Julius Rodriguez, Let Sound Tell All, Verve ****

We recall keyboardist Julius Rodriguez a little from his work fairly recently on the Melanie Charles track 'Jazz (Ain’t Nothing But Soul) (Reimagined)' playing Rhodes. Going further back he's on Carmen Lundy's 5-star Modern Ancestors. Check the …

Published: 6 Jun 2022. Updated: 29 days.

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We recall keyboardist Julius Rodriguez a little from his work fairly recently on the Melanie Charles track 'Jazz (Ain’t Nothing But Soul) (Reimagined)' playing Rhodes. Going further back he's on Carmen Lundy's 5-star Modern Ancestors. Check the New York State US player of Haitian descent, also known as Orange Julius, on bassist Alexander Claffy's Good Spirits. Rodriguez is very present in the best sense with album personnel who include trumpeter Giveton Gelin, drummer Brian Richburg, Jr and upright bassist Philip Norris (name-checked on 'Philip's Thump'). Hip-hop fans may know the keyboardist from touring with A$AP Rocky (the rapper who is the partner of Rihanna). Opening with the romping 'Blues in the Barn' later there's a respectful, affectionate and true vocal on Stevie Wonder, Morris Broadnax and Clarence Paul's 'All I Do' first covered by Tammi Terrell and here featuring singer Mariah Cameron. Remember the name. 'Two Way Street' is the most jazz-head tune in bebop terms moving into the free when scampering sax eventually rips it up in tandem with drums. Nifty production layers convincingly to contemporise the sound. 'When Grace Abounds' sounds like something perhaps Joe Henry would be proud to have produced, particularly the way the organ layered underneath piano comes over. Rodriguez resists the temptation to make it all too much a chops fest but he's obviously a monster player. The magpie eclecticism of Let Sound Tell All is one of its great strengths because certainly this is a player who sees jazz in the big wide world not hidden away. SG. Julius Rodriguez, photo: Avery J. Savage

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Talking Long Tall Dexter, Joe Henderson and John Coltrane - Kirk Lightsey, Xhosa Cole and Deschanel Gordon chill in Austria backstage

Talking Dexter Gordon, Joe Henderson and John Coltrane: Detroit piano legend Kirk Lightsey, who appeared on such sumptuously gorgeous Dexter Gordon records as American Classic (Elektra Musician, 1982 - interestingly also namechecked on the spoken …

Published: 5 Jun 2022. Updated: 30 days.

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Talking Dexter Gordon, Joe Henderson and John Coltrane: Detroit piano legend Kirk Lightsey, who appeared on such sumptuously gorgeous Dexter Gordon records as American Classic (Elektra Musician, 1982 - interestingly also namechecked on the spoken word 'An Interview with Dexter Gordon' track), is pictured above left with UK breakout jazz stars tenor saxophonist Xhosa Cole and pianist Deschanel Gordon at the Inntöne Keyboards Festival this weekend held in the Buchmannhof near Diersbach in Austria where they performed on Saturday, Lightsey topping the bill with the Stéphane Belmondo Quartet. Coltrane sat in with Kirk when the pianist was playing with Yusef Lateef back in the day.

Kirk was also close to Joe Henderson performing with the great saxophonist and he has recorded Joe's classic 'Isotope' in elegant trio mode.Later at the Inntöne Keyboards Festival festival Liam Noble and Paul Clarvis headline at 10pm.

Photo: Oliver Weindling

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