As a huge fan of Ian Dury the headline hommage is self-explanatory. Nary a jazz connection, however you might think but you would be wrong especially if you know the Blockheads’ recent output and quite sensibly like Davey Payne and Gilad. Anyway to digress does genre affiliation matter?
More seriously there has been a drought on the new release front at least going on all the unreviewable new albums I have been listening to over the weekend thankfully now over and in full spate again with Magnetic, a RareNoise assemblage/remix/reworking/meeting of minds call it what you will, by little known London maverick producer Gaudi.
Described more officially as “a contemporary tribute to the darker side of the 80s; to psychedelic rock and an era when Sigue Sigue Sputnik dropped proto-punk on the world” don’t let that put you off at all but rather rope you in.
Released on 16 June. There is a Borderline gig that night too dovetailing in a rare feat of label multi-tasking. RareNoise is riding high at the moment because label in-house genius Jamie Saft and a few blokes he knows have teamed up with Iggy Pop and against the odds it doesn’t suck.
Award winning singer-trumpeter Bria Skonberg has a fine voice and plays the trumpet with a pure toned virtuosic skill. She sounds like a big jazz star in the making and to an extent already is becoming one back home in Canada.
The material is another matter entirely. Leonard Cohen’s ‘Dance Me To The End of Love’ and Björk’s ‘It’s Oh So Quiet’ are overly familiar as are the cocktail jazz classic choices with the exception of the interesting Valaida Snow selection similarly, it isn’t all X Factor-like fodder by any means although even an Ed Sheeran cover makes the cut.
With a Twist is certainly highly accessible, undemanding, fun in places, supper club-friendly and resolutely middle of the road. The handsome sound is a plus, Gil Goldstein has done most of the skilled arrangements, Skonberg anchored by the perky rhythm section of Sullivan Fortner on piano, Scott Colley, bass, and Matt Wilson on drums.
If you want classic retro jazz vocals with quite a bit more meaning this is the wrong album for you so I’d suggest Skonberg’s fellow Canadian Diana Krall’s superb new album Turn Up The Quiet instead. Stick with Skonberg if you want something even more old fashioned.