Latest pre-orders... Big names surprisingly disappoint while a lesser known drummer scores big time

You cannot always guarantee the big names to deliver. Gregory Porter's first track 'Revival' from the upcoming album ''All Rise'' is far too bland and slickly over-produced, the real joy of his long successful formula polished that bit too much as …

Published: 17 Jan 2020. Updated: 13 months.

You cannot always guarantee the big names to deliver. Gregory Porter's first track 'Revival' from the upcoming album ''All Rise'' is far too bland and slickly over-produced, the real joy of his long successful formula polished that bit too much as the label pushes hard for a crossover hit. Al di Meola tackling 'Strawberry Fields Forever' from ''Across the Universe'' by contrast is disappointing in another way because it sweats the small details just too much. Craving more air, more simplicity – the cover feels too micromanaged and fussy.

More positively 'Tango Cordoba' from a much less famous name, Wolfgang Haffner, and his upcoming Kind of Tango where he keeps company with a band sprinkled with star power who get what he is doing exactly, cements his position once more as one of Europe and the world's best jazz drummers. The time he keeps here is spectacular, you feel the momentum rising as the players respond to his precise but loose Gadd-level groove for an outcome that is remarkably infectious. SG

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Snakeoil shift label

Departing long-time recording home ECM for the Intakt label, a coup for the consistently excellent Swiss indie, kicking off their tenure with ''The Fantastic Mrs.10'' – here's the cover of the upcoming Snakeoil album that trousers a Valentine's day …

Published: 17 Jan 2020. Updated: 13 months.

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Departing long-time recording home ECM for the Intakt label, a coup for the consistently excellent Swiss indie, kicking off their tenure with ''The Fantastic Mrs.10'' – here's the cover of the upcoming Snakeoil album that trousers a Valentine's day release next month. Ain't that romantic?

Cult guitarist Marc Ducret joins old muckers alto sax great Tim Berne, Matt Mitchell, Oscar Noriega and Ches Smith this time around.

Tunes are largely Berne's plus there is a treatment of, by a hero and mentor of his: Julius Hemphill, in the inclusion of 'Dear Friend'. Arcane drum trivia fact, Smith besides drums, vibes and glock makes use of the unusual barrel drum, the Haitian tanbou, it is practically compulsory to relate.