Daily jazz blog, Marlbank

Mark de Clive-Lowe, Shigeto, Melanie Charles, Hotel San Claudio, Soul Bank Records ***1/2

There is superb production skill throughout on this dreamy collaboration that finds Melanie Charles as hip as a soul-into-jazz singer as any around at the moment who certainly oozes cool on 'MFT' as the sonic background swirls around. And on …

Published: 23 Jan 2023. Updated: 15 months.

There is superb production skill throughout on this dreamy collaboration that finds Melanie Charles as hip as a soul-into-jazz singer as any around at the moment who certainly oozes cool on 'MFT' as the sonic background swirls around. And on 'Kanazawa' the big song of the record, very much a club anthem in the making, the sort of track somebody could do a frenetic remix to but which more than stands on its own legs.

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Mostly a very much middle-of-the-evening lounge record rooted in the customised world of de Clive-Lowe's broken beats milieu you'd be happy to listen to the record if there isn't a live act on in a cafe bar - certainly a record for listening to with friends in a public space as opposed to one for angsty listens on your tod worrying about the state of the planet stuck helplessly doom scrolling all night long at home. De Clive-Lowe's keyboards touch start to really engage on 'Bushido' and the whole album is bookended by 'The Creator Has A Masterplan'. Part II of the classic is streaming ahead of the album's full release. Charles impresses again on 'Love Is Everywhere'. Drummer producer Shigeto (Zach Saginaw) provides a certain wow factor and it's a good intro to what he can do here building on a stylish underground Detroit hinterland.

Shigeto, Mark de Clive-Lowe, Melanie Charles, photo: press

Hotel San Claudio is out on 24 March

MORE READING AND LISTENING:

  • Dig Shigeto going back a bit on 'MCW' - on Bandcamp, above, 2019

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David Ake, Green Thumb, Posi-Tone ***

Label regular pianist David Ake, a professor and chair at the department of musicology of the Frost School of Music, University of Miami, is here with another Posi-Tone regular Boris Kozlov and the brilliant avant tenorist Tony Malaby plus label …

Published: 22 Jan 2023. Updated: 17 months.

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Label regular pianist David Ake, a professor and chair at the department of musicology of the Frost School of Music, University of Miami, is here with another Posi-Tone regular Boris Kozlov and the brilliant avant tenorist Tony Malaby plus label regular drummer Rudy Royson (qv Art Hirahara pièce de résistance, Balance Point). While opener 'Good Afternoon' and the album overall are fairly middle of the road stylistically the title track next is more open and free-ish. 'John Prine' has a pretty melody but the rendition meanders a bit too much. 'Stu's News' has a bustling opening flourish from Royston and then a boisterous line from Malaby. Ake isn't a massively demonstrative soloist but there's granular detail to dig into and Kozlov finds this by amplifying the scrabbling detours that the pianist often embarks on. The bassist uses an arco style at the beginning of the tender 'Walker Evans' and 'Slingshot' has a similar pastel quality. The most impressive track of the album 'Street Food' even if it stylistically is an outlier contains a grand statement from Malaby and he lends a breathy old fashioned feeling to the agreeably laidback 'But Beautiful' that might win over even the most curmudgeonly of us. Out on 17 March