Daily jazz blog, Marlbank

Chris Batchelor's Zoetic, Telling the Tale ****

A lot less raucous and far more difficult to sum up in a few words than trumpeter Chris Batchelor's other project Pigfoot - that band's Paul Clarvis is also to hand here in an unusual quintet. Ask yourself how often do you find a viola in a small …

Published: 13 Oct 2023. Updated: 8 months.

A lot less raucous and far more difficult to sum up in a few words than trumpeter Chris Batchelor's other project Pigfoot - that band's Paul Clarvis is also to hand here in an unusual quintet. Ask yourself how often do you find a viola in a small jazz quintet? Well, Margrit Hasler proves very soulful playing that instrument here in a grouping along with Batchelor, guitarist John Parricelli, bassist Steve Watts and Clarvis. You find various styles dotted throughout, all hanging together very easily - the fine tunes are mainly Batchelor's - and from a jazz-rock atmosphere with gutsy Parricelli work on 'Huckster' to a lost-in-a-dream chamber jazz feel on Edu Lobo/Vinicius de Moraes' 'Canto Triste' where Hasler is prominent there is even a passage that summons thoughts of a call to prayer on 'Corneta'. A melting pot of an album full of grace and charm - what a welcome diversion from the norm.

Chris Batchelor, above photo: via Bandcamp

Tags: Reviews

Alex Hitchcock, Dream Band: Live in London, Whirlwind ****

Another addition to our best-of UK and Ireland releases this year with a chance this week to hear the full album of November release Dream Band: Live in London (Whirlwind). Recorded at the Vortex last year it is remarkable how UK saxist Alex …

Published: 12 Oct 2023. Updated: 8 months.

Next post

Another addition to our best-of UK and Ireland releases this year with a chance this week to hear the full album of November release Dream Band: Live in London (Whirlwind). Recorded at the Vortex last year it is remarkable how UK saxist Alex Hitchcock manages to cram three bands into a conception that shows his compositional prowess to the max. And the fact that even with all the different personnels the flow is there and the whole thing makes sense and fizzes in this live club setting. Kit Downes, Lewis Wright from Empirical (excellent on 'Momentum'), Ant Law, Alex Ridout, Mark Kavuma, Rob Luft, Marc Michel, Conor Chaplin, James Copus and more are here (vocals from Liselotte Östblom are also factored in) - the style loosely a long way from the source ''post-bop'' with lots of contemporary touches and fine balladic pasages as on the bonus track 'Differentials'. In no way does all this sound overly retro. The sinewy, involving, guitar lines from Ant Law are also a firm highlight.

MORE READING: