Emile Parisien, 'Louise,' ACT ***

This gets more interesting when you begin to hear Theo Croker's trumpet and then Croker and the leader here French saxophonist Emile Parisien play together in a dirge-like lope leaving it to drummer Nasheet Waits to alter the mood moving the …

Published: 14 Dec 2021. Updated: 45 days.

This gets more interesting when you begin to hear Theo Croker's trumpet and then Croker and the leader here French saxophonist Emile Parisien play together in a dirge-like lope leaving it to drummer Nasheet Waits to alter the mood moving the atmosphere into more of a slow-ish swinger.

Croker's solo is a lucid statement neatly offset by guitarist Manu Codjia and when Codija himself solos there is a new brightness that lifts the level of engagement with it again, the sound well-amplified and clear as crystal.

The Louise line-up is completed by bassist Joe Martin and pianist Roberto Negro and was recorded at a studio in the French city of Amiens in June and features originals plus a cover of Joe Zawinul's 'Madagascar' – a piece that was included on Weather Report's 1980 Columbia album Night Passage. The album itself is issued by the German ACT label at the end of January. Emile Parisien, front row on the right, and his sextet. Photo: Samuel Kirszenbaum

Tags: Tracks

Corto.Alto, Not For Now, Worm Disc Club ***

EP in length or ''mini-LP'' as it's being marketed it's frustrating that this isn't a full-length album. A band who have broken out of the Scottish scene over the last couple of years and who are picking up considerable interest. What they do is …

Published: 14 Dec 2021. Updated: 45 days.

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EP in length or ''mini-LP'' as it's being marketed it's frustrating that this isn't a full-length album. A band who have broken out of the Scottish scene over the last couple of years and who are picking up considerable interest. What they do is fairly expansive, sunny, positive and loungey – and not as flakey as a lot of the nu-jazz bands that they are bracketed with. There's a fair amount of unison and sectional playing. Big solos are not really the point apart from on 'No Pt III' the band seem to solo so in that regard it's the Weather Report method although they sound nothing like that great behemoth from the 1970s. Glasgow trombonist, producer and composer Liam Shortall helms the band. Exact personnels are not available annoyingly but include saxophonist Harry Weir, pianist Fergus McCreadie, drummer Graham Costello and Tom Excell on percussion who also with a hand in the producing with Shortall. 'Brotherhood' featuring MC Franz Von has a hip-hop tilt and is the least compelling track. 'Mayday' is dancier and there's nimble and very lively horn work establishing the theme. 'Interlude' has a perkiness the band do so well with vocalese lines flavouring the instrumental line which is cleverly done. 'No Pt III' led off by trombone enters a laidback soul-jazz domain and it is in this area that the band really excel. Less than a half an hour of music so it's still not the whole picture and to be frank I'm a bit disappointed given their potential. It's more work in progress. If a bigger label picks the band up then there may well be a clearer direction, certainly quite a few of the tracks need scaling up. Worth your time caveats aside and certainly it's a unique sound to build on and I'll bet they have even better releases ahead of them. SG