Daily jazz blog, Marlbank

Arooj Aftab, Night Reign, Verve ***

Currently the no. 1 selling jazz and blues album in the UK arriving not long after the excellent Love in Exile which we reckoned was one of last year's best releases in jazz - although some papers like The Guardian bracket it absurdly under the …

Published: 9 Jun 2024. Updated: 39 days.

Currently the no. 1 selling jazz and blues album in the UK arriving not long after the excellent Love in Exile which we reckoned was one of last year's best releases in jazz - although some papers like The Guardian bracket it absurdly under the term ''global'', the great jazz pianist and improviser Vijay Iyer again is significant as a collaborator with the 39-year-old New York based Pakistani-American singer Arooj Aftab who first surfaced a decade ago with Bird Under Water. Themed around all things nocturnal the album has a restless stylistic spread and allows room for acoustic guitar from Kaki King and Gyan Riley and who can resist the harp stylings. ''If you allow yourself to be in the night it can be an extremely joyous place where you're out until six in the morning or it can be when you rest. All these nine songs are somehow different phases of the night," Aftab told Reuters recently. The version of jazz standard 'Autumn Leaves' left us cold but we much preferred the presence of Moor Mother and Joel Ross on 'Bolo Na' and best of all Iyer's wonderful presence on the evanescent 'Saaqi'. A future fully conceived and explored duo album with Iyer would make perfect sense - Aftab plays Glastonbury later this month. Arooj Aftab, photo: Shreya Dev Dube

Tags: Reviews

The week ahead: Top 10 UK & Ireland jazz gigs

1/ Mario Bakuna Band The Pheasantry, Chelsea Tuesday Read a review of fab Brazilian guitarist Mario Bakuna over at the Lion and Lamb in Hoxton. 2/ Unharm Glad Cafe, Glasgow Tuesday 3/ Radhika de Saram Quartet featuring Ivo Neame The Lescar, …

Published: 9 Jun 2024. Updated: 31 days.

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Read a review of fab Brazilian guitarist Mario Bakuna over at the Lion and Lamb in Hoxton.

GIG OF THE WEEK

2023's Telling the Tale proved a lot less raucous and far more difficult to sum up in a few words than trumpeter Chris Batchelor's other project Pigfoot - that band's Paul Clarvis is also to hand in an unusual quintet. Ask yourself how often do you find a viola in a small jazz quintet? Well, Margrit Hasler proves very soulful playing that instrument in a grouping to be heard in Brum along with Batchelor, guitarist John Parricelli, bassist Steve Watts and Clarvis. You find various styles dotted throughout, all hanging together very easily - the fine tunes are mainly Batchelor's - and from a jazz-rock atmosphere with gutsy Parricelli work on 'Huckster' to a chamber jazz feel on Edu Lobo/Vinicius de Moraes' 'Canto Triste' where Hasler is prominent there is even a passage that summons thoughts of a call to prayer on 'Corneta'. A melting pot of an album full of grace and charm - a welcome diversion from the norm.

For Bold Tendencies Maki Namekawa plays The Köln Concert - coughs up quite a night in prospect. But if late to the draw alas and lack, sob, already sold out.

Chris Batchelor's Zoetic, photographer unknown, play Birmingham on Friday night

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