Jonathan Barber impresses on Legacy Holder: will it be a game changer?

Listening to Marie Kruttli's fine trio record The Kind of Happy One yesterday I was interested to hear more of the drummer, Jonathan Barber. As luck would have have it he has a new record out with his Vision Ahead band. Listening to the glinting …

Published: 17 Apr 2020. Updated: 3 months.

Listening to Marie Kruttli's fine trio record The Kind of Happy One yesterday I was interested to hear more of the drummer, Jonathan Barber. As luck would have have it he has a new record out with his Vision Ahead band. Listening to the glinting almost folkloric sheen to the title track I'm reminded of the style certainly in the atmospherics and scenic detours of Nir Felder's Golden Age. It was Nate Smith playing drums on that record and certainly like Smith, Barber, 30, from Hartford, Connecticut in the States now based in New York, has a winning contemporary way about him and is totally at ease with a 21st century sense of jazz speaking of now while not immersing himself in a stuck-in-the-past bubble slightly ironic given the ''legacy'' word in the album title. Barber has pianist Taber Gable, guitarist Andrew Renfroe, alto saxophonist Godwin Louis, bassist Matt Dwonszyk + vocalist Mar Vilaseca guesting with him on the record. Barber has worked with some heavy hitters in his short career to date including Pat Metheny, Nicholas Payton, Buster Williams and Jeremy Pelt.

Jonathan Barber, top. Photo: via Lydia Liebman PR.

Tags: News

Mako Sica / Hamid Drake, Balancing Tear

'Trapeze' draws on a big drone to begin with, a thick wash of instruments and acts as a pretty enjoyable introduction to this latest from veteran avant Chicago scene band Mako Sica joined by the celebrated percussionist Hamid Drake. 'The Unknown' …

Published: 17 Apr 2020. Updated: 3 months.

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'Trapeze' draws on a big drone to begin with, a thick wash of instruments and acts as a pretty enjoyable introduction to this latest from veteran avant Chicago scene band Mako Sica joined by the celebrated percussionist Hamid Drake. 'The Unknown' however is ropier because of the initial scene-setting throaty vocals to begin with although the haunted atmosphere that develops is more interesting. Alas 'Enchanted City' is no better and very hard to engage with. Applause counterintuitively begins the final track but there's more here to get your teeth into and it is my overall pick of a very hit and miss affair. SG

Out on Astral Spirits

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