Immanuel Wilkins, 'Don't Break,' Blue Note ***

Latest from The Seventh Hand and an exercise on one level in concision on 'Don't Break' that has altoist Immanuel Wilkins, above, with the Farafina Kan percussion ensemble operating as main foil on top of Wilkins' core jazz rhythm section. Already …

Published: 7 Jan 2022. Updated: 21 days.

Latest from The Seventh Hand and an exercise on one level in concision on 'Don't Break' that has altoist Immanuel Wilkins, above, with the Farafina Kan percussion ensemble operating as main foil on top of Wilkins' core jazz rhythm section. Already from the album but by complete contrast the bustling nigh-on 7-and-a-half-minutes pretty uptempo 'Emanation' has introduced this new album which is out on the 28th.

The percussion ''army'' are like an engine to the piece that essentially has a mellow, softly appealing melody and involves pianist Micah Thomas underpinning the sax-led theme discreetly behind Wilkins.

This is much less pressure cooker. Instead the emphasis is more on West African cross rhythms and the relatively static nature of the percussion ensemble that bears down on the other active ingredients of the sound and is given even more space towards the end of the track.

There is a lot packed in to three and a half minutes. The harmonies in the arrangement built around the sax are beautifully put together and actually more of this would be very welcome as would a little less of the percussion ensemble's solo passage at the end.

Tags: Tracks

Adam Fairhall and Johnny Hunter, Winifred Atwell Revisited, Efpi ***

1950s-era Trinidadian pianist Winifred Atwell (1914-83) is the focus of this fascinating and quirky tribute by the avant duo of Adam Fairhall and Johnny Hunter. Atwell was a huge recording star in the 1950s but is now largely forgotten about. On …

Published: 6 Jan 2022. Updated: 22 days.

Next post

1950s-era Trinidadian pianist Winifred Atwell (1914-83) is the focus of this fascinating and quirky tribute by the avant duo of Adam Fairhall and Johnny Hunter. Atwell was a huge recording star in the 1950s but is now largely forgotten about. On the record is 'Black and White Rag' by George Botsford that Atwell recorded for a B side in 1952 and remarkably became a million seller later becoming very familiar as the TV snooker programme Pot Black theme tune. Also included is 'Roll Out the Barrel' (also known as 'Beer Barrel Polka') written in the 1920s, Atwell recording the singalong as part of a medley that went into the top 10 of the pop charts in 1956. Fairhall shows amazing dexterity on some flying lines while Hunter upsets the apple cart at times with some quietly subversive rhythmic bursts. Expect a few detours ahead. Jools Holland, fair to say, this hipster knees-up is certainly not.

Released on Friday 7 January. Tour dates coming up include Cafe Oto, London on Sunday