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Guido Spannocchi jams downstairs at the Vortex ahead of his June shows

With Perihelion just released, his new album featuring pianist Robert Mitchell and trumpeter Jay Phelps and quartet shows coming up in June, London-based Austrian the Ornette and Wayne Shorter-inspired alto saxophonist Guido Spannocchi was jamming …

Published: 30 May 2021. Updated: 24 days.

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With Perihelion just released, his new album featuring pianist Robert Mitchell and trumpeter Jay Phelps and quartet shows coming up in June, London-based Austrian the Ornette and Wayne Shorter-inspired alto saxophonist Guido Spannocchi was jamming earlier at the Vortex downstairs on such numbers as Wayne's 'Tom Thumb' and more unusually Lester Bowie's 'Zero'. The latter was easily a big first set highlight, a number that was included on Bowie's 1987 album with The Leaders, Out Here Like This.

Guido's core band at the jam was completed by guitarist Phil Stevenson, double bassist Jay Darwish and drummer Filippo Galli. Darwish, known for his work with the fine jazz singers Zara MacFarlane and Jo Harrop, shone. I could only think of the sound of Gary Crosby in my head listening to Jay. Jammers sitting in later included saxophonist Klaus Bru and drummer Marek Dorčík whose tasteful About Time album was released last year. SG

Jay Darwish, top left, Filippo Galli, Guido Spannocchi jamming downstairs at the Vortex. Photo: marlbank

Follow the link to Guido Spannocchi's gig at the Vortex with 2 shows scheduled coming up on 19 June.

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Tune of the week: Jinrikisha

A week ago I found myself listening live to a fine version of Joe Henderson's 'Jinrikisha' (from 1963 Blue Note album Page One) played by the Hannes Riepler quartet. It is a highly unusual title for a piece, I've read that it was named after a …

Published: 30 May 2021. Updated: 25 days.

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A week ago I found myself listening live to a fine version of Joe Henderson's 'Jinrikisha' (from 1963 Blue Note album Page One) played by the Hannes Riepler quartet. It is a highly unusual title for a piece, I've read that it was named after a Japanese rickshaw. Whether this is true or not I have no idea but have no reason to disbelieve that it wasn't.

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Hannes Riepler, Tom Herbert, Tom Challenger, above

A week later and serendipitously when relistening to some more advance (and advanced) tracks from the new Anthony Braxton Standards Quartet box set ahead of next month's release I revisited the tune that inspired me last week because it's one of the selections available as a taste of the debut of this extraordinary Braxton quartet live tour harvest. As previously discussed regarding the box the iconic altoist via New Braxton House Records is releasing a monumental 13-CD collection that features his very fine band comprised of two English players (Alexander Hawkins and Neil Charles) and a Northern Irishman (Stephen 'Dakiz' Davis).

On Quartet (Standards) 2020, and this takes us back to page one in a titular Hendersonian sense as well as figurative starting point, there is a very fine version of the piece that isn't a million miles away from guitarist Riepler's. With Braxton it's a solo horn lead just like in Riepler's band taken on by Tom Challenger. On Henderson's there was instead a two-horn tightly arranged interplay in the head, Henderson with trumpeter Kenny Dorham. In Riepler's band it's guitar as harmony instrument instead of the piano of McCoy Tyner, in a period sense distilling fairly accurately to that sound the required swing feel. What interests me thinking of the live version I heard then going back to the Page One version and now on to Braxton's live recording all these years on is that it's the individuality of expression that counts far more than the arrangement. In Braxton's version there is a significant piano solo from Alexander Hawkins (very un McCoy-like stylistically) late in the piece that I suppose lands more in Elmo Hope-like terrain and which is quite delicious and slightly unusual. Davis on drums is quite reflective and there's a fade at the end of the nine-minute plus piece that left me wanting to know the actual ending. Braxton is fantastically persuasive on this track, there's a lovely scalar ache and a channelling of the uncertainty principle that lies at the heart of creativity organised by a very solid and positive bass line from Charles. Anthony Braxton, top

Read Steve Davis on touring with Braxton