Craig Taborn solo gigs are a January highlight

Playing solo concerts this month in Dublin, Belfast and London Craig Taborn does not buy into easy moods involving any notion of sentimentality. Instead he is a radical artist in his rejection of the nicety or comfort of form and in his ready …

Published: 2 Jan 2022. Updated: 7 months.

Playing solo concerts this month in Dublin, Belfast and London Craig Taborn does not buy into easy moods involving any notion of sentimentality. Instead he is a radical artist in his rejection of the nicety or comfort of form and in his ready embrace of the impact of an unresolved chord. 'Concordia Discors,' from last year's album Shadow Plays, ''a harmony of discordance,'' is innovation at work. Some long term followers of the Minneapolis-born 51-year-old feel the track was something of a turning point for Taborn, a new highlight in his already significant discography stretching back to early days as a sideman with James Carter and leading his own trio. His appearance within Chris Potter's band in London last year was marlbank's gig of the year. These gigs under a different shadow, that of Omicron, are a must for anyone interested in state of the art 21st century improvised piano from a dazzling practitioner of the art. Tickets here for the Dublin gig in the John Field Room on 29 January. The Belfast gig is at the MAC on 30 Jan and the London gig takes place at the Vortex on 31 Jan

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Steven Bernstein's Millennial Territory Orchestra & Catherine Russell, 'River's Invitation,' Royal Potato Family ***

Steven Bernstein has been prolific over the last year and this second instalment of the slide trumpeter's ''community music'' output, the good time music moniker in the album's title inspired by a Lou Reed comment and themed distinctly New …

Published: 2 Jan 2022. Updated: 7 months.

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Steven Bernstein has been prolific over the last year and this second instalment of the slide trumpeter's ''community music'' output, the good time music moniker in the album's title inspired by a Lou Reed comment and themed distinctly New Orleans, is released next week.

Catherine Russell provides a neatly restrained vocal on Percy Mayfield's 'River's Invitation' from 1953 that bubbles out as the momentum of the horn section grows (the turbulence injected partly thanks to notable baritone saxophone riffing from Erik Lawrence). Listen to the original much silkier Mayfield version and you can hear by contrast how Bernstein adds a lot more disruptiveness in the rhythmic fabric of the arrangement proving all over again how to be credible and populist at the same time. Bernstein has two further albums coming up in 2022 – firstly with his Hot 9 in May and later in the year again with the Territory Orchestra.

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