Geoffrey Dean Quartet, Foundations, AMP Music ***1/2

Very solid straightahead fare from US pianist Geoffrey Dean anchored winningly by bassist Harish Raghavan on this new studio album recorded in Brooklyn, the quartet completed by the very pure and tender sounding trumpeter Justin Copeland and by …

Published: 10 Feb 2024. Updated: 18 days.

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Very solid straightahead fare from US pianist Geoffrey Dean anchored winningly by bassist Harish Raghavan on this new studio album recorded in Brooklyn, the quartet completed by the very pure and tender sounding trumpeter Justin Copeland and by drummer Eric Binder. The very well chosen tunes melding the familiar with the not so screamingly obvious numbers are Wayne Shorter's 'ESP,' Miles Davis' 'Nardis,' Sam Rivers' 'Cyclic Episode,' Elmo Hope's deftly swinging 'Low Tide,' Peter Bernstein's 'Jet Stream,' which was on the guitarist's 1995 album Signs of Life, Andrew Hill's 'Yokada Yokada' from Hill's classic Blue Note 60s album Judgment, Duke Pearson's 'Is That So' and Sonny Clark pieces Cool Struttin's 'Blue Minor' and 'My Conception' from the Blue Note album of the same name issued long after Clark's death. There's a lot of poise to Dean's comping and break out solos. And Copeland is excellent on the Pearson piece, his style landing in the Jeremy Pelt domain quite often. While the tunes often go back many years the quartet do not sound stuck in the past at all. Enjoyable stuff and a great introduction to Dean's highly individualistic playing.

l-r in the photo: Eric Binder, Harish Raghavan, Geoffrey Dean, Justin Copeland

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Martin Sjöstedt and Stockholm Jazz Orchestra, Horizon, Ubuntu ***1/2

What effortless sounding modern-mainstream big band from composer-arranger Martin Sjöstedt and the long running Stockholm Jazz Orchestra featuring Sjöstedt originals and arrangements of John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Abdullah Ibrahim and Charlie …

Published: 10 Feb 2024. Updated: 18 days.

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What effortless sounding modern-mainstream big band from composer-arranger Martin Sjöstedt and the long running Stockholm Jazz Orchestra featuring Sjöstedt originals and arrangements of John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Abdullah Ibrahim and Charlie Parker classics. Sjöstedt is on piano and stellar soloists include Fredrik Kronkvist and Johan Christoffersson (alto sax), Karl Olandersson, Nils Janson and Magnus Broo (trumpet), Karl-Martin Almqvist (tenor sax), Fredrik Lindborg (baritone sax) and Peter Dahlgren (trombone). Tracks we liked best were Sjöstedt's own piece 'Intervals' and the laidback version of Coltrane's 'Equinox'. But dip in just about anywhere for mainstreamer satisfaction reliably guaranteed.