Elsewhere by Graham Reid

music - travel - arts

Wide angle reviews, interviews and opinion by writer Graham Reid

Jazz in Elsewhere

Interviews, overviews and reviews of interesting historic and contemporary jazz musicians and music.

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Keith Jarrett and Charlie Haden: Last Dance (ECM/Ode)

Keith Jarrett and Charlie Haden: Last Dance (ECM/Ode)

What a sad set of coincidences, this duet album with pianist Keith Jarrett was released internationally two days after the great bassist Charlie Haden died. Now look at its title. And the final piece of the nine is their soft and considered treatment of a Gordon Jenkins tune . . . Goodbye. Haden was the arguably the most important and innovative (and musically daring) bassist of his... more >>

Goodbye

23 Jul 2014

Jonathan Crayford/Ben Street/Dan Weiss: Dark Light (Rattle Jazz)

Jonathan Crayford/Ben Street/Dan Weiss: Dark Light (Rattle Jazz)

Since Auckland's Rattle label signed a deal with Wellington's Victoria University Press (VUP) it has become alarmingly productive. Albums -- especially those on the Rattle Jazz imprint -- are starting to appear at what seems like one or more a month. But that's not a complaint because the label's standards are impeccably high, and this piano trio album lead by the multi-faceted Jonathan... more >>

Galois' Candle

6 Jul 2014    1

ATLANTIC JAZZ LEGENDS IN A BOX (2014): Cheap steps into giant jazz

ATLANTIC JAZZ LEGENDS IN A BOX (2014): Cheap steps into giant jazz

In a recent informal conversation with an American singer, the topic turned to the old debate: vinyl, CDs or mp3s? She said, of course she preferred vinyl . . . but I sensed a hesitation in her voice and said as much. She laughed and then admitted . . . actually, she preferred CDs but you weren't supposed to say that because everyone talks about the superiority of vinyl. But, she... more >>

Backlash

23 Jun 2014

MARK DE CLIVE-LOWE INTERVIEWED (2014): Following his own beat'n'path

MARK DE CLIVE-LOWE INTERVIEWED (2014): Following his own beat'n'path

The day we speak to Mark De Clive-Lowe – expat keyboard layer, multi-instrumentalist, producer and remixer – it's in a Grey Lynn cafe and he is on a flying visit home. It's a Friday morning and he arrived just 24 hours previous from Japan where he'd played two shows, within eight hours he's going to back on a plane heading home to Los Angeles where he has lived for the past... more >>

Brukstep

2 Jun 2014

JOSHUA REDMAN INTERVIEWED (2014): Beatles, Bach and beyond

JOSHUA REDMAN INTERVIEWED (2014): Beatles, Bach and beyond

Joshua Redman – born in 1969 and the pre-eminent jazz saxophonist of his generation – sounds slightly embarrassed when it's suggested, given his age, he maybe had Kiss posters on his bedroom wall when he was at school? “Actually, I never got into Kiss,” he laughs. “It was Prince or Michael Jackson. The Police was a big band for me, and early hip-hop like... more >>

2 Jun 2014

Billy Hart Quartet: One is the Other (ECM/Ode)

Billy Hart Quartet: One is the Other (ECM/Ode)

Although drummer Bily Hart seems to have been around since jazz was a young man -- he's now 73 and played in soul bands behind Otis Redding and others before seriously embarking on the jazz route -- this is only his second album for ECM after the rather patchy All Our Reasons in 2011. But despite being on hand in the past for some muscular Miles Davis funk (On the Corner), as well as... more >>

Some Enchanted Evening

19 May 2014

Cannonball Adderley: Somethin' Else (Blue Note/Universal)

Cannonball Adderley: Somethin' Else (Blue Note/Universal)

The most commonly held opinion about this classic Blue Note album from 1958 by alto saxophonist Cannonball Adderley -- his only album on the label -- is that he is outshone by his famous sideman Miles Davis (who wrote the bluesy title track). That's not entirely true but -- because Adderley was in Davis' band at this time -- there's no doubt Davis is on excellent form and very much the... more >>

Dancing in the Dark

7 May 2014

Tord Gustavsen Quartet: Extended Circle (ECM/Ode)

Tord Gustavsen Quartet: Extended Circle (ECM/Ode)

Norwegian pianist Gustavsen has made sometime entries at Elsewhere previously, his most notable being the exceptional Being There trio album (with bassist Harald Johnsen, drummer Jarle Vespestad) which was one of our Best of Elsewhere 2007 albums. But where that album was about quietude, this one with his quartet (now with bassist Mats Eilertsen plus saxophonist Tore Brunborg)... more >>

The Prodigal Song

5 May 2014

Vijay Iyer: Mutations (ECM/Ode)

Vijay Iyer: Mutations (ECM/Ode)

Pianist Vijay Iyer is not one to undersell himself and is certainly a genuinely intellectual guy but, as Elsewhere noted previously, you shouldn't let that come between you and his music. The border between jazz and classical music has often been fairly porous, especially at the ECM label, and that's the region Iyer occupies with this collection of pieces, 10 of which are written for... more >>

Mutations VII: Kernel

29 Apr 2014

PETER BROTZMANN INTERVIEWED (2014): Freedom isn't frightening

PETER BROTZMANN INTERVIEWED (2014): Freedom isn't frightening

German saxophonist Peter Brotzmann – on a short solo tour early next month – recalls the only other time he was here. In the 80s he and bassist Peter Kowald offered their muscular, free-form jazz improvisation at a time when “there was no audience for this music in New Zealand”. “I remember playing Christchurch and after the concert – and it was not... more >>

