Dave Douglas, Gifts, Greenleaf Music ****

No one is pining for the fjords. Even better than James Brandon Lewis' Transfiguration because the material and overall gel prove stronger - check out above all the ingeniously raucous introduction to Billy Strayhorn's 'Take the A Train' on this …

Published: 13 Apr 2024. Updated: 39 days.

No one is pining for the fjords. Even better than James Brandon Lewis' Transfiguration because the material and overall gel prove stronger - check out above all the ingeniously raucous introduction to Billy Strayhorn's 'Take the A Train' on this Brooklyn recorded studio album. And yet anything with Lewis on it is to be completely prioritised. Shoot us - but true enough - ''the gifts that keep on giving'' is such standards strewn fare where original thinking and writing are also carefully fed in throughout. And yet we do forget how formidable a player and composer Dave Douglas remains mainly because he puts out so many records of high quality, not necessarily his own on Greenleaf, and yet you never can have enough, can you? It's not like four buses coming along at once here. The trumpeter's form and overall thinking on recent releases particularly with a different band on the liturgically inclined Songs of Ascent Book 1: Degrees suggested a new purple patch. Upping the ante still further and helped by a welcome strong scent of Sweet Pea, the classics jaunty 'Rain Check,' 'Day Dream' on which drummer Ian Chang goes way beyond spang-a-lang into the freeness, and sombre 'Blood Count' are also generous pressies to a jazz listening community gathered hopefully around the maypole seeking inspiration to offset the dreaded torpor of invasive listlessness. The can do Chang adds plenty of edge as does guitarist Rafiq Bhatia. Don't assume, consume. Douglas originals capitalise this isle-of-manjazz and jostle with the classics as if to the manner born and the metaphysical day dreaming Donne.

F. o. n. t co-founder Douglas makes it again to Bray this time with a Britband dubbed the Eyes Up - saxist Trish Clowes, pianist Ross Stanley, the Holdsworthian guitarist Chris Montague and paradiddle wrangler Joel Barford who happily took the Epsom salts medicinally, Nigh on, Live at Peggy's Skylight. Dave Douglas, photo: Greenleaf

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Track of the week: Traveling Light, Jo Harrop, Lateralize ****

The Path of a Tear from which this tremendously pared back Jo Harrop cover of Leonard Cohen You Want It Darker goodnight song 'Traveling Light' is drawn has drummer-percussionist sessioneer Victor Indrizzo to the fore. He was on Aimee Mann's The …

Published: 12 Apr 2024. Updated: 26 days.

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The Path of a Tear from which this tremendously pared back Jo Harrop cover of Leonard Cohen You Want It Darker goodnight song 'Traveling Light' is drawn has drummer-percussionist sessioneer Victor Indrizzo to the fore. He was on Aimee Mann's The Forgotten Arm & whose rolling 1-2-slam of the cymbal-3 beat fill at the beginning is super tasty. It's Jim Cox on Rhodes electric piano and Hammond B-3 organ. Anthony (son of the great Gerald) Wilson is on guitar while The Path of a Tear producer Larry Klein himself is on bass guitar. Harrop nails the feel and brings everything of her own blues drenched style from her own mantle that makes the interpretation work so well. Via Lateralize. Jo Harrop plays the Hotel du Vin during the 2024 Cheltenham Jazz Festival on 4 May. Photo: press