This is a must for hard bop fans, Harrell has come up with the goods on two counts: a fine band (Mark Turner on tenor sax, Charles Altura on guitar, Ben Street on bass and Johnathan Blake on drums) who run hard with the trumpeter; and a bunch of compositions that make sense and provide both a heat and plenty of depth kept taut and true by the great rhythm section. Harrell is an inspiration to many trumpeters out there including the UK talent Reuben Fowler and it is easy to see why. Harrell keeps the formula the same on most of his albums so no one is smashing up the rule book but that formula is one that continues to remain true to his vision and there is a clarity on Infinity that you won’t find on too many records out there. Out now on Highnote records.
Ayanna Witter-Johnson releases Road Runner next month. Check ‘Nothing Less’ from the album above. The cellist/singer says: ‘‘Road Runner’ is my hustle as an artist. An expression of my road, my journey — physically, emotionally and historically. Each song is a memory of what has given me strength to become who I am today, and I hope that the music will ignite something in your soul and encourage you to rise up within yourself and live the life you want to live.”
Look out for Fragments this coming week new from pianist Adam Fairhall, bassist Seth Bennett and drummer Johnny Hunter. The improv trio began in 2013 as a workshop band in their words: “Rather than incorporating improvisation into composed frameworks, the trio start by improvising freely, and then may, at any point, begin playing a ‘fragment’; one of a series of pre-composed fragments of musical material.”
One of the event releases of the year so far... Italian pianist Giovanni Guidi’s elegant trio with bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer João Lobo goes further to expand to a quintet on some tracks. The album includes a tribute to the much missed Tomasz Stańko. Look for the album on 22 March.