Daily jazz blog, Marlbank

Dhafer Youssef, Street of Minarets, Back Beat Edition ****

If you listen to nothing apart from Street of Minarets this month then you will have enough stimulation in the mental larder and food for thought to keep you going no worries at all for weeks if not years. A journey to the urge within from the …

Published: 14 Feb 2023. Updated: 16 months.

If you listen to nothing apart from Street of Minarets this month then you will have enough stimulation in the mental larder and food for thought to keep you going no worries at all for weeks if not years. A journey to the urge within from the muezzin-like call on the opener via the beautiful Herbie Hancock solo on 'Bal d'âme' oud master Dhafer Youssef is on outrageously vibrant form. It's in a different league given the composure, sense of space and meaningfulness of just about every note. Ambrose Akinmusire is superb on 'SharQ Serenade' while there is a who's who of top players used significantly to effect including the great Marcus Miller and Dave Holland. Understandably the bass sound is very significant in the flow and for fuck's sake it's Vinnie Colaiuta at the kit and you can't get a better driving jazz-rock player anywhere than the Vin man. It doesn't get any better at the moment. 'Herbie's Dance' is a metrical tour de force and Dhafer manages to sing from his soul and keep it real. There is nothing trite anywhere on this record where the spirit of the Maghreb feeds into a universal consciousness. Remember where you were when you heard this remarkable monument to all these great players' artistry and spirit first. Oh and don't neglect to absorb the awesome groove on 'Sudra Funk'. Dhafer Youssef, photo: press

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Jazz Gold from DCI Boyce

''People think jazz doesn't have rules. I find that level of ignorance fairly infuriating.'' Following on from the jazz club owning Ridley last year in a primetime television drama, step forward the latest full of sarf London malarkey, more Masons …

Published: 14 Feb 2023. Updated: 16 months.

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0_417681 ''People think jazz doesn't have rules. I find that level of ignorance fairly infuriating.''

Following on from the jazz club owning Ridley last year in a primetime television drama, step forward the latest full of sarf London malarkey, more Masons than found building your average tower block, peculiar looking 1980s moustaches, everybody smoking like chimneys, rozzers running all over Rotherhithe, nostalgia for mud larking on the banks of the Thames and bags of iffy cash stashed in the boot of the waiting motor. DCI Brian Boyce (played by Hugh Bonneville) in Neil Forsyth's The Gold which aired on BBC at the weekend not only listens to vinyl of Miles Davis' Kind of Blue on a record player of course set up in his office as he tends to paperwork but he has his own philosophy which he duly expounds on to detectives Nicki Jennings (Charlotte Spencer) and Tony Brightwell (Emun Elliott) in the third episode 'The Consequences Are Mine' as the pair prepare to pay a visit to John ''Goldfinger'' Palmer (Tom Cullen) who has been busily smelting stolen Brink's-Mat gold in his garden shed.

Boyce, against a tinkling jazz piano backdrop gives his Agincourt address to his talented team before they descend on the villains after earlier in the series explaining his ground rules of decorum to his new recruits: no drinking at lunchtime - no Freemasonry.

''People think jazz doesn't have rules. I find that level of ignorance fairly infuriating.'' He says crisply. Brightwell, clearly a bit baffled, nevertheless intones earnestly responding: ''I can imagine, sir''. Unperturbed Boyce continues: ''Jazz has patterns, parameters and then within the parameters there is improvisation. On a day like this the parameters are set. We want to catch them. They don't want to get caught. And from there it's all about improvisation. It's about instinct and ability.''

Arise - professor of jazz - Brian Boyce. Down that other jazz nick, at the Royal Academy of Music, head of jazz, yes, ''Nick'', Smart will have to raise his game given the peer pressure. But more seriously The Gold is a terrific romp and while hers is not a big role at all Dorothy Atkinson (Florence Scanwell in Harlots) as south London battleaxe and wit the brightly garbed Jeannie Savage never stuck for a devastating barb or two, steals the show in just about every scene she is in. Check it all out here.

What's next for Boyce's playlist, all you fan fiction elves beavering away out there, if you care imagine. Ah nothing like a bit of close as a whisker nominative determinism but the Golden (Basho, 2009) trio of course would land in his manor stylistically. If Kit, Maddren and big Cal ever find time to reform they might even do a turn. And then… there's always 'The Yardbird Suite' if ''the system'' at the Yard doesn't manage to lasso Boyce in first before it all goes pear shaped.

Brightwell (Emun Elliott), Boyce (Hugh Bonneville) and Jennings (Charlotte Spencer) in The Gold. Photo: BBC