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Immanuel Wilkins, Omega, Blue Note

Twenty two-year-old alto saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins makes quite an impact with this Blue Note release. Produced by Jason Moran and released today pianist Micah Thomas, bassist Daryl Johns, and drummer Kweku Sumbry are with their fellow American on …

Published: 7 Aug 2020. Updated: 8 months.

Twenty two-year-old alto saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins makes quite an impact with this Blue Note release. Produced by Jason Moran and released today pianist Micah Thomas, bassist Daryl Johns, and drummer Kweku Sumbry are with their fellow American on this socially conscious black lives matter-relevant record. Highlights include the bass grounded track 'The Dreamer' where there is a real subtlety in the group interplay. Wilkins has a delicately sinuous, expressive tone, a little reminiscent of Greg Osby's, and the record overall owes something in common with the approach of trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire. A record that anyone interested in jazz today needs to hear.

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Matt Moran, Return Trip

With vibes, Hammond organ and drums it's the same instruments and line-up as the enjoyable Play Ball released a few years ago. Moran, Tom Rainey and Gary Versace once again are good at creating mood and colour and the tunes seem to hang in the air, …

Published: 6 Aug 2020. Updated: 8 months.

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With vibes, Hammond organ and drums it's the same instruments and line-up as the enjoyable Play Ball released a few years ago. Moran, Tom Rainey and Gary Versace once again are good at creating mood and colour and the tunes seem to hang in the air, Rainey's touch a loose structure for the other two to find plenty of free space to expand upon.

The tunes are Moran's and they all have a slightly sly faux innocent appeal, a darker centre often revealing itself after a while. The trio avoid clichés and could just as easily operate on a romp-a-long autopilot that would not be half so interesting. Instead Return Trip is an engrossing listen all the way through. To be released by Diskoknife in September.