Jazz in Elsewhere

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

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Holm-Svendsen, Sommer, Praśniewski: Totem (April Records/digital outlets)

10 Jun 2024  |  <1 min read

Now the names might not be familiar but this is smooth, cool and interesting jazz which peels off from the likes of Ornette Coleman and Sonny Rollins as this trio of Christian Holm-Svendsen (saxophones, clarinet), Daniel Sommer (drums) and Mariusz Praśniewski (bass) uncouple themselves from chordal instruments and allow the melodic and rhythmic exploration to flow freely. With sometimes as... > Read more


Ben Gailer, Auckland Jazz Orchestra: Monolith (digital outlets),

26 May 2024  |  <1 min read

The Auckland Jazz Orchestra has proven to be a fine, professional vehicle for young composers and performers as well as sound interpreters of music like that of the late Phil Broadhurst. Here Auckland composer, arranger and pianist Ben Gailer gets to hear his sometimes lush but refined work given polish and punch alongside an increasingly overwrought performance of a tumultuous jazz-rock... > Read more

Kamasi Washington: Fearless Movement (digital outlets)

19 May 2024  |  1 min read

Because the commanding Kamasi Washington has appeared at Elsewhere previously – in an interview and album reviews – we will just note that, as with Wynton Marsalis, Duke Ellington, Ornette Coleman and many others, calling this saxophonist/composer a jazz musician, it's limiting. Growing up in Los Angeles he gravitated to jazz in his early teens but, as a kid of his generation,... > Read more

Interstellar Peace (The Last Stance)

RECOMMENDED RECORD: Alice Coltrane: A Monastic Trio (Impulse)

9 May 2024  |  1 min read

From time to time Elsewhere will single out a recent release we recommend on vinyl, like this album released for the first time in decades on record. Check out Elsewhere's other Recommended Record picks . . . . An excellent and intelligent reissue in the Verve by Request series, these late-Sixties recordings by the much underrated pianist/harpist widow of jazz sax... > Read more

Gospel Trane

Alex Pipes: Square One (digital outlets)

1 May 2024  |  1 min read

With his playing and production expertise, not to mention his international experience, saxophonist/flautist Nathan Haines has been lending his cachet to a number of local jazz artists these past few years. And he appears on the track Blue Fluff on this exciting debut album by Auckland guitarist Alex Pipes who – having studied at the University of Auckland – can also call on... > Read more


Callum Allardice: Cinematic Light Orchestra (digital outlets)

26 Apr 2024  |  1 min read

Wellington guitarist/composer Callum Allardice has appeared a few times at Elsewhere but never with an album under his own name. But his time really has come with this ambitious album.  Among other accolades, Allardice has won three APRA composition awards (2016, 2017, 2019), one of his bands The Jac was a jazz album of the year finalist in 2014 and won it in 2020 with their third... > Read more

Unknown Peril

Shabaka: Perceive Its Beauty, Acknowledge Its Grace (Impulse/digital outlets)

20 Apr 2024  |  1 min read  |  2

It doesn't seem that long ago that “jazz flute” was considered a joke. Thank you, Ron Burgundy. But there is a great tradition of jazz flute through daring players like Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Don Cherry to the quiet considerations of Paul Horn playing inside the Taj Mahal, Alice Coltrane's Indo-spiritualism and Tony Scott's Music for Zen Meditation. Saxophonist Shabaka... > Read more


9 Apr 2024  |  5 min read

When Wellington saxophonist Lucien Johnson released his album Wax///Wane three years ago it became an immediate Elsewhere favourite. At year's end it was in our Best of the Year list and also that of the Listener (which admittedly was a list chosen by us). What drew us to it was how different it was from most New Zealand jazz releases. In part we said, “The... > Read more

Tomasz Dabrowski and the Individual Beings: Better (digital outlets)

31 Mar 2024  |  <1 min read

Two years ago Elsewhere drew attention to this Polish trumpeter and his innovative ensemble. In part a tribute to the late Tomasz Stanko (an Elsewhere favourite), the album was impressive for the confident diversity of the material and playing which ran from cool blue Miles Davis stylings to the outer reaches of free jazz. But is was the more restrained and contained material which left... > Read more


Alice Coltrane: Shiva-Loka (Impulse!/digital outlets)

22 Mar 2024  |  1 min read

The rediscovery of pianist/harpist/composer Alice Coltrane in the past decade picks up speed this year with the “Year of Alice” which will see attention shone on her recordings for the Impulse! And Verve labels. The widow of John has had sporadic attention over the decades so we are forgiven if we haven't paid serious attention previously. Her original albums were hard to find,... > Read more

