Ginman, Blachman, Dahl, What's To Come! Storyville ****

Distilled emotion and multiple botanically benign Ginman absorptions from Monk, Miles and Bill - courtesy of long running Danish scene trio pianist Carsten Dahl, Danish-Finnish bassist Lennart Ginman and drummer Thomas Blachman who certainly know …

Published: 19 Apr 2024. Updated: 33 days.

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Distilled emotion and multiple botanically benign Ginman absorptions from Monk, Miles and Bill - courtesy of long running Danish scene trio pianist Carsten Dahl, Danish-Finnish bassist Lennart Ginman and drummer Thomas Blachman who certainly know how to name a tune - how's this for size (track 4): 'Improvised Composition As a Goal for Human Behaviour'. How true. But wordy song titles that joust with the reader are OK by us - read these throughout as tongue-in-cheek. A bit of deadpan, harmless, humour goes a long way in a po-faced, harmful, world don't cha think? But the What's To Come music making deserves to be taken seriously beyond all that given its consummate sense of flow.

Dahl likes to tickle the keys as on the repeated trilling motif of 'A Troubleless Everyday'. Without being cheesy however much he skirts some licks are nevertheless something of a tease in hinting at a mannerism. Elsewhere Ginman does walking bass on a head bobbing tune called 'The Rock and Roll Swing Experience' where he sounds a bit like Milt Hinton. Judge for yourself (pun intended - to crosscheck such a claim wrap your ears around Branford Marsalis classic Trio Jeepy).

Again isn't it paradoxical when the Ginman 3 go even a little Ellingtonian but the tune is anything but - called 'Avantgarde Muzak in the Lush Palm Garden' it represents Ginman's best work anywhere on the album, his presence even hinted at in the tune title pun. Is he a NHØP for our times - and why not, the welcome thought intrudes. Certainly an enjoyable romp of modal ruminations - factoring in a Danish lilt now and then hints at an insider local angle - and semantic swishing around.

The What's To Come 3, l-r: Thomas Blachman, Carsten Dahl, Lennart Ginman. Photo: cover art detail

Tags: Reviews

Mark Lockheart, Smiling, Edition ***

As a highly effective featured guest on new star-in-the-making Jakub Klimiuk's excellent new quintet album (Un)balanced to be launched next month, Mark Lockheart on Dreamers (2022) had already provided yet another different perspective of the …

Published: 18 Apr 2024. Updated: 34 days.

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As a highly effective featured guest on new star-in-the-making Jakub Klimiuk's excellent new quintet album (Un)balanced to be launched next month, Mark Lockheart on Dreamers (2022) had already provided yet another different perspective of the Loose Tubes, Polar Bear and Perfect Houseplants legend's profile given the contrasts thrown up by this brand new release. And to be frank we preferred Dreamers to this latest album. And yet this sized up 12 piece ensemble unit at work here generates its own whirl of off grid renewable turbine energy even if it doesn't float our boat half as much as its more compact predecessor certainly did. Lockheart it goes without saying sets the bar high nevertheless. The saxist co-produced Smiling with Steve Baker and the recording is full of Lockheart material. Personnel includes crucially in the reeds section Lockheart, Nat Facey, George Crowley (on clarinet rather than his customary tenor saxophone) and James Allsopp. Trumpeters include breakout star Laura Jurd while Lockheart writes for French horn, trombones and flute in the settings. Flautist Rowland Sutherland, guitarist John Parricelli, bassist Tom Herbert and drummer Dave Smith are among the line-up of mostly very well known players sprinkled throughout. Smith's groove on the funky 'Rapture of the Deep' is the main highlight for us of a big band album not quite along with the woodwind textures that on 'In Deeper' also work well.

Hear Mark Lockheart, pictured above, at the Parakeet in Kentish Town on Monday night