Nicholas Payton, Smoke Sessions, Smoke Sessions Records *****

Smoke Sessions is picking up lots of radio play in the States topping the JazzWeek jazz show radio play chart at the moment. As noted earlier when we heard the first track from the album ahead of release there's an inescapable groove on this …

Published: 11 Dec 2021. Updated: 48 days.

Smoke Sessions is picking up lots of radio play in the States topping the JazzWeek jazz show radio play chart at the moment. As noted earlier when we heard the first track from the album ahead of release there's an inescapable groove on this straighathead outing with 'Hangin' in and Jivin' a standout which sees the New Orleanian icon trumpeter pianist and keyboardist with Skyline's Ron Carter for the first time. With another Milesian George Coleman on board as a guest another plus factor the crucial fact that it is Karriem Riggins at the drum kit partly explains why the record works because the feel and groove are so strong whatever the tempo and angle. Payton shows he's a perfectly good pianist and agile on the Rhodes too, as good as many who ply their trade as such rather than let it ''play second violin'' to the horn he is known for as he does, the album sounds a treat in terms of the sonics so works on that level too. Listen say to the way the brushes are vivid and organic-sounding on Keith Jarrett's 'No Lonely Nights' which is another big stand-out track. The setting off with some ''free shit'' at the top as Payton calls it speaking over what sounds like the studio PA to the other musicians in their booths, raw Rhodes and a scorching blaze of heat that begins Herbie's 'Toys', is nothing short of spectacular. If you're into remixes a 'Gold Dust Black Magic' remix has also been issued.

Tags: Albums and EPs

'Echoes' introduces the very hot prospect that is Joel Lyssarides ahead of the release of Stay Now

'Echoes' with a certain Satie-like feeling of calm and yet mystery is very tantalising to say the least but oh so brief. Of any of the albums known about so far for 2022 the prospect of the trio record from Swedish pianist Joel Lyssarides entitled

Published: 10 Dec 2021. Updated: 48 days.

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'Echoes' with a certain Satie-like feeling of calm and yet mystery is very tantalising to say the least but oh so brief. Of any of the albums known about so far for 2022 the prospect of the trio record from Swedish pianist Joel Lyssarides entitled Stay Now from which the track is drawn is most intense and urgent. The introspective piece which has a very well-conceived dialogue with bassist Niklas Fernqvist begins the ball rolling towards the album's release at the end of January. Put it this way it does not dull interest in the project one bit.

Stay Now to be issued by the German ACT label who made jazz history with the phenomenal success of e.s.t was recorded in a Gothenburg studio Nilento, a studio familiar to among others bass don Avishai Cohen, back in September. Lyssarides, still in his twenties, has already in his short career clocked up huge streaming figures maybe partly why Siggi Loch's label is so interested in putting out this his third album to push him out internationally.

Listening to some of his earlier work his sense of poise and the meaningfulness of his improvisational sense is clear. The pianist has worked with pop act Dirty Loops and the classical mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter crossing quite a few boundaries in the process. And Lyssarides has won more than his fair share of awards along the way back home but remains resolutely unknown abroad. On the record with Lyssarides are the bassist Fernqvist mentioned earlier and drummer Rasmus Blixt. Read more on Joel Lyssarides in a piece run on marlbank earlier in 2021. Joel Lyssarides photo: Björn Arkö