Chip Wickham outsells Joshua Redman to top the latest UK jazz and blues chart

UK indie jazz label Gondwana have a number one jazz and blues hitmaker album on their hands as their artist tenor saxophonist and flautist Chip Wickham tops the new UK jazz and blues chart just announced. Cloud 10 comes in at no.1 with US sax star …

Published: 16 Sep 2022. Updated: 10 days.

UK indie jazz label Gondwana have a number one jazz and blues hitmaker album on their hands as their artist tenor saxophonist and flautist Chip Wickham tops the new UK jazz and blues chart just announced. Cloud 10 comes in at no.1 with US sax star Joshua Redman and his Moodswing band on LongGone at no. 2.

Back in July the title track of Cloud 10 was in our track of the day Saturday morning listening spot.

Landing in a flowing spiritual-jazz space 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 where you'll find the quintessential Wickham approach.

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Cloud 10 was recorded at the Estudio Brazil in Madrid and other features of the sound include the throb of the bass from Simon Houghton, known as Sneaky, who flavours the vamp on the title track before Wickham comes in on tenor saxophone. 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. The success of these two releases in this week's chart brings to an end a sustained period when blues acts in the weekly chart outsold their jazz counterparts. Chip Wickham photo: Jazz FM

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Jon Irabagon, Rising Sun, Irabagon Records ****

Jon Irabagon is one of the world's great bebop saxophonists and rarely disappoints given his prodigious talent and the fact that he does not take himself too seriously. So there is often a lot of spirit and life force in whatever he does. This …

Published: 16 Sep 2022. Updated: 10 days.

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Jon Irabagon is one of the world's great bebop saxophonists and rarely disappoints given his prodigious talent and the fact that he does not take himself too seriously. So there is often a lot of spirit and life force in whatever he does. This digital only record inspired by a roadtrip to South Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Colorado and Wyoming has several plus points. The core group includes one of the best avant pianists anywhere in Matt Mitchell. If you are a Tim Berne fan you will know what I mean. Irabagon and Mitchell certainly did the business on Snark Horse too if you recall that epic. Mitchell doesn't play particularly out so this shows his innate versatility in more niche bebop apparel. And it's Dan Weiss on drums who does sterling work habitually with Chris Potter. The bassist is also a familiar and welcome name to wrap the night around in Chris Lightcap - think Superbigmouth. The guests aren't too shabby either. And it's exciting to hear one of these the great MBASE muchacho Miles Okazaki play yes like Charlie Hunter (who would have thunk it?) on the title track. Okazaki's Thisness tantalised in 2022. Also to dig is the version of Dizzy Gillespie's 'Bebop' a piece that can't really be anything other than ragged because it's supposed to be loose. God knows what key signature and tuning Irabagon uses on it - song in the key of vinegar rolling out the barrel. More please. Be good to yourselves and start at the end why not as trumpeter Adam O'Farrill is so nice and sleazy on 'Needles' it's simply untrue. As we await the next magnum opus from Zhenya Strigalev Rising Sun satisfies all bebop hunger pangs.

Out today