Mark Lewandowski, Under One Sky ****

Covered in recent years by Clare Teal with the late Pee Wee Ellis, the Hoagy Carmichael standard 'I Get Along Without You Very Well' had its salad days in the late-1930s where you will find the gently unfurling melody in the space of the same …

Published: 1 Oct 2021. Updated: 26 days.

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Covered in recent years by Clare Teal with the late Pee Wee Ellis, the Hoagy Carmichael standard 'I Get Along Without You Very Well' had its salad days in the late-1930s where you will find the gently unfurling melody in the space of the same doom-laden year that the second world war broke out on versions by Red Norvo, Jimmy Dorsey, Adelaide Hall and Charlie Barnet. Chet Baker made the song his own in the 50s. Englishman in New York double bassist Mark Lewandowski on his new trio album Under One Sky is with pianist Addison Frei and drummer Kush Abadey and in their hands the song as instrumental becomes succinctly 'Very Well' and is the obvious highlight of Under One Sky. (There are no issuing label details for the record so far.) To extrapolate that concision serves him well throughout, two pieces are dedicated to progressive masters: explicity Paul Bley and Andrew Hill, also a fine aspect of an album that has a sure sense of direction. Hugely melodic without being at all cheesy or obvious there is a real understanding of the shape and mood of each piece contained on the album.

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Lewandowski, marlbank recalls from hearing him play with Bobby Wellins a couple of years before the Scottish jazz icon passed away, is a fine player. Think the tonal excellence of Chris Laurence or Alec Dankworth perhaps for an inkling of an approach towards his sound. Abadey was on another expat English bassist Orlando Le Fleming's Romantic Funk last year serendipitously. But new to me, although definitely reminiscent of the sound of Liam Noble when that fine pianist plays standards not avant, is Frei. Even within the tight structures and sleek lines of all the pieces there is enough room for freedom to explore in the Lewandowski trio's hands, this must-hear new album released four years on from Waller. SG. Mark Lewandowski, above

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Inevitable given a fixation with celebrity that Love For Sale is picking up the glare of publicity but these 10 lesser known jazz-vocals albums from 21 are all you need

It says more about how the mass media is obssessed with celebrities that the new Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga album Love For Sale generates profile most jazz artists (even big names) could ever dream of receiving. Take the Alexis Petridis piece in …

Published: 30 Sep 2021. Updated: 26 days.

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It says more about how the mass media is obssessed with celebrities that the new Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga album Love For Sale generates profile most jazz artists (even big names) could ever dream of receiving. Take the Alexis Petridis piece in The Guardian where the album given a measly three stars note is nonetheless album of the week, a recognition of the big names at least as much as the damning-with-faint-praise inherent in that parsimonious rating. I'm not a fan of the album although there is nothing wrong with it. It just doesn't move me. Anyway Bennett had nothing to prove making it. It's great he's still making it. He's now 95 for goodness' sake! He's done it all and Gaga pretty much too even in her comparatively short career. However, I completely agree with Petridis when he says regarding Lady Gaga's performance on the Bennett swansong: ''There’s a conversational ease to her vocals.'' She is also a bona fide jazz singer which is old news. I get that completely. I remember chatting to saxist Alex Garnett one night at Kansas Smitty's jazz club in Hackney who recalled being in the band at Ronnie's the night Gaga blew everyone in the audience away when she sat in and swung with the Late Late Show band that night on Frith Street. In terms of her catalogue it's interesting that Gaga is now being covered by credible jazz artists from a generation several times on from Bennett's such as world class crooner Peter Cincotti who told marlbank just last week that he is interpreting 'Poker Face' on his still-to-be-released 88 Keys and Me. But looking for state-of-the-art jazz vocals wouldn't be it refreshing if a leading critic in a leading paper introduced readers to one or all of these fine albums, mostly unreviewed or allotted a few lines in some obscure below-the-fold spot, in addition? Trouble is the arts editors with clout don't want to know or care enough to remedy such neglect. We can't seriously talk about a higher profile for jazz in the UK until there is a changing in the guard in the arts pages so that writers actually get given the space they are longing for to really let readers, whistling in the dark, know what's going on.

1/ Nnenna Freelon Time Traveler, Origin

2/ Patricia Barber Clique, Impex

3/ Denise Donatelli Whistling in the Dark: The Music of Burt Bacharach, Savant

4/ Jesse Harris and Vinicius Cantuária Surpresa, Sunnyside

5/ Michael Mayo Bones, Mack Avenue

6/ Sachal Vasandani Midnight Shelter, Edition

7/ Samara Joy Samara Joy, Whirlwind

8/ Jane Monheit Come What May, Club 44

9/ Sarah Moule Stormy Emotions, 33

10/ Zoë Gilby Aurora, Own label