Jazz in Elsewhere

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

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The Comet is Coming: Trust in the Lifeforce of The Deep Mystery (Impulse)

15 Apr 2019  |  1 min read

The name to note in this UK trio is saxophonist and jazz-shaman Shabaka Hutchings, the pivotal figure in the emerging new wave of British jazz who is in Sons of Kemet and Shabaka and the Ancestors. He's a prime mover in a scene which is enjoying a renaissance (and enjoying itself in the process) with big and boisterous music, controls sometimes to the heart of the sun above a spiritual... > Read more

Unity

ONE WE MISSED: Michal Martyniuk; Nothing to Prove (SJ Records/digital outlets)

15 Apr 2019  |  1 min read

Michal Martyniuk is a composer/keyboard player who divides his time between Poland and Auckland, completed his music degree at the University of Auckland and has played with Nathan Haines' band. This album however was recorded in Poland last year – he'd been absent for almost a decade – and appeared the SJ Records label there. Here is an interesting line-up of Polish and New... > Read more

Insomnia

NATHAN HAINES PROFILED, AT AUDIOCULTURE (2019): Jazz from before to beyond

5 Apr 2019  |  1 min read

In 1994 Nathan Haines released his debut album Shift Left, an album which revealed a fault-line between the previous generation of New Zealand jazz players and – because of its use of turntables and rappers – a new generation which had embraced hip-hop as much as the cool sounds of the 50s and 60s. Shift Left – the title chosen from a roadworks sign which appealed to... > Read more

NATHAN HAINES : SHIFT LEFT AT 25 (2019): Looking back at an album that looked ahead

3 Apr 2019  |  10 min read

In late 2018, because I had been a great supporter of saxophonist Nathan Haines' debut album Shift Left when it was released, I was invited by Nathan to write an extensive liner essay for its expanded (with remixes) double-vinyl remastered reissue. It was a pleasure to do so because this was an album -- still the country's biggest selling jazz album -- which was grounded in some classic... > Read more

Haftor Medbøe and Jacob Karlzon: Haftor Medbøe and Jacob Karlzon (Copperfly)

1 Apr 2019  |  1 min read

In keeping with our name – and love for the 10'' vinyl format – Elsewhere is pleased to point readers to this very pleasant limited-edition hand-numbered 10'' vinyl (with a digital download which includes an extra track) by this guitar and piano duo. Norwegian/Scottish guitarist Haftor Medbøe and Swedish pianist Jacob Karlzon met 15 years ago at the Islay Jazz Festival in the... > Read more

Hope

Lyn Stanley: London Calling; A Toast to Julie London (CD Baby)

29 Mar 2019  |  2 min read

Julie London – who died in 2000 age 74 – was what Hollywood folks used to call “a looker”. And she was. She went from elevator operator to the silver screen on the basis of her striking beauty and how much the cameras – still and movie – loved her. She wasn't much of an actress however (she was in the excellent film-noir The Fat Man of '51 with Rock... > Read more

Go Slow/Nice Girls

Chucho Valdes: Jazz Bata 2 (Mack Avenue/Southbound)

27 Mar 2019  |  <1 min read

This great Cuban pianist turned 77 last year and could reflect on a remarkable career in which he was acclaimed internationally, has won Grammys and founded the enormously successful Irakere band. And on this outing with an acoustic quartet featuring the vocals and bata drums of Dreiser Durruthy Bombale he takes his distinctive, frequently percussive and jigsaw-puzzle playing to music which... > Read more

El Gulje

Daniel Herskedal: Voyage (Edition/digital outlets)

22 Mar 2019  |  1 min read

Jazz tuba is not rare but certainly uncommon: among the great players are Bob Stewart who played on a dozen or so albums with Arthur Blythe; Howard Johnson for whom tuba is among his artillery and who has appeared on albums by just about everyone from Mingus and Dexter Gordon to the Band and Lennon; and British session man Herbie Flowers. Daniel Herskedal is Norway's most pre-eminent... > Read more

Batten Down the Hatches

Jan Preston: Play It Again Jan (janpreston.com)

3 Mar 2019  |  1 min read

Greymouth-raised singer/pianist and composer Jan Preston may have been classically trained but her career in New Zealand saw her best known as a member of the innovative Red Mole Cabaret theatre troupe, Midge Marsden's Country Flyers band and in Coup D'Etat alongside then-former Hello Sailor member Harry Lyon. Her repertoire expanded from soundtracks and classical into boogie, jazz and... > Read more

Lazy Boogie

Mark de Clive-Lowe: Heritage (RopeADope/digital outlets)

18 Feb 2019  |  <1 min read

Expat New Zealand pianist/composer Mark de Clive-Lowe here explores his Japanese/European heritage in music which peels off from the hip-hop-influenced jazz he made his name with in New Zealand. On Heritage, while still using contemporary electronics, sits at the keyboard with his group – recorded live in the Blue Whale club in Los Angles and in a North Hollywood studio – for... > Read more

Niten-Ichi

ONE WE MISSED: Onyx Collective: Lower East Suite; Part Three (Big Dad)

21 Jan 2019  |  1 min read

This muscular trio (with guests) first came to Elsewhere's attention only late last year on the belated jazz tribute to Sgt Pepper where they delivered a usefully different treatment of Harrison's Within You Without You which connected to the more experimental end of American jazz. As the title here tells you, we come to this suite – which appeared in the middle of last year –... > Read more

2AM at Veselka

Various Artists: A Day in the Life, Impressions of Pepper (Impulse!)

