Paula Rae Gibson, Matthew Bourne, Alex Bonney - Vortex, London ***1/2

Standing room only when we made it upstairs to a blacked out Vortex walking through Gillett Square in off the Kingsland Road where there was the usual very busy milling around of coffee drinkers and locals coming and going on a typical Friday …

Published: 9 Apr 2024. Updated: 43 days.

The new audio desk at the Vortex

Standing room only when we made it upstairs to a blacked out Vortex walking through Gillett Square in off the Kingsland Road where there was the usual very busy milling around of coffee drinkers and locals coming and going on a typical Friday night in Dalston. You would have no idea that anything was going on inside and yet climb the stairs and the place was full. Faces in the audience included 33 label boss free-jazz saxist Paul Jolly of the People Band and Andrew Plummer, the Kurt Schwitters loving singer with World Sanguine Report. This Vortex gig was notable in that we heard trumpeter Alex Bonney live for the first time - Bonney known as an influential studio engineer enjoyed down the years particularly as a player on Dakiz Davis classic Being Human (Babel, 2013) and for his mastering on the 5-star Hanamichi. Bonney even advised on the new acoustics impression of the Vortex when it got a new sound desk (above) after Lockdown.

Dakiz contributor Matthew Bourne - the Bourne/Davis/Kane legend and Tippettian who is one of the UK's foremost free-improvisers - is definitely singer-photographer Paula Rae Gibson's most significant primus inter pares collaborator. He does not comp in a jazz manner - rather he responds and takes things into his own space, there is a difference. Gibson's work Loving in Real Time that had original video and photography back projected found the whispery, noir-ish, avant-garde singer with the avant Memorymoog synth innovator pianist and improviser Bourne collaborating in response to PRG's No More Tiptoes released just over 15 years ago. Certainly live the north London based singer, widow of the acclaimed What's Love Got To Do with It director Brian Gibson, is beginning to enter her prime and Loving in Real Time is her best work. A spectral gleam in the mind's eye burns.

Tags: Lives

Nicole Glover, Plays, Savant ****

Artemis tenor saxophonist Nicole Glover here on this well paced Jeremy Pelt produced album, US player Glover - who hails from Portland in Oregon and who debuted as a leader in 2015 - along with double bassist Tyrone Allen and drummer Kayvon Gordon …

Published: 6 Apr 2024. Updated: 46 days.

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Artemis tenor saxophonist Nicole Glover here on this well paced Jeremy Pelt produced album, US player Glover - who hails from Portland in Oregon and who debuted as a leader in 2015 - along with double bassist Tyrone Allen and drummer Kayvon Gordon who proved noteworthy on Micah Thomas' Reveal last year. Vibes legend Steve Nelson (known for his work with Fathead Newman and Dave Holland - more recently on Louis Hayes' Roses Poses) is a guest and his presence is just one of several plus factors. (The last time we heard Nelson play was at a memorable Oran Etkin gig in 2015). Eight tracks in all: originals of Glover's, a version of Lerner and Lowe 1950s My Fair Lady classic 'I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face,' Kenny Dorham's 'The Fox' and McCoy Tyner's 'Inception' are among the repertoire choices.

The bustling tenor lines on the version of Trompeta Toccata (Blue Note, 1965) tune 'The Fox' - which going back to the source had drums from Tootie Heath (who passed away just this week) - are a highlight, neatly offset against Nelson's pacey comping. Nicole Glover, photo: cover art detail