Fergus McCreadie, Cairn

It was striking hearing Fergus McCreadie in a hardcore jazz club setting among an audience of people who hear the best jazz musicians regularly, and who know what's what far better than most. This was like 2018 hearing saxist Matt Carmichael's band …

Published: 29 Jan 2021. Updated: 8 months.

It was striking hearing Fergus McCreadie in a hardcore jazz club setting among an audience of people who hear the best jazz musicians regularly, and who know what's what far better than most. This was like 2018 hearing saxist Matt Carmichael's band descend from Scotland to grab London jazzland by the short and curlies. I couldn't really see the pianist on the left hand side of the tiny stage from where I was standing at the back and couldn't see his hands at all. But I could certainly hear what he could do on the club's superb Steinway. Fergus looked like Jesus that night and sounded like Keith. Jeez you can't really sound like Jarrett unless you are potentially world class as a player by the way. The new artist photos feature a less biblical look. Turas that year with McCreadie, David Bowden on double bass and Stephen Henderson on drums had a sense of flow that was very mature and was probably the best jazz by any Scot I'd heard since oh hearing Tommy Smith's part on Mira back in 2014. On Cairn Fergus does go full tilt again into his material. The tunes are more the trio's than ever. And even better than on Turas, a sense of lilting very Scottish ecstasy envelops the totality of the listening experience. The band is the same, still Bowden and Henderson on the case, and so suddenly the trio is completely a thing. A joy. Disciples, you'll have even more company. SG. On Edition. Out today

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First time release for 1998 Cecil Taylor Tampere Jazz Happening quintet recording

A remarkable sound moving into futuristic overdrive that still is way ahead of its time is preserved on Lifting the Bandstand and that emanates from the first imaginer of freely improvised jazz and one of its greatest revolutionaries Cecil Taylor …

Published: 28 Jan 2021. Updated: 8 months.

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A remarkable sound moving into futuristic overdrive that still is way ahead of its time is preserved on Lifting the Bandstand and that emanates from the first imaginer of freely improvised jazz and one of its greatest revolutionaries Cecil Taylor and a group of players who understand and ''get'' not just his every move but live themselves inside the sound. This recording of the Cecil Taylor quintet at the Tampere Jazz Happening was made in the Finnish city on 30 October 1998.

There is no gloss and everyone integrates so it is certainly not a case of Cecil Taylor and others in attendance. Harri Sjöström on soprano saxophone is very impressive paving the way at times for the secrets of 'Desperados' to emerge as he curls around tonal blocks and responds to the sheer maelstrom of it all.

Witness lightning in a bottle, music that is as free as it is possible to be shaped around imagistic abstract expressionism and not at all vague freak-outs or sheer heat worked up through jamming, a very different thing and set of priorities indeed.

Certainly extravagant music but where the violence of its sound is translated into a cycle of life and death that will make you not just think but feel and that rewards close listening. You will probably learn more about riding shotgun on the back of the improvisations here than on any record released so far this year. Somehow as a listener you become part of the sound itself that has immediately expanded into another sensory realm in a remarkably short space of time. Tristan Honsinger is on cello, Paul Lovens on drums and Teppo Hauta-aho on double bass complete the group.

An astonishing recording then that has only been heard to date on Finnish radio and never officially on a record, a fact that makes Lifting the Bandstand even more of an event than it already patently is. SG

Released by the Polish label Fundacja Słuchaj, and out now