17 Dec 2018  |  1 min read

Jazz musicians are renown for their sense of time, although – if this album is any measure – perhaps not for their timing. Arriving fully 18 months after the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's – and coinciding with the exceptional remaster/reissue of their follow-up The Beatles (aka The White Album) and the Christmas rush – this stellar interpretation of... > Read more

Good Morning Good Morning (Shabaka and the Ancestors)

ONE WE MISSED: Charlie Haden and Brad Mehldau; Long Ago and Far Away (Impulse!)

16 Dec 2018  |  <1 min read  |  1

Recorded live in 2007 at a church in Mannheim, this recording only became available late this year – four years after bassist Charlie Haden's death at 76. Haden and pianist Brad Mehldau – thirtysomething years Haden's junior – had enjoyed a comfortable friendship, and a performance and recording association. That ease in each other's company is evident in their supportive... > Read more

My Old Flame

Manins/Samsom/Benebig/Lockett: Shuffle (Rattle)

10 Dec 2018  |  2 min read

First a word about the cover, and in fact all the Rattle covers. Right from their first releases the cover art and presentation of albums on Auckland's Rattle label – which cover classical, jazz, taonga puoro and more – have been classy affairs: engaging artwork and design, useful liner notes and, after a few releases, the gatefold hardback format. Their few forays... > Read more

Hungry Pig Shuffle

JOHN COLTRANE: RESURRECTED, RE-DISCOVERED, REISSUED. AGAIN (2018): Some new favourite things once more

26 Nov 2018  |  5 min read

It is interesting – and perhaps disappointingly instructive – to note that the two jazz album this year which have gained the widest attention have been of music from over 40 years ago by artists who have been dead for decades. Yet neither the John Coltrane album Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album of previously unheard recordings from '63 – not originally conceived of... > Read more

Your Lady

Christian Sands: Facing Dragons (Mack Avenue/Southbound)

25 Nov 2018  |  1 min read

Those who read the band names on albums by Gregory Porter and Christian McBride will recognise the keyboard player's name on this. Christian Sands is not on McBride's latest album New Jawn (also on Mack Avenue) but probably that's because he was away recording this follow-up to his Reach debut of last year with a flexible line-up of players around of his trio (bassist Yasushi Nakamura and... > Read more

Samba de Vela

Unwind: Orange (Rattle, CD+DVD)

22 Nov 2018  |  <1 min read

The Unwind trio are bassist/educator Paul Dyne, pianist/writer Norman Meehan and saxophonist/international citizen Hayden Chisholm. That is quite an accumulation of jazz talent and, recorded at Orange Studios in Christchurch, these 10 pieces frequently attest to the ethos that less can be so much more. The three Meehan-penned openers for example are measured 2am ballads which are a very... > Read more

Miracle

CHARLES MINGUS RE-DISCOVERED, AGAIN (2018): The black saint of jazz past, and in the present

19 Nov 2018  |  3 min read

As with pop and rock, jazz artists go in and out favour with audiences. At Elsewhere we've essayed the case of Charles Lloyd and Dave Brubeck for example. Some certainly remain fixed in the firmament: John Coltrane and Charlie Parker for example. Others – Miles Davis perhaps the most obvious example – people pick and choose the period they prefer. Some like Sun Ra, Ornette... > Read more

Cecile McLorin Salvant: The Window (Mack Avenue/Southbound)

23 Oct 2018  |  1 min read

One of the finest, most entertaining, deeply moving and musically interesting concerts of jazz (and elsewhere) was by Cecile McLorin Salvant at the Auckland Town Hall in March, which we reviewed here. As you may see, this remarkable and award-winning singer (French mother, Haitian father, raised in Miami) has a wonderful musical reach from deep old blues and chanson to swinging jazz, show... > Read more

Wild is Love

Kamaal Williams:The Return (Black Focus/Border)

22 Oct 2018  |  1 min read

The title on this debut solo album by London keyboard player/composer Kamaal Williams probably refers to the sudden disbanding of the duo Yussef Kamaal (with drummer Yussef Dayes) and his wish to quickly pick up the remit of soulful and funky jazz with one ear on the fusion era and astral-inclined instrumentals and the other on the energy of hip-hop (as brought into play here by the exceptional... > Read more

LDN Shuffle