Julian Shore, Where We Started

Beginning with a lulling quasi-classical feel and a title in 'Preludio' to match, pianist Julian Shore finds himself in reflective mood on Where We Started. The title draws on a line of poetry by T. S. Eliot and with Shore his collaborators on the …

Published: 3 Jul 2020. Updated: 31 days.

Beginning with a lulling quasi-classical feel and a title in 'Preludio' to match, pianist Julian Shore finds himself in reflective mood on Where We Started.

The title draws on a line of poetry by T. S. Eliot and with Shore his collaborators on the record are a fine collection of leading players: Dayna Stephens, Caroline Davis, Ben Monder, Edward Perez, Colin Stranahan and fleetingly, actually on the title track itself, Oded Tzur.

That classical sense gives way a little as the album progesses and moves towards that new territory we hear so much on contemporary jazz records, a sense of composition that keeps its options open and avoids being overly constrained by any one tradition. One thing it's not is a blood and guts full throttle dash in some sort of competitive duel.

Shore possesses something of a Romantic touch to his flowing improvisations and I would say that this is an introvert's record rather than an extrovert's.

In terms of the process of his gaining wider recognition Where We Started certainly accelerates that direction. It's an excellent record. Highlights include the mystical charm of the band's interpretation of the Gesualdo madrigal 'O Vos Omnes' and the absorbing interpretation of Gil Evans’ arrangement of Gershwin’s 'Oh Bess, Oh Where’s My Bess' are certainly high among them and Monder's role is important as is the way the album pivots between piano, saxophone and guitar for its essential centre of gravity. As a whole it works as a kind of meditation and conveys its own faraway atmosphere highly effectively.

Out now on Tongue Rogue Records.

Tags: 2020 best so far tracks / albumsAlbum reviews

Mino Cinelu and Nils Petter Molvær collaborate on SulaMadiana

BMG's new imprint Modern Recordings are to release atmospheric new album SulaMadiana by Mino Cinelu and Nils Petter Molvær on 21 August. Look for title track ’SulaMadiana’ to be released as a single on 24 July. The album title takes its name from …

Published: 2 Jul 2020. Updated: 32 days.

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BMG's new imprint Modern Recordings are to release atmospheric new album SulaMadiana by Mino Cinelu and Nils Petter Molvær on 21 August. Look for title track ’SulaMadiana’ to be released as a single on 24 July. The album title takes its name from Sula, the island off the west coast of Norway where Molvær is from, and Madiana, a synonym for Martinique, where Cinelu's father comes from. The album pays tribute to Manu Dibango, Tony Allen and Jimmy Cobb, all recently departed.