Jean Carne, Jean Carne JID012, Jazz is Dead ****

Track of the day 'The Summertime' drawn from the upcoming Jean Carne JID012 out on Friday: As a solo artist, backing singer, vocal coach, Jean Carne has collaborated with Norman Connors, Doug Carn, Dexter Wanse and Phyllis Hyman to name only a …

Published: 25 May 2022. Updated: 42 days.

Track of the day 'The Summertime' drawn from the upcoming Jean Carne JID012 out on Friday: As a solo artist, backing singer, vocal coach, Jean Carne has collaborated with Norman Connors, Doug Carn, Dexter Wanse and Phyllis Hyman to name only a few. Appearing on Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Adrian Younge's label Jazz is Dead, Carne is not an overly glossy manufactured vocalist by any means indeed remains the very antithesis of such confection. To her eternal credit Carne, whose voice traverses the spaceways of the unfettered imagination to the mysterious place between the notes and back, still delivers an experimental punch couched within the arc of a 1970s-like groove. Carne knows how to improvise convincingly and in context best of all on the formidable album track 'Black Love'. Surely June Tyson (1936-1992), vocalist with Sun Ra, taking matters to the nth degree, was a kindred spirit to Carne or seems so from this distance. And Ra fans may find something meaningful here just as easily as Carne's many long-time admirers who come from Roy Ayers-like soul-jazz and go the extra mile to journey with Carne once again to take the spirit radically – and just as completely – out. SG

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Nightports, Tom Herbert - Nightports with Tom Herbert, Leaf ****

Solo bass, that's the Tom Herbert part. Producing and mixing that's the Nightports (Adam Martin and Mark Slater) role. It's subtle what Nightports do, a little like the way a well-lit room can make all the difference to the energy of the space or …

Published: 24 May 2022. Updated: 43 days.

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Solo bass, that's the Tom Herbert part. Producing and mixing that's the Nightports (Adam Martin and Mark Slater) role. It's subtle what Nightports do, a little like the way a well-lit room can make all the difference to the energy of the space or the frame on a photograph can help make the image sear in to the mind's eye.

Essentially Herbert, best known for his work with Polar Bear (and recently heard on Dreamers with Elliot Galvin, and ex-Bear neither grizzly he nor Mark Lockheart) here recording in Stoke Newington studio Total Refreshment Centre in 2019. 'Arcs' the overall highlight has a dervish, dancing, quality and throughout the album by means of overdubs and wrap-around electronics sounds populated not clinical like a bass all on its tod. That kind of album is a very different experience.

'Lumin' goes almost ravey davey, you know solo dancer late-at-night having an unselfconscious twirl while everyone else is standing around the floor chewing the fat and not a bit embarrassed at the spectacle. 'Hydrodynamica' goes a step further with fat punctuation, lots of elasticity, bent notes and a more insistent technological chorus.

There are plenty of meticulous avant-garde statements (say the dystopia of 'Vacancy') scattered along the way. Pan-stylistic in nature, open-minded in the sprit of questing for answers there's lots to savour. State of the art music making Herbert once more an agenda setter that you'd be ill advised to ignore while Nightports flicker tantalisingly like pearly kings resplendent in their very own sonic manor togging Tom out in the finest aural smoke and mirrors to grab your shell-like. SG

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