Daily jazz blog, Marlbank

Live Edge Trio with Steve Nelson, Closing Time, OA2 ****

Vibraphone, vibraharp… vibes - however you call this most reverberant and mellow of instruments it's clear that while harp might have been the slightly unusual instrument of choice to have a moment in the sun in recent years, 2024 is turning out …

Published: 18 May 2024. Updated: 34 days.

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Vibraphone, vibraharp… vibes - however you call this most reverberant and mellow of instruments it's clear that while harp might have been the slightly unusual instrument of choice to have a moment in the sun in recent years, 2024 is turning out to be the year of the vibes. Nublues set the bar incredibly high earlier in the year, new from Joel Ross - later it was Jim Hart with the Cloudmakers trio + Leo Genovese and A Drop of Hope in the Ocean of Uncertainty to second that emotion.

And now 3 is a magic number and enter vibes legend Steve Nelson who turns 70 in August continuing the great run of fine vibes-featuring albums in 2024. ''Safe as Milt'' mastery on 'Ben's Tune' Bags a whole lotta this, an absolute must just out on Origin's OA2 imprint.

Live Edge Trio - they'd be the first to admit perhaps - aren't edgy (as in avant-garde) in the slightest. But matter that one jot it does not.


And as a sideways thought you know what? Nelson's soloing on 'Old Folks' steals the show completely and we went to the best instrumental version of the song that we know next for added enjoyment and so share the live in New Jersey After the Fall Keith Jarrett Standards trio version above recorded live in 1998 but not released until some 20 years later had elapsed. Both treatments sit so well against one another in their different ways.


Denver scenesters are Live Edge - they know about flow and pulsar momentum because it's kept up throughout. Closing Time has a real buoyancy to it. Bobbing on the tide of classic Milt Jackson type sounds Closing Time is even better A&R wise than the pleasurable Nelson & flying Dutchmen Teepe-'n'-Ineke standards fuelled A Common Language reviewed in marlbank recently.

Tunes are pianist Ben Markley's, bassist Seth Lewis', drummer Andy Wheelock's plus look for covers of Willard Robison's 1930s song 'Old Folks' covered by Sonny Rollins in the 40s, Charlie Parker in the 50s and in the late-2010s by as contrasting players as Mary Halvorson and Jim Snidero.

Oh and don't forget the mellow treatment of Horace Silver's 'Cape Verdean Blues' - title track of The Horace Silver Quintet Plus J.J. Johnson's 1966 Blue Note classic which is like the finest of wines kept to be plucked from the most generous of cellars at the end of this vintage playing session. Recorded last November in Denver Nelson is on wonderful form and the trio caress and cajole his incredible soloing lead every step of the way.

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Marlbank's Saturday Morning Jazz 10 All-New Playlist

The Tomasz Stańko Quartet: l-r: Michał Miśkiewicz, Tomasz Stańko, Sławomir Kurkiewicz, Marcin Wasilewski photo: ECM An unheard recording of 'Song for Sarah' the Suspended Night (2004) classic and glorious lead-off track from the upcoming Tomasz …

Published: 18 May 2024. Updated: 14 days.

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The Tomasz Stańko Quartet: l-r: Michał Miśkiewicz, Tomasz Stańko, Sławomir Kurkiewicz, Marcin Wasilewski photo: ECM

An unheard recording of 'Song for Sarah' the Suspended Night (2004) classic and glorious lead-off track from the upcoming Tomasz Stańko Quartet September Night is new in our Saturday listening playlist top 10.

Drawn from a previously unreleased Munich Muffathalle 2004 concert, the full album is to be issued in June.

Updated daily - specially selected - the 10 new tracks that you need to stop right now and listen to asap.

PLUS Friday's 10 for more jazz zen:

170524FridayPlaylist