Esbjörn Svensson, Home. S, ACT *****

If you know and love the music of Esbjörn Svensson it is hard not to be moved given the intimate, disciplined explorations of mind and technique on Home. S - what could even be considered a classical album. With tracks signified by Greek letters …

Published: 15 Nov 2022. Updated: 21 days.

If you know and love the music of Esbjörn Svensson it is hard not to be moved given the intimate, disciplined explorations of mind and technique on Home. S - what could even be considered a classical album. With tracks signified by Greek letters there are flickers of the great piano canon at times like intimations of a Beethoven sonata on 'Zeta'. And it's hard not to think of Bach and The Well-Tempered Clavier in the rolling passages where ideas intertwine and development grows as a mountain in the near distance that Svensson shows no fear of - he created his own personal mountains after all. Gone far too soon with his premature death in a scuba diving accident in 2008 the timeless sound of Svensson remains a thing of beauty and once more another plinth, ever taller, is added to the statuesque presence of his achievements on records. 'Alpha' is a dreamy Bill Evans-like meditation but it is striking how beyond genre these pieces are. All never heard before Home. S was recorded only weeks before the Swedish pianist's death.

Tags: NEW

Tawanda, Smile, Resonance ***

Bursting on to international jazz consciousness last year as a co-winner in the US of the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition - the Sassy - here's the Las Cruces, New Mexico-born Tawanda Suessbrich-Joaquim making the next move on …

Published: 14 Nov 2022. Updated: 22 days.

Next post

Bursting on to international jazz consciousness last year as a co-winner in the US of the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition - the Sassy - here's the Las Cruces, New Mexico-born Tawanda Suessbrich-Joaquim making the next move on this George Klabin produced release for Resonance - a label that has showcased very fine UK singer Polly Gibbons in recent years. Tawanda is with a starry band - guitarist Anthony Wilson, bassist Kevin Axt, saxophonist Gary Meek and alternating on piano Josh Nelson and Tamir Handelman. It's quite glossy overall, a bit too squeaky clean in parts - and Charlie Chapin's 'Smile' whether a cappella or not has been done to death in recent years as has Thad Jones' 'A Child Is Born'. But repertoire aside the singer contributes a persuasive energy to 'What A Little Moonlight Can Do' the pick of the early part of the album. Gary Meek's intro on Adolph Green, Betty Comden and Leonard Bernstein's 'Lucky To Be Me' - also covered on Anthony Strong's new album Easy Sailing - is a treat. And Tawanda comes completely into her own here. The piano accompaniment throughout Smile is excellent. A classic jazz vocals approach certainly veering much less successfully into the mainstream on 'Bring Back My Dreamer' and yet there is more than enough to be going on with and to enjoy especially if you already are into singers such as Nnenna Freelon.