Gigs coming up

1 Matthew Halsall, Union Chapel, London 5 May 2 Bugge Wesseltoft, Kings Place, London 9 May 3 Gregory Porter and Lady Blackbird, Resorts World Arena, Birmingham 11 May 4 Bex Burch and Vula Viel, Pizza Express Holborn, London 15 May 5 Joe Lovano …

Published: 3 May 2022. Updated: 14 days.

Alex Sipiagin, Ascent to the Blues, Posi-Tone ****

Heads up for a 20 May release and particularly of interest if you enjoy The Cookers, 60s Blue Note flavours, the music of Woody Shaw and Freddie Hubbard or just sheer instrumentalism. I have only managed to hear trumpeter Alex Sipiagin one time …

Published: 2 May 2022. Updated: 15 days.

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Heads up for a 20 May release and particularly of interest if you enjoy The Cookers, 60s Blue Note flavours, the music of Woody Shaw and Freddie Hubbard or just sheer instrumentalism. I have only managed to hear trumpeter Alex Sipiagin one time playing with Michael Brecker many years ago and was struck that long distant night at the Barbican by his command within the quindectet of the high note register. Here there are few trumpet gymnastics and more born-to-play comfortable rapport in the front line where Sipiagin finds himself with the thrusting and impressive tenorist Diego Rivera. Their harmonising has a moody late-night feel to it and certainly you feel that you are in a classic jazz club here with a band who are really feeling it. Art Hirahara particularly on Fender Rhodes injects a lot of mobility on tune after tune and the album kicks off with the woozily delightful 'Dolphin's View'. The track I returned to most was the band's beautifully sensitive version of Wayne Shorter classic 'Infant Eyes'. Bass here is provided by the great Boris Kozlov from the Mingus Big Band and the drummer is the lively and imaginative Rudy Royston whose presence on any record is always a plus. Posi-Tone continue to release some superb straightahead albums and they are fast becoming a premier go-to destination for this pedigree brand of evergreen jazz. SG