Chip Wickham, Cloud 10, Gondwana ***

Saturday morning listen, the best time of the week - sometimes there is simply nothing up to the task to inject the requisite feeling and do its spirit of well-being justice. But there is today. So track of the day and new in the One Love spot we …

Published: 9 Jul 2022. Updated: 31 days.

Saturday morning listen, the best time of the week - sometimes there is simply nothing up to the task to inject the requisite feeling and do its spirit of well-being justice. But there is today. So track of the day and new in the One Love spot we are in a flowing spiritual-jazz space that lands somewhere as if time-travelling to a never to be found again Pharoah Sanders or Yusef Lateef oasis where a rare atmosphere of much sought-after serenity lives. That's one instinctive reaction to hearing 'Cloud 10,' the lead-off and title track from September's Gondwana latest agenda-setter.

Recorded at the Estudio Brazil in Madrid the throb of the bass from Simon Houghton, known as Sneaky, who flavours the vamp before Chip Wickham comes in on tenor saxophone, resounds. Vibes are played by Spanish scenester Ton Risco and fill space imaginatively. Risco sounds as much like Gary Burton as he does Bobby Hutcherson, first thought, in this passage.

New GoGo Penguin drummer the much admired Jon Scott hangs the beat back to let it fertilise the groove while Nottingham-born pianist Phil Wilkinson, a former student of Darius Brubeck, is suitably decorative in context given some florid touches.

Note that the track fades at the end which is certainly frustrating as it feels as if the whole thing has only just begun. We certainly do not want it to end.

Hear Chip in Ronnie Scott's this autumn

Chip Wickham photo: Jazz FM

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Tags: reviews

Refurbed Pizza Express Jazz Club opens

The streetside entrance, above - photo: marlbank Guy Barker ('Underdogs,' The Talented Mr Ripley, Colin Towns Mask Orchestra, Into the Blue, Billy Cobham, Georgie Fame and the New Blue Flames, Van Morrison) re-opens Soho's top jazz basement Pizza …

Published: 8 Jul 2022. Updated: 32 days.

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pizza The streetside entrance, above - photo: marlbank

Guy Barker ('Underdogs,' The Talented Mr Ripley, Colin Towns Mask Orchestra, Into the Blue, Billy Cobham, Georgie Fame and the New Blue Flames, Van Morrison) re-opens Soho's top jazz basement Pizza Express Jazz Club this weekend after £500k was spent on the venue by its owners in a huge vote of confidence in the spot especially considering that it is not so long since the chain closed its first ever restaurant in Wardour Street.

Guy plays Dean Street this Sunday night with the great singer Ian Shaw - without a shadow of a doubt the greatest living male UK jazz singer and long since in his prime, ascending the tower of song whether charted by Gilbert O'Sullivan, Mark Murphy and Joni Mitchell liminally almost blue.

Muddy Waters' son, the acclaimed bluesman Mud Morganfield, debuts at the Pizza on 14 July while highlights coming up also include elegant straightahead pianist Christian Sands a brother from another mother - like family given their musical empathy - to double bass icon Christian McBride down the years.

Also soon are the Darius Brubeck tenor titan Dave O’Higgins and Parlie newcomer of the year Emma Rawicz in the date sheet represents another shrewd ear-to-the-word-on-the-street booking.

Located at 10 Dean Street, just yards from the new Elizabeth Line and across the road from the offices of Private Eye found on nearby Carlisle Street, the original smaller spot opened in May 1976 and for years now (following among other managers in the footsteps of inspired Soholian Peter Wallis) Dines-dances - to riff on the Walter Becker and Donald Fagen masterpiece 'Aja' - operating under the music management imprimatur of popular in-house impresario, the charmingly bestubbled Ross Dines. Guy Barker, top, photo from the sleeve of his classic 1990s era recording, Into the Blue.

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