Iwan VanHetten, Parabbean Tales, Blue Canoe ***

You'd travel a long way to encounter as tuneful and accessible a jazz-rock verging on the smooth album as Parabbean Tales from trumpeter Iwan VanHetten. He keeps fast company with the likes of Russell Ferrante, Will Kennedy and Jimmy Haslip and the …

Published: 5 Feb 2022. Updated: 6 months.

You'd travel a long way to encounter as tuneful and accessible a jazz-rock verging on the smooth album as Parabbean Tales from trumpeter Iwan VanHetten. He keeps fast company with the likes of Russell Ferrante, Will Kennedy and Jimmy Haslip and the tunes have a very polished highly cultivated crafted feel to them, the album sounding sophisticated and in a way a throwback to the 1980s when jazz-rock fusion was more a feature on the jazz landscape. If Parabbean Tales has a fault it's too neat and overly manicured, the tunes carefully fit a melodic landscape but there's fine arranging and band cohesion that keeps you listening that bit longer than you thought you would.

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Bugge Wesseltoft, 'Tide,' Jazzland *****

The second track from Be Am – 'Roads' with Hakon Kornstad released before Christmas was a delight – and 'Tide' too, solo piano rather than electric keys and sax this time, again has a heart-on-sleeve bittersweet melody that hooks you in quickly …

Published: 4 Feb 2022. Updated: 6 months.

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The second track from Be Am'Roads' with Hakon Kornstad released before Christmas was a delight – and 'Tide' too, solo piano rather than electric keys and sax this time, again has a heart-on-sleeve bittersweet melody that hooks you in quickly Wesseltoft sounding more mature and wiser than ever. It's four minutes that operates almost beyond genre although you get a gospelly almost hymn-like veneer to the ballad Wesseltoft keeping the dynamics tied to a particular weight throughout and gradually decorating the raw bones of the melody in a beautiful way. One of the best things we've heard all year and this again ups the ante still further in terms of expectation towards the album's release in a few weeks' time.

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