Daily jazz blog, Marlbank

Jochen Rueckert, With Best Intentions, Colonel Beats ***1/2

Shipmates, it's not 1975. It's not an opera house, there's no Keith. It's not the Köln concert. But it is Köln. Whittled down here judiciously in largely absorbing fashion recorded live at Cologne's Loft jazz club over a couple of nights last year …

Published: 30 May 2023. Updated: 12 months.

Shipmates, it's not 1975. It's not an opera house, there's no Keith. It's not the Köln concert. But it is Köln. Whittled down here judiciously in largely absorbing fashion recorded live at Cologne's Loft jazz club over a couple of nights last year drummer Jochen Rueckert leading - who is handily from the German city and who is now living in the US - reunites once again with long time playing chum the Warne Marsh inspired tenor legend Mark Turner.

Interestingly in the band too is old Ted Poor mucker Joris Roelofs of Amateur Dentist repute, a head that you'd be rueful to miss the new aquaintance of if oblivious hitherto to his charms. French born Amsterdammer Roelofs on bass clarinet certainly raises the roof in Dolphy fashion enjoyably as if possessing tentacles that flail everywhere on the scrabbling 'Muetze Glatze'. Quintet bassist Doug Weiss nudges the band along unobtrusively.

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Trombone ace Nils Wogram also isn't used enough in the shape of all the tunes. But he wins the day rumblingly on the title track. As for Rueckert he drives hard when he needs to and can hustle the beat along like Adam Nussbaum a bit even on 'Unmitigated'. Check out the video for album track 'Rainbow Road' by scrolling up.

But if you want to hear Mark Turner at his very best it isn't on a Rueckert record it's on his own 2022 career high water mark Return From the Stars and further back Temporary Kings duetting with Ethan Iverson. Make both ports of call. But first sink the tot, don the bell bottoms and take shore leave to catch this not at all rum do of a Rueckertship landing at your earliest convenience before clambering back to ever serenely sail on to your next listening destination. l-r: Joris Roelofs, Doug Weiss, Mark Turner, photo: still from the video

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Wynton Marsalis, The Jungle, Blue Engine ***

The latest symphonic work from Wynton Marsalis, a New York themed concept album does not grab us half as much as erstwhile Wynton UK protégé Soweto Kinch's White Juju with the London Symphony Orchestra issued last year. But that itself had more in …

Published: 30 May 2023. Updated: 12 months.

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The latest symphonic work from Wynton Marsalis, a New York themed concept album does not grab us half as much as erstwhile Wynton UK protégé Soweto Kinch's White Juju with the London Symphony Orchestra issued last year. But that itself had more in common with the satire of Wynton's best record in years, 2020's The Ever Fonky Lowdown. By contrast Marsalis' 4th symphony The Jungle is a stately affair and features the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Wynton in their midst, alongside the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra conducted by Nicholas Buc recorded live in Melbourne's Hamer Hall in 2019. Highlights include the Gershwin-esque 'Lost in Sight' third movement. 'La Esquina' has all the implied swagger of a Leonard Bernstein classic but the work and performance overall need far less staidness to truly, madly, deeply, engage. Wynton Marsalis, photo: wyntonmarsalis.org