Charles Lloyd: The Sky Will Still Be There Tomorrow (Blue Note/digital outlets)

18 Mar 2024  |  1 min read

Even those who just casually poke around Elsewhere will know the affection and high esteem in which we hold saxophonist/flautist Charles Lloyd. One of his albums Lift Every Voice is in our Essential Elsewhere selection and frankly there are another couple we could slip in there without apology. Now 86, Lloyd brings even more quiet sensitivity and emotional care to his material as he... > Read more

The Lonely One

Taylor Griffin: In Green (digital outlets)

26 Feb 2024  |  1 min read

Auckland drummer Taylor Griffin is well connected and well travelled with New Orleans, New York, London and Italy on his CV. He's of a new generation, but has a strong connection with Nathan Haines who co-produced the six pieces on this, Griffin's debut, in Auckland. Haines also guests on flute for the driving Latin jazz-funk of the ascending title track and... > Read more

In Green, ft Nathan Haines

Aron and the Jeri Jeri Band: Dama B​ë​gga Ñibi/I Want To Go Home (digital outlets)

1 Feb 2024  |  1 min read

Well, here's an album which has had immediate uptake at Elsewhere because it falls neatly between jazz and world music This is the debut album – after a couple of EPs – from expat keyboard player Aron Ottignon (piano, synths) and the Jeri Jeri Band from Senegal (marimba, percussion, vocals, drums, bass). In truth, it pulls together some material from the EPs – the... > Read more


Dave Wilson: Ephemeral (Thelonious Records/bandcamp)

11 Dec 2023  |  <1 min read

With a string quartet and quintet, Wellington saxophonist Wilson brings out a provocative, enjoyably challenging and thoroughly engrossing collection of charted and improvised pieces. There is multi-layered energy to burn on the opener Speak to Me of Yesterday and Tomorrow (Elusive as the Dead) – all lower case – which weaves its way towards the electric version of Ornette... > Read more


THE VERVE LABEL AT 50 (1994): Great music, bad maths

17 Nov 2023  |  1 min read

When there is time, Elsewhere will be sourcing a rich vein of its archival material which was published in various places during the Eighties and Nineties which are not available on-line. These will most often be reproduced as they appeared in print. Some may be a little fuzzy in the reproduction but we think the story or interview are worth it for researchers or fans. Best read on a... > Read more

Defne Şahin: Hope (digital outlets)

13 Nov 2023  |  1 min read

To some small extent local listeners might have been down this narrow path previously with Matthew Bannister (as One Man Bannister) setting of some Emily Dickinson poems to music on his album The Saddest Noise. Bannister's project was a folk/pop album taking Dickinson's words into his songs, this album by Berlin-raised jazz singer Şahin (of Turkish parents) is a much more sophisticated... > Read more

Lake/Landaeus/Osgood: Spirit (digital outlets)

13 Oct 2023  |  1 min read

The great American saxophonist Oliver Lake might be in his early 80s and have won a Guggenheim Fellowship 30 years ago, but somehow he hasn't been accorded that senior statesman role, the likes of Pharoah Sanders have achieved. Perhaps that's because Lake has been so much harder to get to grips with. He has recorded dozens of albums under his own name, everything from free jazz to... > Read more


Dark Hall: Dark Hall (digital outlets)

30 Aug 2023  |  1 min read

We've had to do our homework on this but, on the basis of a sample track sent our way, we were very happy to do so. This is what we've learned. This adventurous funky jazz quartet were formed in '92 by the metal bassist Steve Di Giorgio who has worked with Testament, Megadeth and many others (but references Jaco Pastorius as an influence), saxophone/flute player Flamp Sorvari and... > Read more

Changing Weather

Miles Davis: Turnaround; Rare Miles from The Complete On The Corner Sessions (Sony/digital outlets)

26 Aug 2023  |  1 min read

When Elsewhere wrote at length about The Complete On The Corner Sessions six-CD box set last year we noted that in '72 when Miles Davis started pulling musicians together for what would become the street-funk On The Corner, no one had much idea what the trumpeter might have in mind. Among the crew who came and went were  guitarist John McLaughlin, Colin Walcott and Khalil Balakrishna... > Read more

Benjamin Gisli Trio: Line of Thought (Fjordgata Records/digital outlets)

23 Aug 2023  |  1 min read

By chance I had heard of this young pianist from Iceland whose name was mentioned in a conversation last year in Stockholm when learning about Sweden's late pianist Esbjörn Svensson (whom I hadn't heard of). I remembered because – preconceptions abound here – I hadn't thought someone from Iceland would be called “Benjamin”. So when this debut album... > Read more

Line of Thought