Eve Risser and the Red Desert Orchestra, Eurythmia, Clean Feed ****

Few records are as original in conception and overall effect achieved this year as Eurythmia - by times beautifully serene ('Soyayya') or choppily turbulent ('Sa'). The tidal wash of the music draws in thoughts of Gil Evans in historic jazz …

Published: 14 Nov 2022. Updated: 18 days.

Few records are as original in conception and overall effect achieved this year as Eurythmia - by times beautifully serene ('Soyayya') or choppily turbulent ('Sa'). The tidal wash of the music draws in thoughts of Gil Evans in historic jazz thinking and of Vula Viel much more recently. For softness and lightness of air an amalgam of European and African musicians make transference magically across balafons, djembes and bara to meld with more common jazz instruments and so much else. While highly orchestral-sounding, the process Risser uses is to ''work orally because not everyone reads music'' and you certainly wouldn't know that unless you are told. Not an album where any one player stands out and that again is significant in the group think. What the musicians achieve is a blend that draws us in close. Eve Risser and the Red Desert Orchestra, photo: Marc Chesneau

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John Helliwell, Jasper Somsen, Hans Vroomans, Marcel Serierse, Don’t Ever Leave Me, Challenge ****

When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful: Ring any bells? And now for something completely different. Supertramp saxophonist the Yorkshire born John Helliwell says Keith Jarrett's take on Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II's …

Published: 14 Nov 2022. Updated: 18 days.

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When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful: Ring any bells? And now for something completely different.

Supertramp saxophonist the Yorkshire born John Helliwell says Keith Jarrett's take on Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II's 'Don't Ever Leave Me' inspired him and there are four versions of the ballad in different guises solo (bass solo not piano incidentally - and what a contribution overall Jasper Somsen provides), duo, trio, quartet - the latter finding Helliwell tender on clarinet.

Helliwell is with a consummately elegant Dutch piano trio - pianist Hans Vroomans is suitably loose when needed; bassist Jasper Somsen tonally pristine and drummer Marcel Serierse exacting and no nonsense.

Supertramp fans will inevitably gravitate to versions of 'Two of Us,' 'You Started Laughing' beautifully arranged and quite poignant in the rendering and 'Just a Normal Day.'

Among so many highlights you will want to spend a lot of time on there is a wonderful version of Lynne Arriale's 'Arise' which goes to show again Helliwell's sensitivity and the quality of the arranging at play.

Not remotely trendy and no worse for that but required grizzled jazzer listening particularly the old hands not ashamed to have mega selling and once ubiquitous Supertramp albums in their collection although the world of 1970s soft rock is really another galaxy away and not really that relevant even bearing in mind the covers. No one has anything to prove on Don’t Ever Leave Me and when such a situation prevails to return to the Logical Song again from up top there is no need for anyone to produce the ever obliging navel lurking within one's nether garments and once again ask who I am.