Hiromi, Silver Lining Suite, Telarc ***

Do you switch off, legitimate enough question, when an artist you like a lot goes from jazz to wrap their sound in say a ''classical'' coating? Silver Lining Suite is not Hiromi's best album because the integration of the strings and the bravura …

Published: 8 Oct 2021. Updated: 19 days.

hiromi

Do you switch off, legitimate enough question, when an artist you like a lot goes from jazz to wrap their sound in say a ''classical'' coating? Silver Lining Suite is not Hiromi's best album because the integration of the strings and the bravura style of playing doesn't quite lock step. It's no disaster and eminently listenable to but seems more like an album full of exhibition pieces. You know that overwhelming feeling when you step into a classical hall and the technique is like a tsunami but that's it, you are stubbornly unmoved and yet of course certainly admiring. To be scrupulously fair to the strings on the record their elegant swoon on '11.49pm' is wonderful. Hiromi who opened the Tokyo Olympics participating in the first day ceremony displays dazzling virtuosity and lightness of touch on the tango-inspired 'Ribera del Duero,' named apparently for the pianist-composer-bandleader's favourite type of wine. Hiromi's rapport with violinist Tatsuo Nishie, spectacular on the piece, is strikingly easy to discern. 'Isolation' swings the most. If you need to have everything that Hiromi releases of course you must get this but careful what you wish for, dear superfan.

Otherwise if still tepid in the adoration curve so far begin with 2012's Move and check the remarkable version of yes once again '11.49pm' on it. And now you know just why Hiromi's artistry needs to be in every jazz-lover's life sooner or later. Sorry but she is just better with a trio of the magnitude of her peerless work with Anthony Jackson and Simon Phillips. Stephen Graham

Tags: Albums

Nicholas Payton plays with not one but two Miles icons grooving spectacularly all the way

What a way to begin the morning, any morning. Because we are digging the inescapable groove heard on Smoke Sessions particularly on 'Hangin' in and Jivin' from the new Nicholas Payton record out on the label of the same name that the New Orleanian …

Published: 8 Oct 2021. Updated: 19 days.

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What a way to begin the morning, any morning. Because we are digging the inescapable groove heard on Smoke Sessions particularly on 'Hangin' in and Jivin' from the new Nicholas Payton record out on the label of the same name that the New Orleanian icon trumpeter, pianist and keyboardist is on with Skyline's Ron Carter. A great way to start any day let alone today. It's a first for Payton with the Second Great Miles Davis Quintet icon Carter

George Coleman is a guest on a release that's out at the end of October. Last we heard from the Miles Davis saxophone icon (a big influence on such top UK players as Iain Ballamy) he was superb on a 2020 release with Brandi Disterheft. Payton has until this record not played with Carter before so this is one significant reason why the record is special for long time followers.

As for the consistently impressive Riggins check his role on Common's A Beautiful Revolution Pt 1 grooving with Robert Glasper, Burniss Travis and Isaiah Sharkey and by contrast playing standards on This Dream of You with Diana Krall.

Payton reveres Miles Davis live album Four & More released in 1966 that both Coleman and Carter are on and is inspired by both Miles and Herbie in his own playing on trumpet and piano, the latch of the door up to open that brilliant skylight and resultant Milesian vista so significantly illuminated enabled by the presence of the towering Ron.

The immaculate Sear Sound-recorded album includes a version of Herbie's 'Toys' from Speak Like a Child and Keith Jarrett's 'No Lonely Nights' (from At the Blue Note, Complete Recordings). Nicholas Payton, top. Photo via Spotify