Mark Lockheart, Dreamers, Edition ****

Dreamers is a very different kind of Mark Lockheart album. Opening in a contemporary even Americana type space this quartet affair which has the avant pianist Elliot Galvin perhaps making the biggest different in Lockheart's sound and here along …

Published: 30 Jan 2022. Updated: 3 months.

Dreamers is a very different kind of Mark Lockheart album. Opening in a contemporary even Americana type space this quartet affair which has the avant pianist Elliot Galvin perhaps making the biggest different in Lockheart's sound and here along with Lockheart's erstwhile Polar Bear collague Tom Herbert on bass and the poweful Dave Smith on drums on a record where the writing is imaginative and very unorthodox. The spectrum of the compositional reach is very considerable. A wide array of sounds is revealed with 'Jagdish' and its reprise as experimental as you get on any Lockheart record. 'Gangster Rat' has a feverish drum line from Smith which again throws the record into a different area and the album's sheer restlessless takes a little getting used to. Lockheart as ever is capable of delivering some sublime saxophone solos and say on 'Nature vs Nurture' you get exposed to this up front and personal. Galvin's use of synths say on 'Fluorescences' gives the record a futuristic sheen and the record at no time sits back and takes anything for granted which is to its great credit. With most of the tracks written solely by Lockheart the album once again flags up just what a fine writer he is. State of the art UK jazz overall from a master who refuses to stand still and once again sets the bar very high as he journeys on and ever deeper.

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Jim McNeely and the Frankfurt Radio Big Band feat. Chris Potter, Rituals, Double Moon ****

What a lot of firepower there is here. But even more than that clever arrangements and some explosive soloing from Chris Potter (the third part of the 'Rituals' suite especially) light up this tribute to Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring. The album …

Published: 29 Jan 2022. Updated: 3 months.

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What a lot of firepower there is here. But even more than that clever arrangements and some explosive soloing from Chris Potter (the third part of the 'Rituals' suite especially) light up this tribute to Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring. The album also includes four additional Potter pieces including two from the saxophonist's masterwork The Sirens and these fit well within the overall feel of the release. Chicago-born pianist, composer and Grammy winning arranger McNeely in the 1970s was a featured soloist in the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra and later pianist in the Stan Getz quartet and Phil Woods quintet. His arranger's pen has a delicacy and lightness of touch that helps make this fine big band release so involving and very rewarding.