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Jon Batiste, We Are ***

On a roll for Soul and as the award nominations pile up this is livelier and not at all a purist jazz album although suffused in the rear view mirror with that joyful noise amid a panoply of styles that jostle for position and cross-fertilise. …

Published: 16 Mar 2021. Updated: 31 days.

On a roll for Soul and as the award nominations pile up this is livelier and not at all a purist jazz album although suffused in the rear view mirror with that joyful noise amid a panoply of styles that jostle for position and cross-fertilise. Partly about Batiste's southern roots partly about his burning desire to communicate with all the skills the pianist bandleader and composer has at his considerable disposal there's plenty of star power and a two-way flow of reflection and celebration in the crossover traffic where soul, pop and a certain groove crackle in the night air no matter what you call it. With Mavis Staples, Quincy Jones, Zadie Smith, PJ Morton, Trombone Shorty, St Augustine Marching 100, Jon's dad Michael Batiste, granda David Gauthier and many more involved it is slick in terms of the commercial production and willingness to engage but feelgood all the way. Top tips: 'Adulthood' is a shoulder swaying joy, 'Mavis' sounding ancient instead a tiny homily tailor made for providing wisdom. Lightning in a bottle time the sonic ricochets that call and respond across voice and instruments are everywhere. Entertainment and art collide, a record not at all about playing only to the in-crowd is what We Are is all about. SG Out on Verve on Friday. Photo: Louie Brown/Universal

Tags: Album / EP reviews

Trio time for Chris Potter

Two years on from the excellent Circuits saxophonist Chris Potter's upcoming trio record Sunrise Reprise drawing on the same blueprint has these tracks: 'Sunrise and Joshua Trees'; 'Southbound', which is streaming ahead of release; the 11 …

Published: 16 Mar 2021. Updated: 37 days.

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Two years on from the excellent Circuits saxophonist Chris Potter's upcoming trio record Sunrise Reprise drawing on the same blueprint has these tracks: 'Sunrise and Joshua Trees'; 'Southbound', which is streaming ahead of release; the 11 minute-plus 'Serpentine'; 'The Peanut' and the 24 minute-plus whopper drawing together two pieces in a 'Nowhere, Now Here/Sunrise Reprise' segue.

Potter is heard once again with pianist James Francies and drummer Eric Harland. Look for this studio record made last autumn when it is released in mid-May. Potter's most recent record was There is a Tide, the new record once again appearing on UK jazz indie Edition fresh from achieving success this week at the Grammys. Photo: Dave Stapleton