Blue Reality Quartet, Ella's Island, Mahakala Music ****

One of our favourite avant records last year was the Michael Marcus, Joe McPhee, Warren Smith, Jay Rosen extravaganza Blue Reality Quartet! Serene and quiet, contemplative, you could really hear the extra elements of the instruments and the …

Published: 5 Sep 2022. Updated: 21 days.

One of our favourite avant records last year was the Michael Marcus, Joe McPhee, Warren Smith, Jay Rosen extravaganza Blue Reality Quartet! Serene and quiet, contemplative, you could really hear the extra elements of the instruments and the expression in the crafting and the way the afternotes mean something.

They repeat that suite of emotions here and it is a tonic for the senses.

Make no mistake they do not play the sentimental cosy card but they are delivering direct from the heart. Abstract music that has its own sense of tonality flirting with melody but with pulse and vibrational revelation even more important engrained deep down the quartet are back with Ella's Island just as good if not better than last year's gem.

Perhaps you don't get the Mingusian sense you got on the earlier record's 'Joe's Train' but instead there is even more classic width say on 'Minefields In Opulence' for instance when the approach journeys more Dolphy-like instead. Smith adds a lot of dynamic velocity within the sound which is a strong suit of the album overall as too is the Bud Powell homage 'Buttercup' where Rosen rises to the challenge. 'Low and Slow' is moving - simple as that and no higher praise. We'd love to hear this quartet live, a thought to cling on to however much an impossible dream that may well turn out to be.

Tags: 1 of 6 of the latest album and track reviews

A Selwyn Harris talk on what's the secret of a good biopic is a Southend jazz festival highlight

In addition to Deschanel Gordon, the Simon Spillett Big Band, Tara Minton, the Tommaso Starace quartet, Dale Storr and the up-and-coming Mukasa Collective very fine jazz writer saxophone teacher Selwyn Harris is to deliver a talk on the …

Published: 5 Sep 2022. Updated: 21 days.

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In addition to Deschanel Gordon, the Simon Spillett Big Band, Tara Minton, the Tommaso Starace quartet, Dale Storr and the up-and-coming Mukasa Collective very fine jazz writer saxophone teacher Selwyn Harris is to deliver a talk on the representation of jazz musicians in movies historically at next month's Southend jazz festival. Selwyn touches on such very different films as The Benny Goodman Story, Miles Ahead and Low Down. For some of Selwyn's best writing read his essays contained in the booklet of Jazz in Polish Cinema: Out of the Underground 1958-1967 released by Jazz on Film Records in 2014. The Southend talk on Sunday 2 October takes place at the Jazz Centre. More on Southend. Tickets to the talk

Selwyn Harris, top, Deschanel Gordon, above