Kurt Rosenwinkel, Neil Cowley, David Lyttle and Brandon Flowers drummer/co-songwriter Darren Beckett are among the strong high profile city of Derry jazz and big band festival line-up.
See the Millennium Forum website for the Mary Black, Van Morrison and Mary Coughlan gigs; and the main jazz festival site including all details for 3-7 May.
THE DUBLIN LABEL DIATRIBE are curating a festival called Éiríocht at Dalston club the Vortex in London on 16-17 March, new Irish contemporary and improvised music firsts include a film/voice/quintet setting of T.S. Eliot’s seminal 1922 poem The Waste Land, a century changing work along with Ulysses published that year which both gave birth as seminal works to literary modernism. Directed by television and film actor Adrian Dunbar (Line of Duty, Hear My Song) who regularly directs and performs in the plays of Samuel Beckett at the Happy Days festival in Enniskillen, The Waste Land features a score by Nick Roth who has also performed a number of times at the widely acclaimed Fermanagh festival and who leads the Yurodny ensemble. Éiríocht is supported by IMRO and Culture Ireland as part of GB18: Promoting Irish arts in Britain.
WHAT’S ON times may be subject to change, check venue website for latest running times
Friday 16 March 7pm Izumi Kimura 8pm Colm O’Hara / David Lacey 9pm TRE: Francesco Turrisi / Nick Roth / Kate Ellis 10pm Shane Latimer.
Saturday 17 March 2pm Benjamin Dwyer 3pm Olesya Zdorovetska / Keith Lindsay 4pm Laura Hyland / Peter Marsh 5pm Linda Buckley 6pm Mick O’Shea / Irene Murphy 7pm Sean Carpio 10pm The Waste Land – film and Anna Nygh, Orla Charlton, Frank McCusker, Stanley Townsend (voice) with Nick Roth, Alex Bonney, Matthew Bourne, Riann Vosloo and Simon Roth 9pm Lauren Kinsella/ Kit Downes 10pm Umbra: Chris Guilfoyle, Chris Engel, Sam Comerford, Barry Donohue, Matt Jacobson and 11pm DJackulate.
I enjoyed Songways, the Battaglia trio’s 2013 album, more than any on their work to date now even including this new album.
Having said that there are moments of sheer joy dotted about on In the Morning, and it’s patently obvious how much of a quality trio at ease in navigating the more ascetic end of modern jazz piano traditions that draw to mind say trios led by Paul Bley that this is. Look to the third track ‘Moon and Sand’ and ‘Chick Lorimer’ right at the end for the best signs of trio empathy and improvisational ambition.
Organised around an Alec Wilder theme, the approach within this concept is often to take the path less travelled in terms of repertoire because a few of the best known Wilder pieces (‘Blackberry Winter’ [maybe to avoid the Bop-Be Jarrett comparison?] and ‘I’ll Be Around’) aren’t included. All the tunes are by the American composer and songwriter who died in 1980, with well crafted Battaglia arrangements making them correspond uncannily to the slightly reserved ECM chamber-jazz style of piano trio we’re all so accustomed to.
From Milan Battaglia, who has been an ECM artist for ages, is here again with Sassari-born double bassist Salvatore Maiore, and the Vicenza-born drummer Roberto Dani. A live album recorded in a Turin theatre last year, the audience sounds a little tired in their applause so the trio weren’t getting that much back from the auditorium at least as detected by the microphones. Sample a few tracks first (definitely the ones mentioned above) via download as a try-out before committing to the whole album. Less might well be more.
Released on 28 August
Lately I have been reading Teju Cole’s novel Open City bought on impulse in a well stocked book shop which even puts on jazz as part of their evening programme of events – their No Alibis series returns in a few weeks.
The book first published on this side of the Atlantic approaching eight years ago is set in New York and Brussels and the reason I mention it is that it is dotted with jazz references, not particularly crucial to the story but skilfully dropped in.
A young doctor, the main character and narrator, has dinner with a fellow, older doctor who he met on the plane over from New York. She advises him to ‘be sure to get Cannonball’s Somethin’ Else... that’s the great one of all his albums, a true classic.’ Julius duly promises he would. Nat Adderley, writer of ‘Work Song’ and brother of Cannonball the fictional doctor treated, as she did his brother and she and her husband through them later met other jazz musicians including Chet Baker.
As for Cannonball the Copasetic Foundation has just received a grant from Arts Council England to launch ‘Portrait of Cannonball’ – a celebration of Cannonball’s music with Tony Kofi on alto sax, Kind of Blue-featured Cannonball’s instrument, and Byron Wallen on cornet, Nat’s preferred horn, a favourite instrument going back to the early days of jazz as championed by Buddy Bolden no less.
I thought I heard Cannonball say more like, the Portraiture group includes pianist Alex Webb, Andy Cleyndert or Daniel Casimir alternating on bass depending on the gig and drummer Alfonso Vitale plus a guest spot by award winning singer Deelee Dubé who will reference Cannonball’s work with Nancy Wilson, the group publicity points out. SG
The first show is on 2 February at London jazz club the Vortex.