Carla Bley, Andy Sheppard, Steve Swallow, Life Goes On

Andy Sheppard for years has been known as much for his sideman work with the great Carla Bley as he is for his own, still often adored however overshadowed, records. Here, in what might seem at times an amiable and accessible selection but proves …

Published: 8 Mar 2020. Updated: 7 months.

Andy Sheppard for years has been known as much for his sideman work with the great Carla Bley as he is for his own, still often adored however overshadowed, records. Here, in what might seem at times an amiable and accessible selection but proves just as often a dark record the blues along the way provide a glimmer of calm that transform into intimate often black as night interiors, his role is more significant than ever.

Bley's vastly influential sound tunnels back to the deep jazz past and yet she still has one foot in the present given how adept she is at delivering a sense of abstract contemplation that is very now and unsoiled by oversentimentality. The 'Beautiful Telephones' suite is at the heart of this latest album. Make a beeline there but the album holds up throughout.

The rapport that she has with her husband and long time bass guitarist Steve Swallow and that extends to Sheppard as a kind of orator for her compositional ideas you couldn't buy as it isn't for sale. The Englishman is mood setter in chief and excels the more elegiac he becomes. The architect as always however is Bley whose only raw material is as natural as song. SG. Out now on ECM.

Photo above: Geoff Andrew.

Tags: Best so far in 2020Reviews

Cherry on the cake in 45 revolutions per minute

Record Store Day is coming up fast both in the UK and the US and the Cherry on the cake for jazz heads among the release ingredients this year is a previously unavailable Don Cherry quartet recording that dates back to 1965, Cherry Jam. Issuing …

Published: 8 Mar 2020. Updated: 7 months.

Next post

Record Store Day is coming up fast both in the UK and the US and the Cherry on the cake for jazz heads among the release ingredients this year is a previously unavailable Don Cherry quartet recording that dates back to 1965, Cherry Jam.

Issuing this unheard recording, of which no personnel details are available on publicity material so far, by the great Ornette Coleman cornetist and global music explorer Cherry (1936-1995), whose sound remains very influential and hip all these years on, is the King's Cross, London, label Gearbox who are putting the music out taken from the original tape in a small run of 12'' vinyl discs playing at 45 revolutions per minute.

Around 1965 Cherry was a prodigious recording artist making the likes of Togetherness with Gato Barbieri, guesting with George Russell for the At Beethoven Hall recordings in the summer and, in terms of historic milestone recordings of the avant garde, making important recordings with Albert Ayler and most significantly of all recording on Christmas Eve his own Complete Communion.

Marlbank hasn't heard the Cherry jam material so far. What we can glean is that it comprises four tracks of previously unreleased material, including three new compositions. Side A has 1. 'The Ambassador from Greenland' 2. 'You Took Advantage of Me' and Side B: 1. 'Priceless' and 2. 'Nigeria'.