Look out for Motian Music from long time Paul Motian pianist Russ Lossing to be released next month by the US indie Sunnyside. ‘Fiasco’ from the studio album recorded in New Jersey is available ahead of the release. Covered by a range of artists this appealingly jagged Motian composition was on a fairly hard to get Soul Note record that he co-led with Charlie Haden and which featured Geri Allen released in 1988 called Études. Lossing on the upcoming record is in a trio setting with bassist Masa Kamaguchi and drummer Billy Mintz.
A very so-so affair from pianist Yonathan Avishai, Yoni Zelnik on bass and Donald Kontomanou, drums. Joys and Solitudes opens with a glacial version of ‘Mood Indigo’ followed by seven fairly bland originals of Avishai’s. A studio affair recorded in Lugano last year this is as neat and tidy as it possibly gets. Tasteful, well played and professionally presented for sure but there is nothing however that really screams passion or adventure here. Archetypal chamber jazz instead, there is a discreet and polite playbook at work but too much so and this teeters over the line into over-compliance with too many assumed norms. A record that could certainly do with a lot more heat and risk-taking to properly engage. SG.
Released on 25 January.