Daily jazz blog, Marlbank

Gabriel Espinosa, Bossas and Boleros, Zoho ***1/2

Bassist, singer, long time academic at Herbie Hancock's alma mater Grinnell College in Iowa the Mexico born Gabriel Espinosa, who has down the years collaborated with fellow Mexican Birdman composer Antonio Sánchez and the great singer Tierney …

Published: 12 Jul 2023. Updated: 12 months.

Bassist, singer, long time academic at Herbie Hancock's alma mater Grinnell College in Iowa the Mexico born Gabriel Espinosa, who has down the years collaborated with fellow Mexican Birdman composer Antonio Sánchez and the great singer Tierney Sutton, delivers a vibrant mix with plenty of big names dotted about including friends and ''jazz household names'' - notably piano icon Fred Hersch on a couple of tracks, the New York Voices' Kim Nazarian and stellar clarinettist Anat Cohen on 'Mi Jarana'. On the latter piece Espinosa explains that the number emanates from ''a traditional dance and musical style of Yucatan, Mexico. The Jarana meter can be in 6/8 or in 3/4''. Linwood Bell and Jeremy Fox contribute significantly to the arranging, highlights are certainly a version of easy listening staple the toothsome Carpenters' 'Sing' arranged by Fox - and even better at the heart of it all and probably the song to return to most, covered in recent years stirringly by Rachael and Vilray, the swoonsome 1940s Cuban bolero 'Nosotros' sung so tenderly by Gerardo Flores.

Tags: Reviews

Soldier introduces Paul Mottram's Seven Ages of Man

While Seven Ages of Man isn't out until the autumn a firm indication of its nature emerges with the streaming of the vibrant 'Soldier' from the 70-minute work scored for jazz sextet and string orchestra written by film and TV composer Paul Mottram …

Published: 11 Jul 2023. Updated: 12 months.

Next post

While Seven Ages of Man isn't out until the autumn a firm indication of its nature emerges with the streaming of the vibrant 'Soldier' from the 70-minute work scored for jazz sextet and string orchestra written by film and TV composer Paul Mottram and featuring saxophonist/bass clarinettist Tim Garland, pianist Jason Rebello and vibist Jonny Mansfield. Conceived around the ‘All the World’s a Stage’ speech in Shakespeare’s As You Like It this musical life journey with added prologue movements Mottram says quoted by issuing label Ubuntu is a reunion of sorts.

Screenshot+2023-02-11+at+16.26.45

''It's always been an ambition of mine to write a classically structured long form jazz composition for Tim Garland, who's been a friend and an inspiration since we met at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in the 80s.''

Drummer Ralph Salmins known in the 1990s for his work with Guy Barker, Jacqui Dankworth and in more recent years with The Waterboys, bassist Misha Mullov-Abbado and percussionist Paul Clarvis are also on the record - the album was recorded in Studio 1 of Abbey Road.

'Soldier' has a fantastic Chick Corea-esque dynamic energy to it and begins with a Vangelis-like swagger that recalls Chariots of Fire in the opening shimmer, deftly deferring to ominous piano and industrious strings and works up quite a heat featuring some absorbing Garland soloing that never allows the drama of the writing to let up. It certainly augurs well as an introduction to the October release and is one of the most large scale new releases to emerge from the UK jazz scene scheduled for the latter part of 2023.

Tim Garland, above left, and Paul Mottram photographed in Abbey Road. Image: via Ubuntu