Emma Rawicz, Chroma, ACT ****

The rise and rise and rise and rise of saxophonist Emma Rawicz ubiquitous on the UK jazz club and festival scene over the last few years reaches new heights with Chroma. Her story goes further with her signing to leading German label ACT where she …

Published: 18 Aug 2023. Updated: 8 months.

The rise and rise and rise and rise of saxophonist Emma Rawicz ubiquitous on the UK jazz club and festival scene over the last few years reaches new heights with Chroma. Her story goes further with her signing to leading German label ACT where she will be introduced to new audiences across Europe through the wide distribution of the label. And surely they all too will pick up on what UK audiences have found - a mature player with ideas and talent to burn far beyond her years. She keeps hot company here with Ivo Neame, Ant Law, Conor Chaplin and Asaf Sirkis key to the sound and there is plenty of spread from Indo jazz sounds across more rugged contemporary textures that finds her in a state of the art post bop arena. Immy Churchill also makes her presence felt as instrumentals meld with voice. We liked the 'Xanadu' tracks best and the album certainly proves what a complex, fine, writer the saxophonist is. Definitely up there among the top UK jazz of the year so far. Out on 25 August

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Alfredo Rodríguez, Coral Way, Mack Avenue ***1/2

Nothing feels boxed in on this latest from pianist Alfredo Rodríguez. And you get that same restless stylistic sense of exploration in a contemporary domain you also gain from a Jon Batiste album. Inspired by the city of Miami, guests include …

Published: 18 Aug 2023. Updated: 8 months.

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Nothing feels boxed in on this latest from pianist Alfredo Rodríguez. And you get that same restless stylistic sense of exploration in a contemporary domain you also gain from a Jon Batiste album. Inspired by the city of Miami, guests include singers Alana Sinkëy and Cimafunk while the band that tend sympathetically to the twists and turns of Rodríguez' exhilarating piano lines are guitarist Juanma Montoya, bassist Yarel Hernandez, drummer Michael Olivera, percussionist Marcelo Woloski, trumpeter Carlos Sarduy who stands out in some heartfelt pastoral passages, altoist Regis Molina and trombonist Denis Cuni. You don't need to place this necessarily on a jazz shelf as there are lots of crossover elements and maybe in that latter side to the record it loses us a bit. But the well picked tunes include a lively cover of Juan Luis Guerra’s 'La Bilirrubina', a perky take on classical staple Beethoven's 'Für Elise' and plenty of optimism thrown in for good measure on an album that never takes itself too seriously. Out today

Alfredo Rodríguez, photo: via Bandcamp