Daily jazz blog, Marlbank

Previewed: Eurojazz club scene highlights coming up over 1-7 June

José James plays Zurich on Tuesday night Tutu Puoane Bimhuis, Amsterdam Sunday 2 June See best so far in '24 list. GIG OF THE WEEK Cara Rose Birdland, Hamburg Sun 2 June Lucky old Hamburg. Amy vibes from Glasgow's very own Cara Rose. Sold …

Published: 30 May 2024. Updated: 50 days.

JJ

José James plays Zurich on Tuesday night

See best so far in '24 list.

GIG OF THE WEEK

Lucky old Hamburg. Amy vibes from Glasgow's very own Cara Rose. Sold out.

The pianist is formidable on David Murray's new album Francesca the sax great's best album in years - playing Munich with bassist Chris Tordini and drummer Savannah Harris who are on Sanchez' own sparkling new album, Perpetual Void.

Welsh alto saxophonist and composer Alice Leggett co-leads the Alice Leggett & Chaerin Im Orchestra' with pianist Chaerin Im.

Renowned for The Dreamer - one of Brownswood's very best releases - singer José James has new album 1978 out. Included in the American singer's band playing Zurich is E-Collective bass guitar star David Ginyard who also was great on Aaron Parks' Little Big release, Live in Berlin.

Crack Polish outfit EABS - keyboardist Marek Pędziwiatr, bass guitarist Paweł Stachowiak, trumpeter Jakub Kurek, tenor saxist Olaf Węgier and drummer Marcsin Rak - released Stańko homage Reflections of Purple Sun earlier this month. A hot ticket at Jassmine - already sold out.

Miles Davis percussionist Mino Cinélu (We Want Miles, Star People, Decoy, etc) with an incredible band featuring guitarist Juan Carmona and bass guitar legend Étienne M'Bappé.

Cameroonian jazz icon M'Bappé was mind-blowing on epic John McLaughlin 2015 release, Black Light.

Friday Night in San Francisco legend jazz-rock fusion guitar great Al Di Meola is back with a vengeance on his upcoming album, TwentyFour. Some formidable tracks from the album are already streaming. The Milan show is ahead of the full July album release.

Great new generation US drummer Jonathan Barber with saxist Matt Knoegel, guitarist Andrew Renfroe, pianist/keyboardist Taber Gable and bassist Matt Dwonszyk

  • Magnus Lindgren and John Beasley A-Trane, Berlin Wed 5 June, Thursday 6 June

French band Prospectus are from Tours and are named after a piece by saxophone icon Steve Lacy also known for his piece 'The Wire' which was borrowed as the title of the magazine of the same name founded in London in 1982.

The great US trumpeter Ralph Alessi with a top band featuring Cuban avant piano icon David Virelles, New Orleans born bassist John Hébert, known for his work with Fred Hersch and Nasheet - son of Freddie, Time for Tyner, Grass Roots - Waits of The Bandwagon renown, one of the greatest piano trios - led by Jason Moran - of the last 40 years.

  • Virginia MacDonald and the Joe Magnarelli Quartet ZigZag, Berlin Thurs 6 June

Clarinettist Virginia MacDonald hails from Toronto and is a member of the Canadian Jazz Collective here with New York scene trumpeter Joe Magnarelli and his band.

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Live album of the week: Roger Kellaway, Live at Mezzrow, Cellar Live ****

While an instant classic - fact - unlike Gradgrind in Charles Dickens' Hard Times, whom, dearly befuddled, we are of course satirising not holding up as a guru, there is nothing grim nor overly anal about the approach of this recording made at tiny …

Published: 29 May 2024. Updated: 50 days.

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While an instant classic - fact - unlike Gradgrind in Charles Dickens' Hard Times, whom, dearly befuddled, we are of course satirising not holding up as a guru, there is nothing grim nor overly anal about the approach of this recording made at tiny Greenwich Village, New York, jazz club Mezzrow.

A place named lovingly after fabulous clarinettist Milton 'Mezz' Mesirow, co-author as Mezz Mezzrow of the classic 1940s jazz memoir Really the Blues, afternotes ring and dance in the air and instantly burn themselves decaying somehow aurally on the mind's eye.

Kellaway is of course a master. He does not need nor indeed crave you'd guess reviews. But you perhaps do given media tumbleweed. Most of the so-called quality mass market press won't even agree to know about let alone deign to acknowledge let alone review such an instant classic.

You get rather than TikTok squeezes de nos jours that the culture desk might want to allot zillions of column inches to, repertoire immersed in the world of Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk and Billy Strayhorn - and Kellaway who to us on 'All Blues' comes over as much Kenny Werner-like as he does Bill Evans - yes it's that kind of calibre - who is with stalwart double bassist Jay Leonhart, wonderfully softly introducing his lines on 'Blue in Green,' and the great drummer Dennis Mackrel - with Leonhart on 1990s album Two Lane Highways - who rustles up lots of treats plus guitarist Roni Ben-Hur, a d'Artagnan to these three Mezzkateers as a guest.

More music in him than Heinz has pickles

Tracks are a very unMantovani-like treatment, ergo no-strings-attached, treatment of 'Try To Remember,' 'All Blues,' 'Blue In Green,' 'Pages Of Life,' 'Good Morning Bahia,' 'So What,' 'All My Life,' 'Straight No Chaser' and a fabulous 'Take The 'A' Train' the best of all. Hear the way Kellaway leans into it. The album was recorded in early-May last year.

Accompanist to the crème de la crème of show and musicbiz royalty down the years whether Liza Minnelli or Carmen McRae, Kellaway, now 84, played on and was bandleader for Van Morrison's live recreation of his classic Astral Weeks at the Hollywood Bowl recorded in 2008.

Kellaway's own piece 'All My Life' along with the luminous take on Sweet Pea's '''A'' Train' are our pick of what is a marvellous album, aha, for a moondance. But seriously, and there are no fears of bothering the plod with some impromptu alfresco terpsichore at all given how civilised this all is, proper live albums - meaning nothing to do with simply documentation but ones that capture a place, a feeling, a lost-in-time set of circumstances, a spirit - raise the bar high and this is a fine example of the genre.

This newly released recording - given the candid intimacy and spaciousness that are its superpowers - tops even Kellaway's 2008 fine recording Live at the Jazz Standard on which 'All My Life' also appears - a sumptuous chamber jazz treatment that time around nevertheless, which featured a beautiful cello line and the magical input of guitar great Russell Malone.

Live at Mezzrow reaches new heights of small club live action piano trio-plus veritas and puts the Spike Wilner-run venue even more on the map as a venue for live recording than hitherto. Feel free to apply this quip of Mezz Mezzrow's to Kellaway because he clearly to our great benefit has ''more music in him than Heinz has pickles.''