Meg Morley trio - Hampstead Jazz Club appearance previewed

Timely for this performance the just-released Journey Through Home (33 Jazz) is an engaging release from the Meg Morley trio given an ingredient that you might not expect as one talking point and the pianist-leader's ability to defy expectations …

Published: 15 Jun 2022. Updated: 20 days.

Timely for this performance the just-released Journey Through Home (33 Jazz) is an engaging release from the Meg Morley trio given an ingredient that you might not expect as one talking point and the pianist-leader's ability to defy expectations along the way. Don't just file under intriguing use of a preposition in the nonetheless thought-provoking title.

Once again featuring the former Neil Cowley trio's Richard Sadler, the double bassist from Displaced which in 2006 was something of a revelation when the Cowley 3 first made a splash, Sadler plays exceedingly well. Emiliano Caroselli is the drummer and paces the progress of the sound carefully.

Morley's imaginative approach, largely a modernist-mainstream sound that crucially can just as easily go avant in its musical syntax, simmers and radiates throughout, a maelstrom of departures from the norm never far away or at least heavily hinted at.

The additional element on Journey Through Home that comes out of the blue but does not distract too much is the presence of a bağlama flavour provided by Huseyin Atasever on the very different 'e-Gnosis'.

The pieces, nearly all Morley's, are strong and the pianist can go free-ish in incremental phases built up from an impressionist core often with a shifting almost bitonal sense to the method as on 'How Not to Graciously Accept a Gift'. The only controversial aspect of 'Dancing Through Culture Wars' is its title. Let's call a ceasefire on that particular skirmish. Morley's own solution as the piece unwinds is appealingly ingenious.

The Meg Morley trio play London's Hampstead Jazz Club tonight at 8

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Tags: reviews

Carsten Dahl, A Beautiful Blue Moment, Storyville ***

Certainly A Beautiful Blue Moment begins in blistering fashion on 'Old Voyage' trumpeter Tim Hagans like a bull at a gate. Very brightly mastered things calm down on the title track and even in this new solemnitude Hagans proves no shrinking violet.

Published: 14 Jun 2022. Updated: 21 days.

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Certainly A Beautiful Blue Moment begins in blistering fashion on 'Old Voyage' trumpeter Tim Hagans like a bull at a gate. Very brightly mastered things calm down on the title track and even in this new solemnitude Hagans proves no shrinking violet.

A quartet record led by distinguished pianist Carsten Dahl I didn't really begin to enjoy the album until the driving third track when Jukkis Uotila on drums starts to seize control enough to grip the imagination. Recorded last year it's a maiden voyage for the quartet and I think that newness together shows not that anyone has anything to prove as an instrumentalist.

While the album is good at a puppyish ferocity it's not so convincing at moving beyond sheer energy to mean something more than that. I'd prefer Hagans in a different more maverick setting for example with Jon Irabagon. 'Monk - keys' is the best track when Dahl seems to really be enjoying himself. Bassist Johnny Åman is a swinging presence when he needs to be. As for Dahl hearing him in the context of last year's exquisite Our Songs is much more preferable. SG

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