Marius Van Den Brink, New York Knock, Highline Music ***1/2

One of those curious cases when just about everyone on your record is better known than you are. It might not matter except that a casual browser might skate over this release not really knowing how good a player Dutchman-in-New York Marius Van Den …

Published: 27 Jan 2024. Updated: 31 days.

One of those curious cases when just about everyone on your record is better known than you are. It might not matter except that a casual browser might skate over this release not really knowing how good a player Dutchman-in-New York Marius Van Den Brink is both as a hard bop attuned writer and as a driving pianist. And that band? Saxist Stacy Dillard, trumpeter Sean Jones, bassist Matt Penman, drummer Willie Jones III and percussionist Keita Ogawa plus guests play a bunch of authentic tunes that sound as if they belong in the Golden Age of jazz in the 1960s all apart from the folkloric 'In Greece We Drink'. Van den Brink's reputation can only soar higher after a record that hits the spot as much as this does.

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The Jakob Manz Project, The Answer, ACT ***

Super slick, super talented alto saxophonist Jakob Manz flies the flag here for funky jazz-rock - the sort of easy to get down to sound that David Sanborn and Maceo Parker do so well. And on tracks here like the easy standout 'When Weasles Fly' …

Published: 27 Jan 2024. Updated: 31 days.

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Super slick, super talented alto saxophonist Jakob Manz flies the flag here for funky jazz-rock - the sort of easy to get down to sound that David Sanborn and Maceo Parker do so well. And on tracks here like the easy standout 'When Weasles Fly' with a charged up band powered by Paul Albrecht on drums it's easy to get into the zone. Elsewhere the Lionel Loueke guest slot doesn't work so well because Loueke's style is so different and sticks out a bit when all the band seem to want to do is funk. As for the title track it's not a million miles from smooth jazz - so you've been warned.