Ingrid Laubrock + Tom Rainey, Counterfeit Mars, Relative Pitch ***

This latest free improv duo exploration from husband and wife improvisers saxist Ingrid Laubrock and drummer Tom Rainey is a remedy to ward off complacency and provides once again via Laubrock's supreme command of her instrument in the lead a …

Published: 2 Sep 2022. Updated: 10 days.

This latest free improv duo exploration from husband and wife improvisers saxist Ingrid Laubrock and drummer Tom Rainey is a remedy to ward off complacency and provides once again via Laubrock's supreme command of her instrument in the lead a wake-up call.

The music is disciplined, challenging, not showbiz at all or built up via a formula that gets approved by the overpaid suits and their many flunkeys, Laubrock is maddeningly prolific so it is pretty impossible to keep up with all her output.

Rainey reminds me a little of Paul Motian, sometimes a drummer like Steve Dakiz Davis flits into view too which is also cheering and sometimes too you think of Rashied Ali in lockstep with Coltrane although Rainey's approach isn't multi-directional all the time. Together they know how to pace their improvisations perfectly. Laubrock can be Chris Potter-like when she wants to be perhaps to some against the odds. And yet the German born player can also strip the instrument back to something of a primal scream and be as out there as anyone who resides on the outer limits of adventure.

Succinct - all the pieces are under 6 minutes, some weighing in at a lot less - and all amount to as coherent an avant statement to come along in many months certainly the last duo that moved us in this domain was Tim Berne and Gregg Belisle-Chi's marvellous Mars. Echo that emotion, sock it to the man - free your minds and get the memo jazz isn't supposed to be slick and only for yuppies. These two not just got that missive long ago but wrote the book on it and continue to add new appendices and footnotes all these years on in their fascinating work together.

Tags: 1 of 6 of the latest album and track reviews

Shoulder Pads ushers in Daniel Karlsson - Blighty bound Swede readies the trio

God it looks like Daniel: El-for-leather hard touring Swedes the Daniel Karlsson trio have done tons of gigs to random Johns everywhere and fly in for dates this autumn hard on the heels of 'Shoulder Pads,' the ace middle of the road new melodic …

Published: 2 Sep 2022. Updated: 25 days.

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God it looks like Daniel: El-for-leather hard touring Swedes the Daniel Karlsson trio have done tons of gigs to random Johns everywhere and fly in for dates this autumn hard on the heels of 'Shoulder Pads,' the ace middle of the road new melodic piano trio's latest single that whets the appetite in their direction once again given its burning runs, touches of electronics and surely a herring or two for much needed sustenance.

We are all very indebted and may not even know that enough properly to Daniel and the Swedish jazz scene in general for a great deal of wider inspiration whether over the decades to reach Avalon, down by the old Bull and Bush and far beyond (even Pinner) whether stemming from the legacy of Jan Johansson, an influence on Kit Downes, the cult album Swedish Folk Modern, Bobo Stenson, Esbjörn Svensson, Martin Tingvall (pianist Karlsson’s bassist Christian Spering went to school with the jazz-''ting'' hit-maker Tingvall) the list goes on but begins with Bengt Hallberg because Stan Getz was captivated by ‘Dear Old Stockholm’ a Hallberg feature inspired by folk music and now a desert island disc calibre standard that caught the ear of Miles Davis with John Coltrane and so, so many others.

Fredrik Rundqvist above left, Christian Spering, and Daniel Karlsson who form the trio. Photo: marlbank