Daily jazz blog, Marlbank

Enzo Zirilli Zirobop, Ten Past Never, Ubuntu ***

Anything with English player Rob Luft who hails from Sidcup and was born in 1993 on it is worth hearing and here in long running group Zirobop run by Italian drummer Enzo Zirilli who always excels best at quiet volumes and is an ingenious shuffling …

Published: 6 Feb 2023. Updated: 17 months.

Anything with English player Rob Luft who hails from Sidcup and was born in 1993 on it is worth hearing and here in long running group Zirobop run by Italian drummer Enzo Zirilli who always excels best at quiet volumes and is an ingenious shuffling livewire presence when needed is further confirmation of such a claim.

There is a typical jam session type feel to some of the tunes. 'Total Madness' based on Sonny Rollins' 'Tenor Madness' again a jam session staple in many jazz clubs any night of the week has a lot of spirit to it as chorus after chorus unspools. Luft is joined by another guitarist Zirilli's countryman Alessandro Chiappetta who blends well especially on 'Arun.'

A twin to 2017's Ten To Late the Italian balladeering element of the album comes across well on gorgeous 1980s Pino Daniele song 'Nun ce sta piacere' that somehow becomes even more universal in their treatment like a tune Pat Metheny and Charlie Haden could have covered given how much the jazz version skilfully arranged here suits that sound as on at a pinch 1990s classic Beyond the Missouri Sky.

Zirobop have on the earlier album covered another Daniele song 'Notte che se ne va' in a tasteful introspective version on which bassist Misha Mullov-Abbado takes a well delivered solo against chugging accompaniment.

Overall Ten Past Never is pretty good certainly only a little let down by those overly familiar jam session type choices. And yet the more interesting choice of later material chronologically, Steve Swallow's 'Ladies in Mercedes' that goes back to Gary Burton's mid-1980s Real Life Hits and Keith Jarrett's Belonging Band era 'The Wind Up', certainly makes up for these enough given that they are not so often heard and fit the feel and mood of what the band are trying to express.

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Enzo Zirilli, photo: Roberto Cifarelli

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Alessio Menconi​ and ​Nigel Price Quartet, Live at Peggy​’​s Skylight ***

Recorded in March last year at Nottingham spot Peggy's Skylight this is a very much social kind of gig recalled, the sort you hear in big cities usually in small bar/restaurants, the archetypal jazz habitat. These are not clinical places. The …

Published: 6 Feb 2023. Updated: 17 months.

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Recorded in March last year at Nottingham spot Peggy's Skylight this is a very much social kind of gig recalled, the sort you hear in big cities usually in small bar/restaurants, the archetypal jazz habitat. These are not clinical places. The audience, consenting adults all, sometimes chat a bit too loudly. But if they decide to listen and keep chat to a minimum then it's better than a concert hall experience when everyone is rigid and coralled into rows patrolled by clipboard doorkeepers advising Trappist silence and extreme caution with the Darth Vader, mortal enemy to ushers everywhere, smartphone rocket-in-the-pocket. If there is too much chat the band have a way of responding usually by playing under conversation stuff (because what's the point as no one seems to be listening?) or if really narked by turning the amp way up to drown out all the usual inane chat they as well as everyone else can hear about house prices, the bins, dog litter, whether Line of Duty is coming back and gentrification - all the greatest hits.

They don't have to take such drastic measures here. Where there's a Wes there's always a way and 'Road Song' dedicated to the M1 quips Price who always seems to wear the same sports jacket is a highlight here on an unassuming download/streaming formatted album plucked from the Real Book. Price can play the phonebook and his quartet keep up with his effortless mastery. Fellow guitarist Genoa born Alessio Menconi shadows and plays Ginger to Fred while double bassist Louis Stringer is up to the refereeing task wringing textbook chord changes beat up nicely in diminutive fashion magicked out of the otherwise reluctant Nottingham air to lob over to the guitarists. Joel Barford, recently heard live in the sextet of Paul Edis, keeps stately time. But on the reggaefied 'Stomping at the Savoy' he could have been a good deal more violent. Hey ho.

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