Daily jazz blog, Marlbank

Nadje Noordhuis and James Shipp, Multitudes, Little Mystery Records ***1/2

Looking ahead to the summer, one to know about, for fear of missing out before disappearing into the dunes A mournful but not at all depressing mini epic from the trumpet/flugel-vibes duo pairing recording in a Brooklyn studio is the latest from …

Published: 30 Mar 2023. Updated: 14 months.

Looking ahead to the summer, one to know about, for fear of missing out before disappearing into the dunes

A mournful but not at all depressing mini epic from the trumpet/flugel-vibes duo pairing recording in a Brooklyn studio is the latest from Nadje Noordhuis and vibist James Shipp. Synths and acoustic instruments decorate the melodicism that reveals the pair having written individually mainly although in the case of the much less compelling 'Encantamento' together. Noordhuis enters the Kenny Wheeler domain completely on 'Snow Line' and returns to the well whether consciously or probably not time and time again. And what a joy it is to embrace a kindred Kennian spirit. Shipp on this track and at other times sounds a little like the great Steve Nelson. 'These Days' the second track is more electroacoustic the pair as if on steroids going by the skip of the beat while the title track has busy little electronic punctuation chattering like an excitable teleprinter or old Space Invaders machine while the main melody has a Reuben Fowler type melodicism - remember Fowler's 2013 epic Between Shadows? (Let's hope you go there ''to join hands and contact the living,'' as Ronnie Scott was wont to jest.) 'Lumino' has superb cross rhythms in a percussion sense but the dinkily chiming intro to 'Candlestick Carol' is a long way removed. It makes use of brass candlesticks (that sound like a glockenspiel) to tell a ''lonely this Christmas'' tale written in a spirit of familial absence. If you like us are Alex Ridout fans you have to hear the paradoxically intimate and quite touching Multitudes when 13 June comes around.

MORE READING, LISTENING, GNU HIGHS, OLD HAUNTS:

Nadje Noordhuis, photo: via Little Mystery

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A message to you: Rudy rolls in as Morning has broken

Springing fresh from the world with the cats in his Flatbed Buggy band, 'Morning' is a panoramically arranged introduction to upcoming album Day from drummer Rudy Royston known for his extensive work down the years with guitar icon Bill Frisell. …

Published: 30 Mar 2023. Updated: 14 months.

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Springing fresh from the world with the cats in his Flatbed Buggy band, 'Morning' is a panoramically arranged introduction to upcoming album Day from drummer Rudy Royston known for his extensive work down the years with guitar icon Bill Frisell. Royston, who is in his fifties, was born in Fort Worth, Texas and grew up in Denver, Colorado. The setting here is once again quintet - Royston with bass clarinettist John Ellis, accordionist Gary Versace, the Frisellian cellist Hank Roberts superb last year on Pipe Dream's Blue Roads and double bassist Joe Martin - who was on the excellent Mark Turner album Lathe of Heaven in 2014 and more recently we chilled to Martin and Royston swinging with Art Hirahara on Balance Point.

Flatbed Buggy's first album was in 2018 featuring the same line-up on the self-titled release. And, as is the upcoming CD, this forerunner was issued on Greenleaf Music.

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Rudy Royston

photo: John Rogers/rudyroyston.com

Described by the label as ''a musical evocation of Royston’s youth spent in rural Texas'' the album is dedicated to Rudy's brother Ritchie who passed away last year and to his erstwhile bandstand bro cornetist Ron Miles who also died in 2022 and with whom Royston worked on such work as 1990s album My Cruel Heart.

A fine writer - listen top to 'Morning,' QED - if you are a relative newcomer to the music or still jumping up to speed largely hitherto unfamiliar with key chunks of Royston's work start straight away with a recent magical record that Royston is on with poet of the tenor saxophone, JD Allen - 2022's Americana Volume 2 thundering especially evocatively on the epic 'Up South.' The lead-off Day track lands in a Copland-esque in-the-voicings mood.

This upcoming studio album to be released on 5 May was recorded last year in New Jersey and is comprised mainly of Royston originals plus Joe Martin's 'Limeni Village' and Hank Roberts' 'A.M. Hours.'

MORE READING AND LISTENING:

  • Royston is on Bill Frisell's Valentine - review, 2020

  • The great drummer is also on Rudresh Mahanthappa's Hero Trio - review, 2020

  • Go back above all to Frisell's Beautiful Dreamers (2010, Savoy) that shares some affinity with the Flatbed Buggy approach.