Daily jazz blog, Marlbank

Dwight Trible, Ancient Future, Gearbox ****1/2

Singing the celestial blues there is a sense of the axis mundi with the cosmic soul of jazz in America down the years centring in again on Dwight Trible. He is apocalyptic and direct on 'Truth,' a hard hitting calling-out of the cheapness of talk. …

Published: 17 Mar 2023. Updated: 15 months.

Singing the celestial blues there is a sense of the axis mundi with the cosmic soul of jazz in America down the years centring in again on Dwight Trible. He is apocalyptic and direct on 'Truth,' a hard hitting calling-out of the cheapness of talk. By the end 'Wind' has the unease and yet accepting humility of one human against the cosmos in awe and wonder. Trible has an extraordinarily powerful voice, part secular preacher, part shouter, retreater into himself, part poet and all-round seer. He soars on this Darrel Sheinman produced Sunset Sound studio album to places Gregory Porter can't quite reach. But these two sublime voices share the same prophet-like characteristics. But Trible is far more voice-in-the-wilderness - the way the actor Samuel L. Jackson can shake you out of your complacency.

'My Stomping Ground' - Trible's Los Angeles homage that has a dynamic spoken word monologue jutted up against tasty groove - finds Trible talking about chef Marilyn's on Crenshaw and Earle's hot dogs as he takes us on a kind of tour, reaching the heart of it all: Leimert Park, a place memorably paid homage to in recent years by the great pianist Billy Childs. Often a groove record but not one that needs groove to hide things in its slipstream, the Gouché bass guitar gets funky on 'Beach Vibes' (all about that bass, 'bout that bass, more Trible) and there is a riotous sense of release itching to get out on 'Derf Reklaw.'

I ain't got eye water to cry with, Trible sings.

Lyrics that speak volumes are by Trible and percussionist Megashia Jackson.

'Elements' is funky and a bit of a banger, the drum line sort of in a Sheila E. vein - the potential remixers will be circling in on, maybe.

The extraordinary Georgia Anne Muldrow feature 'Black Dance' is where Trible chops the beat up and the polyrhythms start to be folded in and where Muldrow conjures mystery and free flowing experimentation is set loose.

A livelier even dancier record overall then before, you get almost a highlife sense in some of the rhythms underpinning 'African Drum' and incredible pitch bending keys as part of the blend of inputs. When Kamasi Washington - The Epic - comes in, the feeling of softness as in a morning sunrise is inescapable.

Ancient Future featured guests are the iconic saxophonist Washington and avant singer Muldrow. Song titles and themes refer to such ideas of absolute verity, home, connectedness in the neighbourhood, the landscape of the beach couched as mood and place, blackness, an African sense and the overarching sense of witness and role the natural elements play. Drummer Greg Paul - also winningly on the excellent Jazz is Dead 2022 release Katalyst - is superb, boosting the beat manifoldly when needed, percussionist Jackson, electric guitarist G. E. Stinson, bass guitarist André Gouché, pianist John Beasley and percussionist Rene Fisher on 'African Drum' are in the personnel. Tunes are written by Trible, Beasley, Gouché, Paul and Stinson. Absorb all these sounds right away.

Out today

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John Ellis, Mancunian Way, Limefield ***1/2

Nothing at all represents upside down thinking here. It is all quite moving this right way up 2006 live Manchester recording just issued for download on Bandcamp. The radical sense of the album grounded in the atrocity that was Peterloo (1819) …

Published: 16 Mar 2023. Updated: 15 months.

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Nothing at all represents upside down thinking here. It is all quite moving this right way up 2006 live Manchester recording just issued for download on Bandcamp. The radical sense of the album grounded in the atrocity that was Peterloo (1819) referenced right at the beginning, later intimations of Irish traditional music, modal jazz of the 1950s alluded to in 'Blues Through the Mill', the arrangement of Indojazz fusions via Arun Ghosh - his harmonium touch on 'What Was Spoken Of In The Sun Inn, Long Millgate' - some of the key moments. Pianist John Ellis (The Breath, Cinematic Orchestra, Corinne Bailey Rae, Lily Allen) is with bassist Jon Thorne, drummer Andy Hay, violinist Laura Ibbotson, cellist Sian Jones clarinettist/harmonium player Arun Ghosh, trumpeter-bodhran player-tinwhistler Neil Yates plus singer George Borowski on the affecting 'Still Bought Nothing' a contribution that joins the dots somehow between Ewan MacColl and John Cooper Clarke. All in all a Manchester homage that makes you feel close to the city even when far away and not even from there at all. John Ellis plays Band on the Wall, Manchester - on 30 April. Click for tickets Photo: press