Mike Soper, Undoing ****

Taking the long view it has not been a brilliant year for jazz releases so far if being really tough. Compare instead with say 2015 an annus mirabilis when Kamasi Washington's The Epic was released and the wider music world not only noted its …

Published: 10 Jul 2022. Updated: 31 days.

Taking the long view it has not been a brilliant year for jazz releases so far if being really tough. Compare instead with say 2015 an annus mirabilis when Kamasi Washington's The Epic was released and the wider music world not only noted its comet-like appearance but actually welcomed Washington's remarkable sound that quickly became a statement for the new exciting vigour of the music which insiders long since knew was a factor but the outside world was oblivious to. That said there are a few dozen excellent records out there in 2022 that compare well with some of last year's best releases which was a pretty good year overall. Whether any of these will ''crossover'' or not is really not that interesting to speculate over.

But that number of top releases certainly includes the Laura Jurd produced Mike Soper quartet studio album Undoing just released and which is note worthy from a number of points of view not least because it marks the debut of the erstwhile Chaos Orchestra trumpeter.

We have compared Soper to Peter Evans of Mostly Other People Do The Killing renown and I think that definitely stands up after a number of close listens. But on some tracks also factor in the sound of James Copus as a close ''cousin'' although Soper is less Ian Carr-like.

Undoing contains flavours of punk-jazz ('Acrylic') and avant directions couched in an electronic keyboards language given Elliot Galvin's very significant showing on the album. Synth pop percolates through on 'Voice Led' and the Galvin connection extends to the fact that his own regular bandmate bass guitarist Tom McCredie is on the album. Jay Davis at the kit is an efficient presence. Soper's tunes above all else lift the album up to the remarkable heights he has achieved consistently throughout the album. SG

Donate

Tags: reviews

A Touch of Frost saxophonist jazz-rock pioneer Barbara Thompson has died aged 77

Pioneering jazz-rock saxophonist, bandleader and composer Barbara Thompson MBE died yesterday morning. The saxophonist's daughter Ana Gracey confirmed the passing writing on Facebook. “My mum had the most extraordinary spirit - she never gave up, …

Published: 10 Jul 2022. Updated: 30 days.

Next post

Pioneering jazz-rock saxophonist, bandleader and composer Barbara Thompson MBE died yesterday morning. The saxophonist's daughter Ana Gracey confirmed the passing writing on Facebook.

“My mum had the most extraordinary spirit - she never gave up, however, her body finally let her down after a valiant battle with Parkinson’s over the course of 25 years alongside complications with her heart towards the end. We dearly hope that she and our father have found each other once again.”

Just this week, the acclaimed saxophonist whose instrumental work adorns such beloved long-running high rating TV series in the unforgettable main theme of the David Jason starring A Touch of Frost and groundbreaking bands including her own Paraphernalia and tenure in the internationally acclaimed United Jazz + Rock Ensemble, was only days before her passing awarded a special APPJG (All-Party Parliamentary Jazz Group) award at the 2022 Parliamentary Jazz Awards that her daughter collected on her behalf.

Barbara Thompson photo: Martyn Goddard

Donate