Ex-Miles Davis jazz violin fusion legend Michał Urbaniak pops up with his band Urbanator for a rare club visit to London in September.
Hugely charismatic, the former saxophonist, who also played with Krzysztof Komeda in the 1960s, will be appearing at Streatham club Hideaway on 14 September. The club say that it is Urbaniak’s first London show in five years. Tickets.
Interesting and cheering to see this pop up as a bestseller on Bandcamp at the moment. Why so? Well Price is not part of the currently much hyped group of UK bands, usually released by either the Jazz Re:freshed or Brownswood labels, to get a rush of hype behind him. And another thing, the style is pretty mainstream to an extent which rarely gets, rather unfairly, any hype at all. Nobody is going to be going around claiming like the wheel has been reinvented after all. Guitarist Price has a pristine highly mobile sound and close your eyes and he could be playing on a 1960s record, his sound landing a little between Kenny Burrell and Grant Green. With Matt Home on drums, the popular Hammond organist Ross Stanley, and hard blowing tenor saxophonist Vasilis Xenopoulos all playing as a supportive team, the impressive thing here is that this was made in front of a live audience, the band clearly are old fashioned in the sense that they can make it sound like the studio. Good meat and potatoes blowing jazz all in all and a bunch of tunes that know where the beginnings, middles and ends need to be.
Sad to report the death from the ravages of pancreatic cancer of the Norway residing Italian drummer Paolo Vinaccia at the age of 65. Vinaccia worked memorably with Tommy Smith and Arild Andersen on the Live at Belleville album. Smith, via Twitter, paid tribute, writing: “To my dear brother in music, Paolo Vinaccia, rest in peace, we love you forever. I’m a better human being for having known you. Paolo was the embodiment and definition of the word Art in its truest form, for that man dreamt, lived and breathed creativity.”
Mark 29 and 30 July in your diaries... they make for a couple of chances to catch one of the most swinging soulfully bluesy jazz saxophone masters in the ideal circumstances of a small jazz club situation.
Now in his eighties Houston Person has more than 75 albums under his own name on Prestige, Westbound, Mercury, Savoy, Muse, and is currently with High Note Records. He has recorded with Charles Brown, Charles Earland, Lena Horne, Etta Jones, Lou Rawls, Horace Silver, Dakota Staton, and many more.
His latest record is I’m Just a Lucky So and So, from which his version of ‘Willow Weep For Me’ can be heard above, is released on High Note at the end of July. Hear him with his organ trio at Pizza Express Jazz Club, London. Remember: you only really learn deep down as a player or as a listener by hearing and experiencing the masters live. Tickets.
Murmuring to a tech equivalent of a cicada behind him, saxophonist Rob Cope paints all over the minimal background as a Gods of Apollo scene setter on ‘Sputnik’ the first of what is planned to be a three-part trilogy inspired by space.
Spoken word from the NASA archives spool out of the speakers at the beginning of ‘Human Spaceflight’ with pianist Elliot Galvin suitably modernistic sprawlingly effective behind the speech. There is a lot going on throughout the album and there is a certain danger that the concept will overpower the playing itself but luckily this does not happen mainly because the production and compositional techniques seem to be so very well thought through. Cope has a very human Iain Ballamy-like sound and his bittersweet soliloquies make this quite a personal statement and with Galvin, superb particularly on ‘Magnificent Desolation’, guitarist Rob Luft and drummer Jon Ormston around him there is a strong group unity and direction. Cope and chums launch the album tonight at the Vortex. Get yourself down there if you can.