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