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Anthony Joseph, Swing Praxis *****

''Mediums for change'': Shaping up to be an event release here's the extraordinarily powerful beautifully-arranged, incendiary latest and sheer oratory from the May Heavenly Sweetness release The Rich Are Only Defeated When Running For Their Lives …

Published: 21 Apr 2021. Updated: 16 days.

''Mediums for change'': Shaping up to be an event release here's the extraordinarily powerful beautifully-arranged, incendiary latest and sheer oratory from the May Heavenly Sweetness release The Rich Are Only Defeated When Running For Their Lives by Anthony Joseph. Recorded in August 2020, with poet-vocalist-leader Joseph are: on bass Andrew John; guitar Thibaut Remy; drums Rod Youngs; keys Florian Pellissier; alto and bari saxophones Jason Yarde; on tenor Shabaka Hutchings and Colin Webster; percussion Crispin Robinson. A must listen. Check when Shabaka kicks in from exploratory beginnings after 3 mins 31 secs and when the track later gains a whole lot more Fahrenheit. There's some outrageously compelling playing here.

'Calling England Home' the gorgeous lead-off is already streaming, a track that rides on an aching introductory instrumental vamp that leads into a brooding Anthony Joseph spoken word poetic testament of a radical vision, a scathing, oblique lament straddling despair at the absence of being accepted to truly belong and the unique perspective of an outsider from the Caribbean coming to London both tracking back to the late-1940s and more recently to the end of the 1980s. The album title is drawn from C. L. R. James' 1938 book The Black Jacobins. Anthony Joseph, top. Link

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Tom Rainey Obbligato, Stella by Starlight ****

It is often highly stimulating to hear avant-gardists play standards. Everything sounds different and yet there is regularly a glimmer of recognition, a shard of light that illuminates the new ideas created to run with the evergreens. In other …

Published: 21 Apr 2021. Updated: 16 days.

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It is often highly stimulating to hear avant-gardists play standards. Everything sounds different and yet there is regularly a glimmer of recognition, a shard of light that illuminates the new ideas created to run with the evergreens. In other words nothing is taken for granted and a certain dismantling and recomposition adds new insights whereas more safety-minded players might instead take a highly reverential, verging on the orthodox, approach. Take drummer Tom Rainey Obbligato's fine live treatment of Victor Young's 'Stella by Starlight' from the 1940s that is drawn from standards album Untucked in Hannover. The main focus is provided winningly by trumpeter Ralph Alessi but the twists and turns within the group interplay upset the applecart in terms of accents, the souped-up harmonic reworkings and the rubato without being at all contrary. It is impossible to not think of Miles Davis playing the piece. Listen to both and you can see how much a radical individual vision Obbligato's is and how their treatment stands tall for the jazz of today, not as 1950s nostalgia, via their own experience and imagination. Tom Rainey, top. Photo: via Bandcamp. Out now on Intakt