Noise Like Wings

22 Apr 2014    1

JOHN COLTRANE; BLUE TRAIN RECONSIDERED (2014): High-end hard bop, and popular

JOHN COLTRANE; BLUE TRAIN RECONSIDERED (2014): High-end hard bop, and popular

Although most of saxophonist John Coltrane's career was on Prestige and especially Impulse!, in September 1957 -- making good on a handshake promise the previous year -- he was loaned by Prestige to the Blue Note label. This was a practice which writer William Ruhlmann noted in his '95 Goldmine article on Coltrane's career, "a no more unusual matter in the small jazz world than the... more >>

Lazy Bird

21 Apr 2014

THE BLUE NOTE LABEL AT 75 (2014): Vision, visuals and visionaries in jazz

THE BLUE NOTE LABEL AT 75 (2014): Vision, visuals and visionaries in jazz

In early January 1939 Alfred Lion – a 30-year old emigre from Berlin who had moved permanently to New York just two years previous – took the boogie-woogie pianists Meade Lux Lewis and Albert Ammons into a Manhattan recording studio he'd hired for the day. He could not have guessed that he was about to shape the future of jazz. Lion had little idea of how to... more >>

Boy, What a Night (1963)

18 Apr 2014    1

The Jac: Nerve (Rattle Jazz)

The Jac: Nerve (Rattle Jazz)

Although the idea of band growing out of a rehearsal outfit for staff and students at a music college doesn't exactly make the heart leap with anticipation, The Jac here are something quite different from your standard big band finding themselves on The Fake Book. A mid-sized ensemble -- an octet which means it can cut down to spacious arrangements or spark up the whole for a bit of a blast... more >>

Marik

17 Apr 2014

Takuya Kuroda: Rising Son (Blue Note/Universal)

Takuya Kuroda: Rising Son (Blue Note/Universal)

This hot'n'cool young trumpeter -- originally from Kobe, Japan but latterly of Berklee then the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in Manhattan -- came to attention when he appeared on albums by vocalist Jose James on the urban Brownswood label. James, also now signed to Blue Note, produces this label debut for Kuroda and as on previous outings the trumpeter and producer walk the... more >>

Sometime Somewhere Somehow

14 Apr 2014

GREGORY PORTER INTERVIEWED (2014): Grammy jazz gentle giant

GREGORY PORTER INTERVIEWED (2014): Grammy jazz gentle giant

Gregory Porter is a big man with a soft voice. The former linebacker from San Diego slipped sideways into music with the assistance of a mentor Kamau Kenyatta, got a part on Broadway in the cast of It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues and recorded two albums for small labels which were both nominated for jazz Grammys. Then in January this year he finally got the award when his debut album... more >>

Liquid Spirit

7 Apr 2014

Various Artists: The Best of Blue Note (Blue Note/Universal)

Various Artists: The Best of Blue Note (Blue Note/Universal)

As mentioned previously, the Blue Note jazz label is currently celebrating its 75th anniversary with large reissue programme of remastered classic albums on vinyl (100 over the coming 15 months or so) and also looking to raise the profile of its artists both old and new. This double disc brings old and new together across 22 tracks (see full listing below) in a chronological collection whch... more >>

Afro Blue

31 Mar 2014

10 CLASSIC BLUE NOTE COVERS (2014): Making the music look good

10 CLASSIC BLUE NOTE COVERS (2014): Making the music look good

As you read this, the Blue Note record label is celebrating it's 75th anniversary. The label synonymous with classic jazz -- which went some way to defining the way people understood jazz in the Fifties and Sixties -- has been going since 1939 when its founder Alfred Lion recorded pianists Albert Ammons and Meade Lux Lewis in a New York studio. At the end of that year Lion was joined by his... more >>

Right Now

24 Mar 2014

Jonas Kullhammar Quartet: Lat Det Vara (moserobie.com)

Jonas Kullhammar Quartet: Lat Det Vara (moserobie.com)

I cannot tell a lie, I bought this for the cover when I spotted it in a record store in the old town of Stockholm . . . but am delighted I did. At the time I didn't even know it was a jazz album, let alone one by a guy who has won a stack of awards in Sweden and been nominated for Swedish Grammys.  I had not previously heard of tenor player Jonas Kullhammar or his quartet however... more >>

Julaftonsfan (extract only)

10 Mar 2014

Phil Davison: Straight, Bent and Uncut (iTunes)

Phil Davison: Straight, Bent and Uncut (iTunes)

When Adolphe Sax invented the instruments in the mid 19th century which bear his name, he could hardly have predicted just what musical diversity this family of horns would encompass. As an orchestral instrument it moved into dance bands, swing, allowed for the beautifully melodic tones of Lester Young, the furious experimentalism of Charlie Parker and the spiritual searching of John... more >>

Brazil Nuts

31 Jan 2014

MURRAY McNABB INTERVIEWED (1947-2013): The new man with the courage to make himself new

MURRAY McNABB INTERVIEWED (1947-2013): The new man with the courage to make himself new

The plan would have been timely: a concert acknowledging the half century he’d known and played in bands with drummer Frank Gibson. But then everything changed. “They gave me a year, that was a year ago,” said 66-year-old keyboard player and composer McNabb about the cancer diagnosis he received. “So I’m going downhill gradually, losing weight. It’s... more >>

17 Nov 2013