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Black Top Presents: Hamid Drake, Elaine Mitchener, William Parker, Orphy Robinson, Pat Thomas, Some Good News ****

A superb heavyweight meeting of intergenerational UK and US avant gardists. Vocal improviser Elaine Mitchener's contribution is a fine imagistic, percussive presence set in rivulets of polyrhythms. Recorded in Dalston's Cafe Oto on the last Sunday …

Published: 27 Mar 2021. Updated: 2 months.

A superb heavyweight meeting of intergenerational UK and US avant gardists. Vocal improviser Elaine Mitchener's contribution is a fine imagistic, percussive presence set in rivulets of polyrhythms. Recorded in Dalston's Cafe Oto on the last Sunday of July in 2019 there is a lightness to Some Good News and the open architecture contributed massively by Hamid Drake early on lays firm foundations. When William Parker comes to the fore the scene has been set perfectly. One of the best avant garde releases so far this year settle in for a perfect Saturday morning listen. The music has reinvented itself once again. And regardless of aspirations and understandable wishful thinking what is achieved sounds actually spawned as in and of the moment.

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Jon Batiste's We Are is the highest new entry in latest UK jazz chart

With an Ella compilation still in the top spot the highest new entry in the Official Jazz & Blues Albums Chart, the UK's top sales chart for jazz, at no.2 is We Are (Verve) from Jon Batiste on a roll for Soul. A piece of the action livelier and …

Published: 27 Mar 2021. Updated: 2 months.

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With an Ella compilation still in the top spot the highest new entry in the Official Jazz & Blues Albums Chart, the UK's top sales chart for jazz, at no.2 is We Are (Verve) from Jon Batiste on a roll for Soul. A piece of the action livelier and not at all a purist jazz album although suffused in the rear view mirror with that joyful noise a panoply of styles jostle for position and cross-fertilise.

Partly about Batiste's southern roots partly about his burning desire to communicate with all the skills the pianist bandleader and composer has at his considerable disposal there's plenty of star power and a two-way flow of reflection and celebration in the crossover traffic where soul, pop and a certain groove crackle in the night air no matter what you call it. With Mavis Staples, Quincy Jones, Zadie Smith, PJ Morton, Trombone Shorty, St Augustine Marching 100, Jon's dad Michael Batiste, granda David Gauthier and many more. Photo: Louie Brown/Universal