Jazz in Elsewhere

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Avishai Cohen: Big Vicious (ECM)

28 Mar 2020  |  1 min read

Not to be confused with the Israeli bassist/singer of the same name, this Avishai Cohen – also originally from Israel, then in the US – is a highly regarded trumpeter whose style has some of the spare precision of early Sixties Miles Davis but is also contemporary in that his band Big Vicious edges towards widescreen rock courtesy of guitarist Uzi Ramirez, guitarist/bassist Jonathan... > Read more

Hidden Chamber

Shabaka and the Ancestors: We Are Sent Here By History (Impulse!/digital outlets)

21 Mar 2020  |  1 min read

Shabaka Hutchings – of The Comet is Coming, Sons of Kemet and other evolving UK jazz/funk ensembles alongside this one – has advanced a strand of retro-Afrofuturism which links to Sun Ra, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Don Cherry and others. And given those references it is fitting that the group – back after their Wisdom of the Elders in 2016 –... > Read more

Steve Barry/Judy Bailey: Elements (Rattle)

16 Mar 2020  |  1 min read

Expat New Zealand pianist Barry studied under the exceptional Australia Bailey when he attended Sydney's Conservatorium of Music (where Mike Nock also taught) on a jazz course and almost immediately discovered they had a mutual understanding when it came to live improvisation. Barry called it “telepathy” and this session recorded live in August 2018 confirms that. The album... > Read more


PAT METHENY INTERVIEWED (2020): The confounding career of Pat Metheny

10 Mar 2020  |  6 min read

For more than 45 years, over as many albums and 20 Grammy awards, 65-year old Pat Metheny established himself as the pre-eminent guitarist of his generation. That he's not a household name isn't just down to his chosen idiom – he's nominally a jazz musician – but because he hasn't made it easy for an audience. In his catalogue are sublime and commercially successful albums --... > Read more

Treesearch: Know More Knowledge (577 Records/digital outlets)

2 Mar 2020  |  1 min read

The duo Treesearch from the US – on the same label 577 Records as the great saxophonist/trumpeter Daniel Carter – are violinist Keir GoGwilt and acoustic bassist Kyle Motl. They freely improvise and create something very attractive between quite disciplined free jazz, quasi-ethic sounds, bouncing invention and contemporary art music. There is mostly a poise and... > Read more

Out on a Limb

ONE WE MISSED: Michal Martyniuk: Resonate (SJ Records/digital outlets)

24 Feb 2020  |  1 min read

Released at the end of last year when Elsewhere was winding up, this album by Polish-born New Zealand pianist Michal Martyniuk becomes timely now because he is playing an Auckland concert on March 15 (details below). Recorded with his Polish group of Jakub Skowroński (tenor), Kuba Mizeracki (guitar), Bartek Chojnacki (contrabass), Kuba Gudz (drums) – who appeared on his... > Read more

John Rae: Lighthouse (Thick Records)

13 Feb 2020  |  1 min read

Recorded in Rotorua and inspired by the traditional music of Japan, this album lead by the highly qualified drummer John Rae manages to exist somewhere between world music-cum-jazz, meditative classical music and exotic minimalism. As much as the compositions, the success of these often simple tunes which are stretched and embellished is also down to the small ensemble of pianist... > Read more

Soran Bushi

PAT METHENY INTERVIEWED (2020): Him and Ornette dancing in their heads

11 Feb 2020  |  4 min read

After more than a decade as the golden guitarist at ECM cracking commercially successful albums (by jazz standards), selling out concerts and winning critical acclaim, Pat Metheny was itching for freedom. At 23 he'd told Downbeat “I have as much chops as anyone playing. But I don't want to be thought of as a hot, young guitar player” and “I'm thinking of the long run, not... > Read more

ONE WE MISSED: Corea/McBride/Blade: Trilogy 2 (Concord/Southbound)

11 Jan 2020  |  1 min read

Although Elsewhere unashamedly indulges in free jazz (and has written about some of its more obscure corners here), there is something satisfying, reassuring and comfortable about hearing some of the idiom's finest practitioners playing off each other in a small acoustic setting, often on standards which get reinvented in that instant between thought and expression. That is why we will... > Read more


Dixon Nacey: The Edge of Chaos (Rattle)

24 Nov 2019  |  <1 min read

Auckland guitarist/composer Dixon Nacey here with the usual suspects/fellow travellers – saxophonist Roger Manins, keyboard player Kevin Field, bassist Olivier Holland, drummer Andy Keegan and guest vocalists on one track -- slides effortlessly between shapeshifting jazz-rock (Habituation), bouncy bop (Bench Wrecker) to delicacy (Etiquette, which suggests he could do a refined version of... > Read more


Matana Roberts: Coin Coin Chapter Four: Memphis (Constellation)

18 Nov 2019  |  1 min read

This extraordinary collision of free jazz, hard bop, spoken word, folk-blues and more is the fourth installment of sonic biographies by Chicago's multi-instrumentalist and classically-trained Matana Roberts who has worked with Vijay Iyer, Roscoe Mitchell, TV on the Radio and Godspeed You! Black Emperor and has been an artist in residence at the Whitney, is a longtime member of AACM and an... > Read more

As Far As the Eye Can See

Mike Stern and Jeff Lorber Fusion: Eleven (Concord/Southbound)

11 Nov 2019  |  1 min read

Guitarist Mike Stern is the man Miles Davis fans loved to hate. Probably even today. That was because he brought the hard rock textures – which Davis wanted – to Miles' band at the dawn of the Eighties, captured on the double live album We Want Miles. He was in Blood Sweat and Tears before joining Davis and six years ago came to New Zealand to play with the Rodger Fox... > Read more

The Comet is Coming: The Afterlife (Impulse!/digital outlets)

28 Oct 2019  |  <1 min read

Billed as “a companion piece to the group's breakout album Trust in the Lifeforce of the Deep Mystery”, (an Elsewhere favourite from earlier this year) this six track, 30 minute mini-album further advances the project of this UK jazz-cum-electronica phenomenon. Released to coincide with an American tour, this announces itself with All That Matters is the Moments which features a... > Read more

Byron Asher's Skrontch Music: Skrontch Music (Sinking City/digital outlets)

27 Oct 2019  |  1 min read

Clarinetist/saxophonist/composer Byron Asher is not only based in New Orleans (hence the record label's name) but deeply immersed in its unique music and singular history. With a 10-piece band on this ambitious but immediately engaging debut album, the award-winning composer crafts a five-movement piece based on his jazz research at Tulane University and interviews with members of the... > Read more


Radical Invisibility: Radical Invisibility (577 Records/digital outlets)

25 Oct 2019  |  1 min read

Start with the side-long weNyamombe and Gomukomu weSimbi by this New York jazz quartet and you might think you've stumbled into a strange but beguiling ECM session where Miles Davis has teamed up with Ornette Coleman's Prime Time band (toned-down) with Bill Frisell alternating with James Blood Ulmer on guitar. The title apparently refers to two musician-poets from Mozambique in... > Read more

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