Christian Muthspiel and Orjazztra Vienna, Homecoming, Emarcy/Universal Austria ****

The beautifully arranged free spirited live orchestral jazz release Homecoming is one of two albums that trombonist-bandleader Christian Muthspiel celebrating his 60th birthday is releasing this autumn. The erstwhile Vienna Art Orchestra luminary …

Published: 20 Sep 2022. Updated: 7 days.

The beautifully arranged free spirited live orchestral jazz release Homecoming is one of two albums that trombonist-bandleader Christian Muthspiel celebrating his 60th birthday is releasing this autumn.

The erstwhile Vienna Art Orchestra luminary and brother of celebrated guitar star Wolfgang Muthspiel has also released Diary 1989-2022 - Selected Recordings. Certainly not rinky-dink in any way, Homecoming is an advanced, deeply seasoned piece of work - Muthspiel leading his 18-piece group Orjazztra Vienna in existence for around three years, the fruits of a live-without-an-audience recording at Vienna club Porgy & Bess made during Covid in March 2021. You get a scintillating filthy blues-like feel on 'Old Wine in New Skins' while 'She Cries Out Loud' begins at funereal pace to quickly skip into a loping more uptempo Ellingtonian swagger. Elsewhere on 'Tribal Dance' in the same vein you get jungle-isms in the braying horns and galloping momentum developed in the rhythm section. Ensemble work throughout is both ridiculously virtuosic and yet comes over despite the complexity highly relaxed and relatable. Arrangements allow lots of light to poke through and let us experience the essence of the instrumentalists' individualism. Easily one of the best releases from a mainland continental European ''big band'' act that we have heard at any time during 2022, Homecoming brings back fond memories of hearing the dazzling Vienna Art Orchestra - particularly the way they covered Fats Waller's 'Jitterbug Waltz' - on the South Bank in the 1990s. What goes around… comes around. SG

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Podcast - A look at Let Spin as their latest recording Thick as Thieves readies for road exposure

In the marlbank podcast today the focus is on Let Spin who tour this autumn in a run of dates that chimes with the release of Thick As Thieves out in mid-November on the Efpi label. A UK-based electric guitar, saxophone, bass guitar, drums …

Published: 20 Sep 2022. Updated: 7 days.

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In the marlbank podcast today the focus is on Let Spin who tour this autumn in a run of dates that chimes with the release of Thick As Thieves out in mid-November on the Efpi label. A UK-based electric guitar, saxophone, bass guitar, drums progressive jazz act comprised respectively of Moss Freed, Chris Williams, Ruth Goller and Finlay Panter since 2020's Steal the Light their style it's clear listening to Thick as Thieves has progressed an even more pronounced developmental sheen that further illuminates and even clarifies their dystopian, brooding, post-Ornettian and alt-rock delvings.

Let Spin, left-to-right: Finlay Panter, Moss Freed, Chris Williams, Ruth Goller. Photo: press