Jimmy Haslip, Barry Coates, Jerry Kalaf, New Dreams, Outside In Music ****

The weariness of 'Towner' grabbed me immediately and sucked me in. There is great separation in the way New Dreams is recorded, meaning for instance sticks on cymbals are clear and discrete, the fatigued guitar character so kinetic whether induced …

Published: 29 Jul 2022. Updated: 12 days.

The weariness of 'Towner' grabbed me immediately and sucked me in. There is great separation in the way New Dreams is recorded, meaning for instance sticks on cymbals are clear and discrete, the fatigued guitar character so kinetic whether induced via lead lines or strumming chords it matters not.

Jimmy Haslip (Yellowjackets, David Sanborn, Jerry Garcia) is a bass guitar legend and plays very much an ensemble role here within the trio sound. I am unfamiliar - shoot me for this. Boom - with guitar synthist Barry Coates and drummer Jerry Kalaf.

'Faith' is the big tune melodically of all. What an achievement. Again such clarity in the sonics and in the execution, almost a baroque sense of counterpoint in the unravelling of Americana texture and the careful pitch bending that Coates so interestingly contributes to it.

Acoustic and electronic textures vie not at all for supremacy on New Dreams but simply jostle for space.

Not everything works. I skipped on over 'Before' quickly enough to find the next track (and yet subsequent listens made me reconsider) but loved 'Mays' (I guess a tribute to the late Lyle Mays).

But whatever - if you are into Methenyiana especially when Mays was so important as an intrinsic factor over many years beginning with Watercolors in 1977 then this record is essential as a parallel vision to his artistry and 21st century response on one level that leads into a different dimension as improvisations develop. Maximum respect overall.

Kalaf's martial rolls on 'Retrograde' however don't appeal so much as his dynamic pulsar feel elsewhere. So be patient and even here as Haslip's lines appear like magic when you'd least expect them to there's more going on than a few detailed listens can even hope to discover. SG

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Tags: reviews luv - long

Harish Raghavan, In Tense, Whirlwind ****

Even better than before under his own steam US double bassist Harish Raghavan a child of the 1980s who made his name with the great trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire and showed a glimpse of what he could himself do as a leader on the slightly overcooked …

Published: 29 Jul 2022. Updated: 12 days.

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Even better than before under his own steam US double bassist Harish Raghavan a child of the 1980s who made his name with the great trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire and showed a glimpse of what he could himself do as a leader on the slightly overcooked but still highly listenable-to Calls For Action here on an album of his own originals along with vibist Joel Ross prominent on the title track, guitarist Charles Altura, drummer Eric Harland and saxist-EWI player Morgan Guerin.

Recorded in a New York studio at the end of 2021 metrically advanced ('Circus Music') mood convincing - whether brooding on the title track, tender on 'Eight-Thirteen' or bustling in the faster passages sprinkled throughout - In Tense works as a bass statement particularly 's2020' but it is the context within group interplay that really matters not solo grandstanding. The interplay with Ross and collective endeavour are some of the most significant aspects of a fine record. The heads are beautifully voiced.

While Calls for Action was challenging and fairly satisfying this is more nuanced and the writing is far more direct. As a multi-hyphenate small group post-bop-slash-jazzrock-&-beyond statement In Tense remaps a sound that has been around since at least the 1980s mainly championed by Dave Holland and later Chris Potter but remains more state of the art than a stuck for inspiration glare in the rear view mirror of any description in Raghavan's rendering. The apocalyptic reach of the impact of the arc of any number of pieces but achieved most on 'Ama' also lifts the album to a new level where the music certainly moves us most.

Out today

More reading and listening - see the updated marlbank best of the year list as In Tense makes the 10

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