Daily jazz blog, Marlbank

Nabaté Isles, En Motion, Ropeadope ***1/2

New York trumpeter Nabaté Isles delivers very much a studio project stocked with lots of notables logging-in and out including keyboardist James Francies on a few tracks. Elvin Jones of our times Eric Harland on drums steers the vessel mightily …

Published: 1 Feb 2023. Updated: 16 months.

New York trumpeter Nabaté Isles delivers very much a studio project stocked with lots of notables logging-in and out including keyboardist James Francies on a few tracks. Elvin Jones of our times Eric Harland on drums steers the vessel mightily while Rachel Eckroth, Ben Wendel, David Gilmore, the great jazz guitarist from the MBASE era, and many more are on board. Rap deity Chuck D even crops up.

Containing a twin rap and hard bop feel it all sounds more 1990s than anything given serious efforts at the time to merge jazz and rap more than you get nowadays, something the album without even trying addresses. The solution? Juxtapose the two distinct styles in parallel by all means seems to be the brainwave rather than fail to stuff them together in a watered down manner as some have unfortunately tried to do. Isles limits his improvising to stick mainly to melodic paraphrase and En Motion is more about lit-up motivic gems heard every so often lashed to generously buoyant vamps.

The best groove and track is 'Perfect Cadence' where Isles here is at his most pristine and Keyon Harrold-like and is best heard and Gilmore as ever delivers. The album also includes a fittingly vibes splashed version involving Sasha Berliner of Duke Pearson's classic 'Cristo Redentor' introduced back in the day by Donald Byrd on 1964's A New Perspective.

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Ottilie Patterson remembered

My Name Is Ottilie, a new hour-long BBC music documentary directed by Diarmuid Lavery presented by singer Dana Masters that sheds light on a singer who Masters dubs ''the godmother of British blues'', is new this week. The former wife of the late …

Published: 31 Jan 2023. Updated: 16 months.

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My Name Is Ottilie, a new hour-long BBC music documentary directed by Diarmuid Lavery presented by singer Dana Masters that sheds light on a singer who Masters dubs ''the godmother of British blues'', is new this week. The former wife of the late Chris Barber with whom she most famously performed, Ottilie Patterson (1932-2011) retired from a high profile career with Barber and in a ''long goodbye'' faded into private obscurity yet leaving behind some peerless but unduly neglected recordings. The story takes us along the way to 1959 when Patterson sang at Smitty’s Corner, Muddy Waters' blues club in Chicago’s South Side. Ghostly tapes of her speaking voice are a goose bumps inducing-presence on this luminous piece of work that addresses issues of fame, recognition, neglect, crossing segregated racial lines in Chicago, personal regret including an abortion that Patterson in dramatic circumstances underwent, debilitating mental illness and what the blues mean on a personal level enlarged upon by Masters more universally. Interviewees include Jools Holland, Jacqui Dankworth, Barber banjo player-guitarist Stu Morrison, trombonist John Service, Belfast scene blues icon Ronnie Greer and archivist Jen Wilson. Link to watch. Dana Masters top left and Ottilie Patterson, photos/graphic: BBC