Daily jazz blog, Marlbank

England/Ireland album of the week: Bag of Bones, No One Gets Saved, 577 Records ****

Bag of Bones, l-r: Riley Stone-Lonergan, Will Glaser, Rick Simpson, Oli Hayhurst A joint Irish and English band - the Galwegian saxophonist Riley Stone-Lonergan known for his work most with veteran Tubbyologist (Rev) Spike Wells and Turin Brakes' …

Published: 24 May 2024. Updated: 57 days.

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Bag of Bones, l-r: Riley Stone-Lonergan, Will Glaser, Rick Simpson, Oli Hayhurst

A joint Irish and English band - the Galwegian saxophonist Riley Stone-Lonergan known for his work most with veteran Tubbyologist (Rev) Spike Wells and Turin Brakes' jazz loving bassist Eddie Myer here in a primus inter pares quartet of leaders and whose 'Onwards and Upwards' is also track of the week. The nearest Stone-Lonergan gets to going calypso and more into a Sonny Rollins-like realm is a very subtle hint in the arc of 'Albie.' But it's not a stars in their eyes channelling of anyone however lovingly sort of tenor situation at all. Pharoah Sanders bassist Oli Hayhurst is pivotal certainly on the opener and when he comes in on 'Albie'. But it's probably the best showing that we have heard on a recording or live for that matter by Worksop born drummer Will Glaser, whose Allsoppian New River Ramble has in the past excited us. Glaser was also with Hayhurst on Chris Allard's tasty, very different Melodic Collective issued last year.

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Seeking, striving, finding, thrusting

There are eight tracks. Opener 'Onwards and Upwards' is streaming. Readers in the know certainly among the Radiohead fanbase will probably raise an upward appreciative set of arched eyebrows over what pianist Rick Simpson has achieved already in his revisitation of Kid A and he is attentive here a lot to what the overall band sound requires. There isn't a need for any showboating at all or an overly introspective heartwrenchingness.

As for the tenor testifying be an earwitness to the life of Riley so tenderly encountered on the modally hinting 'Some Rain' and more anthemically on 'No Repeat.'

Certainly one of the best UK/Irish albums of the year so far almost five months in as for the No One Gets Saved title, the Buddha - more than Bud Powell - perhaps in that inspired iteration, perhaps, rings a bell. And ding dong Stone-Lonergan goes free-ish successfully most on the jagged 'No Repeat' where you get good rapport as the Connacht man, Simpson and Glaser finish each other's motivic sentences.

Bandleader the Jeff Clyne taught fomer Zoe Rahman player Hayhurst who grew up in Cambridge moves effortlessly beyond the confines of any bar lines that might impede his ideas most. There is a good abstract expressionist and colour saturated concept - see above - in the cover art, and as far as the sonics go the mastering has impact which is often so badly lacking on some releases if budgets need this part of the process to be skimped or too taken for granted. Finally, no one is pining for the fjords. Some jazzers think they must - at all times - but what's here proves such thinking fallacious if understandable given the massive impact Nordic jazz vibrations have exerted via ECM, Rune Grammofon and the fabulous Jazzland in recent decades. Out on Friday 31 May. Bag of Bones play Frederick Street pub 1000 Trades in Birmingham that night

Tags: NEW in reviews

Fernando Brox, From Within, Fresh Sound New Talent ***1/2

Very chilled, beautifully arranged is this quintet situation from Fernando Brox. You won't know the tunes given they are new-ish originals of the Spanish flautist's. But you will instantly place the soundsphere - suggestive to us and a memory of …

Published: 24 May 2024. Updated: 57 days.

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Very chilled, beautifully arranged is this quintet situation from Fernando Brox. You won't know the tunes given they are new-ish originals of the Spanish flautist's. But you will instantly place the soundsphere - suggestive to us and a memory of hearing Elena Pinderhughes live back in 2014 in the band of Chief Adjuah (Christian Scott's) in terms of timbre certainly - but with a Mediterranean twist.

Recorded in Switzerland at the Jazz Campus, Basel over a couple of days in early November last year the writing is really well gathered - there's a light shuffling joyousness from drummer Iago Fernández on opener 'Kuku' and when he takes the tempo up on 'The Bagpiper' it gives the ensemble a chance to do a tour d'horizon of a few chord changes to fold into a guitar solo by Wilfried Wilde who comes over a little bit like Derry guitarist Joseph Leighton, rough ballpark. Solo double bass from Nadav Erlich begins 'Kalahari' maybe introduced a little too soon in this album of 7 tracks. But his riff on 'Satanic Affair' is excellent. The voicings are really well caught, say the piano line of Iannis Obiols' introduction on the optimistic 'Blue Clouds.'

A very warm album then from Málaga born thirtysomething Brox. The penultimate track 'Si no fueras sólo un sueño' means something like 'If You Weren't Just a Dream' - tracks run from a smidge under 5 minutes ('The Bagpiper') to the relatively whopping dimensions of 'Kalahari' that clocks in at under 9 and a half minutes which is a little too long given the overly ponderous beginning. The 'Rumba pa'ti' - rumba for you - at the end however is a pleasure because it's full of subtlety. Far stronger than Brox's 2021 duo album, Factor Humano.