Noah Stoneman, Anyone’s Quiet: Let It Rain to You, Fresh Sound New Talent ****

MARLBANK ALBUM OF THE WEEK FOR WEEK BEGINNING 26 JUNE 2023 ''My hope is that people can find some sense of quiet reflection or poetry in listening to it; that they embrace the ebbs and flows and trial and error of everyday life that the music …

Published: 22 Jun 2023. Updated: 10 months.

1945x1945bb MARLBANK ALBUM OF THE WEEK FOR WEEK BEGINNING 26 JUNE 2023

''My hope is that people can find some sense of quiet reflection or poetry in listening to it; that they embrace the ebbs and flows and trial and error of everyday life that the music speaks to.’'

– Noah Stoneman

That hope Noah Stoneman making his debut here as a leader is effortlessly realised. Clearly a new piano voice emerges. It's not exactly a lightness of touch from the 22-year-old on opener 'Tomas and Tereza'. But there is that inescapable sense of floating transcendentalism in the piano line - like combined airy treble voices soaring from the body of a choir, the register the Londoner finds the space to illuminate a break in the clouds.

The enigmatically entitled Anyone's Quiet: Let It Rain To You certainly introduces a significant new presence on the UK acoustic modernistic jazz scene. It's been a while since someone as expressive came along. While less is more in its reflectiveness there is a certain grit in the trio's collective sound especially realised when Luca Caruso gains traction and the drummer finds a certain heat and multiplicity as the arc of the first piece is reached. The way Caruso press rolls into 'Borders' displays enviable technique reminiscent of a master technician like Martin France in the way he tackles that piece.

Produced by Kit Downes 'Evanesce,' while turned down, is not hush laden in a cough stifling sense - maybe there is subtle word play in the title on patron saint of all pianists in this style domain Bill Evans, who knows? - while 'Calm' is really a ballad where a left hand riff nudges the melody along through subtle gear shifts responded to by the drummer.

Stoneman's tunes are quite modal and there is a lot of colour in the often bright harmonies that avoid opaque abstraction and prefer instead a rhapsodic flourish without being too annoyingly decorative. If you like Bruno Heinen's approach this snugly fits that same sense of enlightened impressionism.

Recorded in Hornsey studio Livingston in north London the originals are what make this special. And the role of double bassist Will Sach is exceptionally subtle within the blend and the ensemble linchpin where the trio becomes more than a vehicle for expression and instead the entity takes on a presence of its own and becomes something of a muse. Looking for restorative balm? This fabulous interior peroration passionately ladles it on. SG

Stoneman launches the album at the Vortex on 11 July 3 days ahead of the official release date. 'Major' and 'Mourndoom' are streaming

Noah Stoneman, photo: detail from the 'Mourndoom' artwork

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Uk jazz labels top 20 - ranked!

The currently active UK jazz labels that we rate most - scroll down for the no. 1. Quite a few labels who have done so much in recent years have ceased releasing if you are wondering why a few familiar names from not that long ago are absent. That …

Published: 21 Jun 2023. Updated: 10 months.

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The currently active UK jazz labels that we rate most - scroll down for the no. 1. Quite a few labels who have done so much in recent years have ceased releasing if you are wondering why a few familiar names from not that long ago are absent. That number, given how difficult it is now to get punters to buy physical formats because of free streaming, has grown over the past 12 months. Scroll down by listening to a fantastic track drawn from upcoming My Only Desire 7-inch vinyl Seven for Lee/Green and Orange Night Park from Bristol scene saxist Kevin Figes and You Are Here. Elton Dean piece 'Seven for Lee' by the Figes organisation is streaming ahead of the August release.

20 My Only Desire

  • Jon Griffiths' London based label. Artists issued have included recordings by Harry Beckett and Graham Collier

19 New Jazz and Improvised Music Recordings

  • Newcastle-upon-Tyne free-jazz and improv loving label. Pat Thomas Plays the Duke is one of the label's most enjoyable releases

18 Clonmell Jazz Social

  • Circeo was a gem on the dynamic, frequently experimental, London label this year

17 Worm Discs

  • Bristol label who have championed Run Logan Run and lively Scots, Corto.Alto

16 Jazz in Britain

  • Reissue and archive label - Tubby Hayes and Ray Warleigh releases are among the label's recent output.

15 Rebecca's Records

  • Scottish label run by DJ Rebecca Vasmant

14 Discus Music

  • Free-jazz and improv attuned Sheffield label

13 Confront

  • Drummer Mark Wastell's free-improv label, based in London

12 Jazz Re:Freshed

  • Another London label representing a fresh wave of young artists breaking through including Golden Mean reviewed last month

11 Efpi

  • North west of England label

The Elton Dean Ninesense track that Figes and chums cover was on 1977's Happy Daze (Ogun), above

10 Cadillac

  • Mostly archive releases run by veteran records man Mike Gavin

9 PX

  • New Pizza Express label launched in 2023 run by Ross Dines

8 Lateralize

  • Mayank Patel and Jonathan Wingate run label - experienced success in recent times with excellent recordings by singer Jo Harrop

7 Gondwana

  • Matthew Halsall's spiritual jazz loving Mancunian label

6 Gearbox

  • London label - impressed most this year with the latest from Dwight Trible

5 Ubuntu Music

  • Prolific label based in London - seen streaming success particularly with a Rob Barron release and Chet Baker archive gems

4 Brownswood

  • DJ Gilles Peterson's London label who have spearheaded ''the London jazz renaissance'' internationally in recent years

3 Stoney Lane

  • Very well curated Birmingham label - has championed the storming Xhosa Cole

2 Whirlwind

  • Bassist Michael Janisch's hard bop and jazz-rock rooted London label - recent highlights include Ginger's Hollow and Phoenix

1 Edition

  • Pianist Dave Stapleton's Berkshire based label has seen a lot of acclaim and attention for a whole range of releases over the last few years including albums by Dave Holland, Lionel Loueke and Kurt Elling.