With The Lid On Diving Duck | They sound as well as look like a comedy duo, but this is British retro-proud drummer Matt Skelton and reedsman Colin Skinner turning on to traditional silky swing-to-bop British big band inspired by Terry Gibbs Dream band and Mel Lewis
Mark Sutton Crest Of A Wave Yellow Shark | No sleeve notes at all here, just the words, “mellow piano tunes” and that’s certainly no word of a lie concerning this Cheltenhambased easy listening pianist’s new solo album.
TK Blue Latinbird Motema | Bird rules on this veteran, ex-Dollar Brand and longtime Randy Weston sideman saxophonist/flautist’s ninth CD as leader but with Caribbean and Afro-Cuban rhythms at its very heart.
Olivia Trummer Poesiealbum Neuklang | This young jazz pianist and singersongwriter from Stuttgart sings in her mother tongue, and favours an unfussy intimacy, mixing jazzy singer-songwriter, Brazilian and chanson forms together in a set of originals for trio and trombone.
Geoff Vidal She Likes That geoffvidal.com | New York settled, New Orleans-reared Brecker-like tenor saxophonist leads a robust yet traditionally romantic post-bop session of originals for quintet
Nils Wogram Nostalgia NWOG | Admired German trombonist with a striking contemporary trio that mixes dreamy contemplation and energetic humour and features the inventive Hammond organ of Florian Ross.
Various Artists In The Spirit Of Jazz: Magic Moments 5 ACT | This 18-track album updates a series that samples tracks from this prime Munich label’s array of Euro jazz artists such as EST, Leszek Mozdzer, and Nils Landgren through [em] and Verneri Pohjola. Selwyn Harris
44 NOVEMBER11 // Jazzwise