Katalyst, Katalyst, Jazz is Dead ****

Around for some eight years Los Angeles collective Katalyst's members include pianists Brandon Cordoba and Brian Hargrove - brother of the much missed trumpet icon Roy Hargrove. Then there are saxophonists David Otis and Corbin James, trombonist …

Published: 9 Jul 2022. Updated: 31 days.

Around for some eight years Los Angeles collective Katalyst's members include pianists Brandon Cordoba and Brian Hargrove - brother of the much missed trumpet icon Roy Hargrove. Then there are saxophonists David Otis and Corbin James, trombonist Jonah Levine, trumpeter Emile Martinez, percussionist Ahmad Dubose, drummer Greg Paul and bassist Marlon Spears in the personnel.

Influenced by James Poyser and Roy Hargrove Katalyst specialise in immersive vamps and win us over pretty much from the first track. 'Summer Solstice' later on is the one we warm to most. There is lots of gritty positivity to the sound that harks back as if to the 1970s and 80s. While freedom in the groove whether layered up as in the ensemble expression or breaking free to allow characterful escape especially in the keyboard lines it matters not. The sound works on every significant level we can think of. And certainly its looseness is unfakable. And there seems profound chemistry in this inspired coming together.

Out on 15 July

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Chip Wickham, Cloud 10, Gondwana ***

Saturday morning listen, the best time of the week - sometimes there is simply nothing up to the task to inject the requisite feeling and do its spirit of well-being justice. But there is today. So track of the day and new in the One Love spot we …

Published: 9 Jul 2022. Updated: 31 days.

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Saturday morning listen, the best time of the week - sometimes there is simply nothing up to the task to inject the requisite feeling and do its spirit of well-being justice. But there is today. So track of the day and new in the One Love spot we are in a flowing spiritual-jazz space that lands somewhere as if time-travelling to a never to be found again Pharoah Sanders or Yusef Lateef oasis where a rare atmosphere of much sought-after serenity lives. That's one instinctive reaction to hearing 'Cloud 10,' the lead-off and title track from September's Gondwana latest agenda-setter.

Recorded at the Estudio Brazil in Madrid the throb of the bass from Simon Houghton, known as Sneaky, who flavours the vamp before Chip Wickham comes in on tenor saxophone, resounds. Vibes are played by Spanish scenester Ton Risco and fill space imaginatively. Risco sounds as much like Gary Burton as he does Bobby Hutcherson, first thought, in this passage.

New GoGo Penguin drummer the much admired Jon Scott hangs the beat back to let it fertilise the groove while Nottingham-born pianist Phil Wilkinson, a former student of Darius Brubeck, is suitably decorative in context given some florid touches.

Note that the track fades at the end which is certainly frustrating as it feels as if the whole thing has only just begun. We certainly do not want it to end.

Hear Chip in Ronnie Scott's this autumn

Chip Wickham photo: Jazz FM

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