Ethan Iverson, Every Note Is True, Blue Note ****

A milestone in Ethan Iverson's career as he makes his Blue Note debut with this fascinating trio record. And what a surprise it is: from the almost Sesame Street-like vocal choir on the title track which is oddly moving and the sort of melody …

Published: 11 Feb 2022. Updated: 11 days.

A milestone in Ethan Iverson's career as he makes his Blue Note debut with this fascinating trio record. And what a surprise it is: from the almost Sesame Street-like vocal choir on the title track which is oddly moving and the sort of melody you'll suddenly remember weeks after first hearing it to probably what is even more surprising is hearing how Iverson reacts to the drumming of Jack DeJohnette and Larry Grenadier, a very different trio sensibility to The Bad Plus. You get a certain grandeur in the cadences on 'The Eternal Verities' but actually the album resists the urge to go out all guns blazing and instead is quite pared back in places as if Iverson is time travelling back to a mythic jazz past. You get a good deal of reflection on a track like 'Had I but Known' and overall the album is certainly thoughful and full of weight. You get more out of it the more you listen. And on a track such as the delightful 'Merely Improbable' revel in that lightly swinging touch Iverson does so well and that DeJohnette does so much to help catch fire.

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Walter Smith III and Matthew Stevens, 'Loping,' Whirlwind ****

From In Common III 'Loping' operates on different levels. And for one you will go a long way to find as interesting a rhythm section as Terri Lyne Carrington, Dave Holland and Kris Davis, TLC giving a kicking momentum to the groove as it builds …

Published: 9 Feb 2022. Updated: 4 months.

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From In Common III 'Loping' operates on different levels. And for one you will go a long way to find as interesting a rhythm section as Terri Lyne Carrington, Dave Holland and Kris Davis, TLC giving a kicking momentum to the groove as it builds from the off. The centre of gravity in the writing is quite unusual and twists and turns via slabas of guitar and sax as leaders Walter Smith III and Matthew Stevens find new things to say for the rhythm section to go to town on and Smith's solo on 'Loping' is beautifully executed obliquely underpinned by Davis. Recorded last June the full album is out next month. Try this track and the scintillating 'Orange Crush' to be going on with on what is surely one of the most absorbing jazz releases of the year so far.

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