Florian Favre, Idantitâ, Traumton ***

Dreamy solo piano from Swiss player Florian Favre here. By turns charming, full of idiosyncratic runs and in high contrast an air of contemplation Favre isn't afraid of the melodic and stays within its tramlines rather than fully go out. The album …

Published: 20 Jan 2022. Updated: 3 months.

Dreamy solo piano from Swiss player Florian Favre here. By turns charming, full of idiosyncratic runs and in high contrast an air of contemplation Favre isn't afraid of the melodic and stays within its tramlines rather than fully go out. The album includes a treatment of Pierre Kaelin's 'Adyu mon bi Payi' and 'Le vieux chalet' by Joseph Bovet interspersing his own compositions and achieving most on the highly rhythmical piece 'The dzodzet' by using prepared piano effectively. The album also includes Favre's treatment of Cole Porter's 'I've Got You Under My Skin'. Released tomorrow

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Alexander Hawkins Mirror Canon, Break a Vase, Intakt ****

From one of this week's big releases certainly in the improvised music universe Break a Vase was recorded back in the summer in an Oxfordshire studio. And there's a lot of mobility here built up on 'Stamped Down, or Shovelled' one of two tracks …

Published: 20 Jan 2022. Updated: 3 months.

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From one of this week's big releases certainly in the improvised music universe Break a Vase was recorded back in the summer in an Oxfordshire studio. And there's a lot of mobility here built up on 'Stamped Down, or Shovelled' one of two tracks streaming ahead of release from Neil Charles on bass. Pianist Alexander Hawkins sets a lively tempo with the melody led by Shabaka Hutchings. A sextet recording, Stephen Davis' drum part is added to by an extra layer of percussion from Richard Olátúndé Baker while electric guitarist Otto Fischer enhances the texture of the piece no end. Hutchings is no stranger to working with Hawkins and appeared with the pianist on 2014's Babel release Step Wide, Step Deep and the pair have also performed together with Louis Mohoho-Moholo among the Five Blokes line-up. A rollercoaster ride of a listen it's interesting hearing Hutchings as a sideman in a setting very different to his usual work. Hawkins goes from strength to strength. His soloing here is dazzling but never at the expense of the integrity of the group sound. The full album release is tomorrow. Alexander Hawkins, top