It is magnetic how many bases Kandace Springs locks firm to. She is not trying to please everyone however the range is considerable. The way the album is produced arrows knowingly raining in on several targets and not as glossy and mainstream as Larry Klein’s who nonetheless achieved a lot on Soul Eyes. And yet this is a mass market aimed style still, the stakes are getting higher, the possibility of failure greater.
There is a lot of musicianship sprinkled throughout and this is reassuring meaning that Indigo is not at all gimmicky because musicianship is the polar opposite of faddy novelty. The human interest story is the presence of Kandace’s dad, Scat, on ‘Simple Things’ which delivers an effortless sounding level of persuasion and finds all the space of the world and lets the song hang in the air doted upon by father and daughter yet avoiding sentimentality by its complexity.
Standouts are the quality version of ‘People Make the World Go Round’, the best I have heard since Claire Martin's stunning take on the song on Perfect Alibi.
Kandace is not the new Norah Jones, She is not the new anyone. Her tack is different. She does not emphasise the tragic song, the mournful; her positivity comes free inside the groove steered impressively by August Greene drummer Karriem Riggins an approach that underpins her blues and versatility and the other inputs that she picks up from soul. But intimacy calls best as ‘Unsophisticated’ proves, Roy Hargrove going ever deeper than he did on his version of Pat Metheny’s ‘Always and Forever’ on Moment to Moment, to my mind his biggest ballad achievement on record to date although this may be considered even greater in time. Will Springs be the female jazz ballads singer of our decade? She certainly responds well to trumpeters, Hargrove following after the dust left by Terence Blanchard settled. The signs are pointing that jazz ballad way already and yet that aspect may only be a sub-plot to her wider every increasing non-core jazz public who may beg her to sing anything including the phone book for their ravenous pleasure. SG
Indigo is released by Blue Note records on Friday 7 September.
Kandace Springs plays the EFG London Jazz Festival in the QEH on 17 November. Support is AJ Brown. Info + tickets. photo: Jeff Forney/Universal/Blue Note
According to multiple sources in the US but not yet officially announced tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano has signed to the German label ECM and is to tour Trio Tapestry. This has an avant flavour because it will feature the cult former Braxtonian, pianist Marilyn Crispell and reunites Lovano with his Viva Caruso drummer Carmen Castaldi. Dates appear on a number of schedules seen by marlbank to begin in the States in late-January and then when it reaches Europe to include a concert in Berlin in the spring.
Last year Lovano, Crispell and Castaldi were billed to play at least one gig under the banner of Trio Fascination: The Moment of Now (fans will prick up their ears at mention of Trio Fascination which in Edition One was in the 1990s a Blue Note label album with JoeLo + Dave Holland and Elvin Jones). Described by one source as featuring “innovative new compositions” this departure is a huge signing by anyone’s standards while Lovano has appeared on the label in the past as a sideman notably on Paul Motian records.
For 2019 it is the first glimmer of what already looks to be a big year for the Manfred Eicher founded label which will be marking its 50th anniversary in some way. No plans have been announced at all so far. Top of the wish list for many, marlbank included, is that the Mal Waldron album Free At Last which is impossible to find and which began the whole Edition of Contemporary Music story can be at last reissued and experienced by a new generation of listeners for the first time. Stephen Graham
Joe Lovano above, publicity photo
There is a vast amount of original music drawn from all over the world and performed by Bansangu orchestra on their new self-titled record and they play live later this month.
Formed by Paul Booth, Giorgio Serci and Kevin Robinson still more star names such as Jason Yarde, Alex Wilson, Shanti Paul Jayasinha, Trevor Mires, Barnaby Dickinson, Steve Fishwick and Rod Youngs are in the orchestra. Beautifully arranged on ‘The Long Road’ above sitarist Jonathan Mayer (son of violinist John Mayer, a close collaborator with Joe Harriott) features.
Details: Olby’s Margate Jazz Weekend, 21 September.