Melissa Aldana, 12 Stars, Blue Note ****

New York-based Chile-born saxophonist Melissa Aldana is here on the absorbing Lage Lund-produced tarot card-inspired 12 Stars (the title referencing the Empress' crown in tarot) with a band on the recording who comprise guitarist Lund, keyboardist …

Published: 28 Feb 2022. Updated: 4 months.

New York-based Chile-born saxophonist Melissa Aldana is here on the absorbing Lage Lund-produced tarot card-inspired 12 Stars (the title referencing the Empress' crown in tarot) with a band on the recording who comprise guitarist Lund, keyboardist Sullivan Fortner, bassist Pablo Menares and drummer Kush Abadey. With a 1990s feel in places and Aldana chimes nicely with the sound of Johsua Redman from that period 12 Stars features Aldana originals, some co-written with Lage. A very mature sound with some serious playing and interesting detours within the band sound Aldana has that rare gift of being able to communicate as intimately as a vocalist can and on a ballad such as 'Emilia' makes her sound count so very convincingly. Out on Friday

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Avishai Cohen, Naked Truth, ECM ****

It is a tender and intimate side of the playing personality of trumpeter Avishai Cohen in quartet configuration here on this just-released album recorded in a southern France studio back in September. Yonathan Avishai provides rhapsodic support on …

Published: 27 Feb 2022. Updated: 4 months.

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It is a tender and intimate side of the playing personality of trumpeter Avishai Cohen in quartet configuration here on this just-released album recorded in a southern France studio back in September. Yonathan Avishai provides rhapsodic support on piano and there is a real elegance and sense of occasion on this deeply affecting release. Drummer Ziv Ravitz provides a quietly watchful role and the bass lines of Barak Mori deftly navigate the subtle shifts in mood and tempo. The addition of Avishai reciting a Zelda poem is a fine, philosophical, touch at the end.

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