Daily jazz blog, Marlbank

Charles Tolliver, Connect, Gearbox

You can find this album on at least three streaming services at the moment in its entirety. But Connect is more a vinyl listen. It has that burnished glow to it and of course with hard bop stamped through it like a stick of rock it belongs more to …

Published: 2 Aug 2020. Updated: 3 years.

You can find this album on at least three streaming services at the moment in its entirety. But Connect is more a vinyl listen. It has that burnished glow to it and of course with hard bop stamped through it like a stick of rock it belongs more to the 1960s or even the 50s in nature. Just four tracks, but they say a lot, the skill here is how Tolliver's trumpet and the saxophone of Jesse Davis or Binker Golding meld and gain plenty of traction courtesy of the congenial rhythm section. There is clear navigation through all the tunes, it's a beginning, middle and end sort of record and certainly a comforting listen. You won't be grasping to find familiar sounds, they are all here. This record will do much to act as reminder of the often forgotten Tolliver as a formidable player in his own right not just for his achievements running Strata East or distant sideman days. Currently streaming via Bandcamp, YouTube and Spotify.

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Venues are suffering more than most

COMMENT How cruel a blow the postponement of the reopening of UK venues this weekend has been. Talk about pulling the carpet from under the feet of the beleagured sector now completely cut out of the picture. The government does not really …

Published: 2 Aug 2020. Updated: 3 years.

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COMMENT How cruel a blow the postponement of the reopening of UK venues this weekend has been. Talk about pulling the carpet from under the feet of the beleagured sector now completely cut out of the picture.

The government does not really care about their interests as much as some as it guesses its way through the crisis and twists and turns as it reads the runes. Surely allowing people to freely mingle on beaches is more dangerous than customers sitting in properly regulated venues?

Worst of all this week was the shortness of notice just a day before the relaxation was to begin with many clubs already announcing programmes of concerts stretching weeks ahead. Will the new provisionally mooted date of reopening, 15 August in England, be honoured? You'd be a fool to bet on it given the current lack of certainty. 

One thing however is for sure is that the virus is not going away anywhere soon but given that how can live venues survive the longer the current crisis continues? Their overheads are horrendous and as furlough help reduces what then? Lay-offs, or just throw in the towel completely? Closures for good may well be on the cards.

The jazz scene without live performance has been destroyed and we're left with album releases seeming a little less relevant by the day. Something has got to give. But shifting the goal posts however backed by the science it is or more to the point politically convenient proves to be is not the solution.