Jazz in Elsewhere

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

Subscribe to my newsletter for weekly updates.

John Coltrane: Blue World (Impulse! digital outlets)

9 Oct 2019  |  1 min read

The past couple of years have been busy times for great jazz musicians no longer with us: out of the vaults recently has emerged Miles Davis' previously unreleased Rubberband (not that great unfortunately), the Stan Getz Quartet live at the Village Gate in '61 (fascinating, Getz at a kind of crossroad), radio recordings of Charles Mingus live in Detroit in '73 (recommended) and pianist Errol... > Read more

Blue World

Miles Davis: Rubberband (Warners)

19 Sep 2019  |  1 min read

After almost three decades at Columbia, in the mid Eighties Miles Davis quit in a huff, as he told it to Elsewhere at the time. They had a hot new young trumpeter who was less problematic (Wynton Marsalis, who dissed fusion and therefore much of Davis' recent work) and so Davis headed off into a contract for Warners. When he turned up for Warners he delivered –... > Read more

Trio Antipodes: Upside Downwards (MAPL/Rattle)

19 Aug 2019  |  1 min read

Interesting band name and title on this album by a jazz trio out of Canada. Interesting because the guitarist/composer in this bass-less line-up – guitar, piano and drums – is Keith Price, now a lecturer in the School of Music at the University of Auckland . . . which is sort of the antipodes of Winnipeg, and certainly upside downwards on the globe from there.... > Read more

Max Headroom

Nerija: Blume (Domino/digital outlets)

12 Aug 2019  |  <1 min read

While attention of the contemporary jazz scene hasn't completely shifted to London, there is no doubt that the new music coming out of there – which sometimes mixes everything from Ellington and Coltrane to elements of African and Indian musics, hip-hop and grime – is commanding . . . and commanding serious consideration. In many ways it is a reflection of multi-culti London in... > Read more

STEVE MARCUS. TOMORROW NEVER KNOWS (2019): Bringing jazz to the Beatles and Byrds

31 Jul 2019  |  3 min read

When saxophonist Steve Marcus died in 2005 age 66, he left behind a small but interesting legacy of albums, one of the most curious – not the least for who played on it as much for what they played – was recorded in 1968 with producer Herbie Mann for ATCO. It was Tomorrow Never Knows, named for their 11 minute exploration of the Beatles' title track. Big producer for a big... > Read more

Tomorrow Never Knows

Gary Bartz: Music is My Sanctuary (Capitol)

21 Jul 2019  |  <1 min read

Saxophonist Gary Bartz was a graduate of Juilliard and in the early Sixties was a real frontline player with McCoy Tyner, Eric Dolphy, Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and others. He could play in the pocket (as they say) but also get into the free jazz/Black Consciousness movements of the late Sixties and early Seventies with his Gary Bartz NTU Troop which melded funk and soul alongside jazz.... > Read more

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Marion Brown: Three for Shepp (Superior Viaduct)

8 Jul 2019  |  1 min read

Although that is Archie “let my notes be bullets” Shepp staring intensely out of this album's cover alongside saxophonist Marion Brown, and despite three of the six pieces being penned by him, the great saxophonist doesn't actually appear on this '66 release. No matter in way, because altoist Brown was a powerful and melodic player – he was 30 at the time, he died in 2010... > Read more

Ethnic Heritage Ensemble: Be Known; Ancient/Future/Music (Spiritmuse Records)

4 Jul 2019  |  <1 min read

At a time when some young jazz musicians are reaching back to the project of black American spiritual and political jazz for their platform, it's thrilling that this long-running outfit steered by Chicago percussion player Kahil El'Zabar delivers an album as emotional and as powerful as this. Located somewhere between the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Sun Ra, the Revolutionary Ensemble, Albert... > Read more

KIM PATERSON PROFILED, AT AUDIOCULTURE (2019): The modest star of New Zealand jazz

30 Jun 2019  |  1 min read

In 2012, when the album The Duende by multi-instrumentalist Kim Paterson was released, he was widely acknowledged as one of the senior statesmen in New Zealand jazz. Yet his catalogue of solo albums was alarmingly small, especially given he had been a mainstay of many acclaimed bands and excellent recordings by others for over four decades. In fact, The Duende was only... > Read more

Myele Manzanza: A Love Requited (First World/digital outlets)

