Enrico Pieranunzi quintet, The Extra Something, CAM Jazz ****

A second release recently from Italian piano master Enrico Pieranunzi and not a trio this time recorded over two nights live six years ago at the greatest jazz club in the world, the Village Vanguard in New York. The things we take away from this …

Published: 2 Jun 2022. Updated: 33 days.

A second release recently from Italian piano master Enrico Pieranunzi and not a trio this time recorded over two nights live six years ago at the greatest jazz club in the world, the Village Vanguard in New York. The things we take away from this are once again how formidable a player Seamus Blake is (especially on the title track) and also how perkily and positively the rhythmical undertow (the mood often landing in an AfroCuban feel) develops. Drummer Adam Cruz knits very well with his erstwhile Danilo Pérez trio comrade Ben Street and for the most exuberant sections of the record trumpet/flugel player Diego Urcola adds a certain joy. Pieranunzi plays in a very ego-less way and yet shows often how formidable a forceful comper he is as a key factor within his compelling style and individuality. 'Entropy' is when you can really hear him at his best. One mystery is that there is no trombone player listed on this track by the label on its website and trombone resounds elsewhere dotted around the record (it could be Urcola switching instrument as he also is known to play trombone). The Ornettian 'Five Plus Five' is a delight at the end. For a record full of spirit look no further, you have arrived at that longed-for destination.

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Billy Drummond and Freedom of Ideas, 'Valse Sinistre,' Cellar Live ****

Track of the day 'Valse Sinistre', is the Carla Bley-penned title track of the Jeremy Pelt-produced Billy Drummond album of the same name which has some glorious saxophone work from Dayna Stephens and ensemble integrity exhibited exhilaratingly …

Published: 1 Jun 2022. Updated: 22 days.

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Track of the day 'Valse Sinistre', is the Carla Bley-penned title track of the Jeremy Pelt-produced Billy Drummond album of the same name which has some glorious saxophone work from Dayna Stephens and ensemble integrity exhibited exhilaratingly throughout.

The Bley composition appeared on the iconic pianist-composer's 1981 album Social Studies.

Drummer Drummond had appeared with Bley on such 2003-8 released albums as Looking for America, The Lost Chords, The Lost Chords find Paolo Fresu and Appearing Nightly.

Not since 1996 album Dubai has US-player Drummond had an album out under his own name although as a side player he has been busy in the last few years, for instance recording on dates led by Charles McPherson and appearing on the Elan Mehler-curated Kimbrough. On Valse Sinistre he has pianist Micah Thomas with him and who contributes the tune 'Never Ends'. The much-appreciated Dezron Douglas is on bass.

Among the other album tunes interestingly rarity 'Frankenstein' from 1994's Explorations by trombone icon Grachan Moncur III is also a track on this Cellar Live album, which is to be released in August.

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