Joel Lyssarides, Stay Now, ACT ****

If you are looking for quiet sophistication in a jazz album at the moment then Stay Now is state of the art. Full of lush melody, a palpable quietness at times, but when push comes to shove the engine changes gear and pianist Joel Lyssarides shows …

Published: 28 Jan 2022. Updated: 8 months.

If you are looking for quiet sophistication in a jazz album at the moment then Stay Now is state of the art. Full of lush melody, a palpable quietness at times, but when push comes to shove the engine changes gear and pianist Joel Lyssarides shows his considerable technique. Bassist Niklas Fernqvist is central to the mobility of the album recorded in Gothenburg studio Nilento. And while drummer Rasmus Blixt on 'Gowns of Dark' certainly comes into his own Stay Now is more a melodic statement than an all and out rhythmical demonstration. You get a classical sense of exactitude in the way Lyssarides sets up his improvisations with above all a strong narrative to the melodic statement and a clarity in the execution of each piece. The title track with insistent bass underpinning the lapping piano introduction has a rhapsodic insistence that the trio do so well. The pieces, which quite often have an almost classical sense of composure, tend to be quite short so some may feel the full improvisational effect is too truncated but that is more than made up for by the thrilling strength of the material.

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Prog inspires Brad Mehldau on his upcoming album Jacob's Ladder

Jacob's Ladder will be the next album from Brad Mehldau, the pianist's long-time label Nonesuch has announced indicating 18 March as a release date. Joining Mehldau on the album are Chris Thile, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Mark Guiliana, Becca Stevens …

Published: 27 Jan 2022. Updated: 10 months.

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Jacob's Ladder will be the next album from Brad Mehldau, the pianist's long-time label Nonesuch has announced indicating 18 March as a release date. Joining Mehldau on the album are Chris Thile, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Mark Guiliana, Becca Stevens and Joel Frahm among others. 'Maybe As His Skies are Wide' from the album is streaming riffing off a Rush piece 'Tom Sawyer' in part.

Mehldau says: “The musical conduit on the record is prog. Prog, progressive rock, was the music of my childhood, before I discovered jazz. It matched the fantasy and science fiction books I read from CS Lewis, Madeleine L’Engle and others at that time, aged ten through twelve. It was my gateway to the fusion of Miles Davis, Weather Report, Mahavishnu Orchestra and other groups, which in turn was the gateway to more jazz. Jazz shared with prog a broader expressive scope and larger-scale ambitions than the rock music I had known already.''