28 Jun 2019  |  2 min read

From the album title and the opening bars here, this drummer/producer and composer – raised in New Zealand, very much a global citizen these days – invites a big comparison which jazz lovers will immediately get. But as that opening track Ritual spirals out through Matthew Sheens muscular piano and then a post-bop fury of horn lines, it is clear Manzanza has a wide reach from... > Read more

Resilience

The Stan Getz Quartet: Getz at the Gate; Live at the Village Gate, Nov 26, 1961 (Verve)

22 Jun 2019  |  2 min read  |  1

And here's another gift and “lost” jazz album from the vaults in the manner of last year's Charlie Haden/Brad Mehldau live album, Coltrane's studio session and live recordings of Charles Mingus in Detroit and Errol Garner in Amsterdam. In 1961, the melodically fluid post-bop saxophonist Stan Getz – who had helped define the cool sound of West Coast jazz in the late Fifties... > Read more

Where Do You Go?

Various Artists: If You're Not Part of the Solution (Ace/Border)

20 Jun 2019  |  1 min read

As we've previously mentioned, if you are a DJ seeking out rare grooves, obscurities and deep cuts (and whatever the current jargon is), then compilation like this must be very irritating. Because this one – subtitled “Soul, Politics and Spirituality in Jazz 1967 to 1975” – puts great and rare music into the hands and ears of ordinary civilians. And... > Read more

Warriors of Peace, by Azar Lawrence

Medbøe/Halle/Malling: Hvor En Var Baen (Copperfly)

6 Jun 2019  |  1 min read

Following the recent 10 inch release with Swedish pianist Jacob Karlzon, Edinburgh-based Norwegian guitarist Haftor Medbøe here teams up with Norwegian trumpeter Gunnar Halle and Danish bassist Eva Malling for a further limited edition, hand-numbered 10 inch installment of distinctive, lean improvisations. But here this trio stretch further using the folk poetry of Danish writer Martin N... > Read more

Ae Nynner En Vis'

Herlin Riley: Perpetual Optimism (Mack Avenue/Southbound)

24 May 2019  |  <1 min read

This great New Orleans jazz drummer emerged alongside Wynton Marsalis and his neo-con movement in the Eighties and played on many Wynton albums (and pianist Marcus Roberts' Deep in the Shed), is a member of the Jazz at the Lincoln Centre Orchestra and, like many neo-cons, moved into teaching. Here with the fine band of pianist Emmet Cohen, bassist Russell Hall, alto player Godwin Louis and... > Read more

Stella By Starlight

Eyolf Dale and Andre Roligheten: Departures (Edition Records/digital outlets)

14 May 2019  |  <1 min read

Say “Norwegian jazz” to most and the most immediate response from most would be of emotionally frosty ECM albums and brusque tonality from the saxophone. This established duo however of pianist Dale and saxophonist/clarinetist Roligheten – who were previously known as Albatrosh and who have has separate careers – deliver something considerably more warm, melodic and,... > Read more

Mark de Clive-Lowe: Heritage II (Rope-a-Dope/Southbound)

13 May 2019  |  1 min read

In some respects the first volume of this musical journey by expat Kiwi keyboard player/electronica artist Mark de Clive-Lowe sets up this superior edition which is more focused on the Japanese half of his background. Much of the source material (musical or literary) is Japanese and the evocative opener sets a mood of reflection and a contemporary-sounding voyage back to misty origins.... > Read more

The Silk Road

Ezra Collective: You Can't Steal My Joy (Enter the Jungle/Southbound)

26 Apr 2019  |  1 min read

Spoken of in the same breath as Sons of Kemet, Maisha and The Comet is Coming, the five-piece British outfit Ezra Collective are part of the new wave of jazz coming out of London where artists collaborate and support each other, yet can take quite divergent paths. Ezra Collective have already picked up a number of accolades for two previous EPs but if, for example, The Comet is Coming aim... > Read more

King of the Jungle

MARK DE CLIVE LOWE PROFILED, AT AUDIOCULTURE (2019): Jazz in the present and future tense

23 Apr 2019  |  1 min read

As with his peer and fellow jazzman Nathan Haines, Auckland-born keyboard player, DJ, producer and composer Mark de Clive-Lowe was a serious young jazz musician who came of age in the hip-hop era. And so his musical – and then geographic – horizons widened rapidly. These days he is a global citizen who has collaborated with local players in Japan, performed in Cuba, South... > Read more

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