Cameron Graves, Seven

The pianist on The Epic, the greatest jazz album of the last decade, Cameron Graves has his own very different thing going down and this is Graves' best record yet. Kamasi Washington pops up best of all for a cameo on the beautiful 'Paradise …

Published: 12 Feb 2021. Updated: 24 days.

The pianist on The Epic, the greatest jazz album of the last decade, Cameron Graves has his own very different thing going down and this is Graves' best record yet.

Kamasi Washington pops up best of all for a cameo on the beautiful 'Paradise Trinity' and the album has lots of layers. As previously noted there is a brutal but compelling side to 'Sons of Creation'. Raving along with Graves it's probably not the case that hawkish Colin Cook, however, is playing the geetar with his teeth. But I did wonder.

Rumbling bravura is the case especially on 'Red' on this quartet affair, Graves with Cook, bass guitarist Max Gerl and drummer Mike Mitchell. It's mighty that in a week when we mourn the loss of Chick Corea that you can hear the influence of the great one's Return to Forever writ large, the vision an inspiration especially on Graves, and Mitchell for one monstering the groove.

And there's more, note well that the album may bring out the inner jazz Kevin teenage nightmare phase in all of us lurking still even as old geezers. However peel away all the wrappings and there is a velvet core within the tough leather glove. I loved Planetary Prince, Graves' swaggering biggest statement to date released in 2017 with its sunlit baroque dancing quality.

This latest shows a path others like ELEW tried to travel but never knew the geosat code for the direct route. This is even better and Graves even follows in the footsteps of his soul singer father Carl Graves by singing on the track 'Eternal Paradise' in a surprise touch given the earlier tracks, Graves however entering Graham Bonnet mode as Mitchell not so quietly goes berserk behind him. All that's missing for Graves in terms of kit surely on the album is a keytar. For listeners come equipped with a lighter to be held in the air especially on the last track. Gags aside to be deadly serious for a moment Seven is a fine album with lots of original ideas that shows that you don't have to hover quietly as a mouse and go shhh all the time to play jazz. Out next week on Mack Avenue. Cameron Graves photo: Rob Shanahan

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Devastating shock for the world jazz community: Chick Corea has died

Tributes are flooding in online to Chick Corea who has died at the age of 79 of cancer. An announcement was made on the great pianist, composer and bandleader's Facebook page earlier. ''It is with great sadness we announce that on February 9th, …

Published: 11 Feb 2021. Updated: 24 days.

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Tributes are flooding in online to Chick Corea who has died at the age of 79 of cancer. An announcement was made on the great pianist, composer and bandleader's Facebook page earlier.

''It is with great sadness we announce that on February 9th, Chick Corea passed away at the age of 79, from a rare form of cancer which was only discovered very recently.

''Throughout his life and career, Chick relished in the freedom and the fun to be had in creating something new, and in playing the games that artists do.

''He was a beloved husband, father and grandfather, and a great mentor and friend to so many. Through his body of work and the decades he spent touring the world, he touched and inspired the lives of millions.

''Though he would be the first to say that his music said more than words ever could, he nevertheless had this message for all those he knew and loved, and for all those who loved him:

“I want to thank all of those along my journey who have helped keep the music fires burning bright. It is my hope that those who have an inkling to play, write, perform or otherwise, do so. If not for yourself then for the rest of us. It’s not only that the world needs more artists, it’s also just a lot of fun.

“And to my amazing musician friends who have been like family to me as long as I’ve known you: It has been a blessing and an honor learning from and playing with all of you. My mission has always been to bring the joy of creating anywhere I could, and to have done so with all the artists that I admire so dearly—this has been the richness of my life.

''Chick’s family will of course appreciate their privacy during this difficult time of loss.''