Jazz Messengers alumni join Ralph Peterson on Onward and Upward

Recorded just before lockdown 17 former members of the Jazz Messengers and Legacy Messengers including the leader Ralph Peterson feature on the stellar September release Onward and Upward, it has just been announced. Two tracks from the album are …

Published: 4 Aug 2020. Updated: 13 months.

Recorded just before lockdown 17 former members of the Jazz Messengers and Legacy Messengers including the leader Ralph Peterson feature on the stellar September release Onward and Upward, it has just been announced. Two tracks from the album are streaming at the moment. Seventeen is a significant number regards Art Blakey given that Blakey's first working band in the 1940s was an outfit called the Seventeen Messengers. The album includes new tunes and among the personnel are Joanne Brackeen, Kevin Eubanks, Robin Eubanks, Craig Handy and Jean Toussaint. To be released on Peterson's own Onyx label.

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Christoph Irniger trio, Open City

Slim pickings at the moment in terms of releases. In many ways it makes sense for labels to put releases back until bands can tour again. However, look hard and you'll find some gems still. I keep returning to Open City an album inspired by …

Published: 3 Aug 2020. Updated: 13 months.

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Slim pickings at the moment in terms of releases. In many ways it makes sense for labels to put releases back until bands can tour again. However, look hard and you'll find some gems still. I keep returning to Open City an album inspired by saxophonist Christoph Irniger's fascination with the Teju Cole book of the same name. The album has an open exploratory feel that never feels regimented or hemmed in. Irniger on tenor is not the greatest saxophonist in the world but he gets his message across supremely expressively and knits well with bassist Raffaele Bossard and drummer Ziv Ravitz while the scintillating trombone playing of Nils Wogram and alto work of Loren Stillman add a lot of colour. There is a soulfulness in the lead saxophone lines and you get the feeling that there was a certain magic in the air when this was recorded back in January. Out on Intakt in August.