Daily jazz blog, Marlbank

Friday play listy for me: today's 10

Click to listen on the Spotify icon and at the top of this page for the latest playlist Yesterday's 10:

Published: 31 May 2024. Updated: 49 days.

Click to listen on the Spotify icon and at the top of this page for the latest playlist

Yesterday's 10:

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Sean Khan, Sean Khan Presents the Modern Jazz and Folk Ensemble, Acid Jazz ****

Illuminating background on London-based saxophonist Sean Khan in local paper the Fermanagh Herald recently. According to Charlotte McCutcheon who wrote the piece, Khan's mother is from the Fermanagh village of Belcoo which is right on the …

Published: 30 May 2024. Updated: 50 days.

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Illuminating background on London-based saxophonist Sean Khan in local paper the Fermanagh Herald recently.

According to Charlotte McCutcheon who wrote the piece, Khan's mother is from the Fermanagh village of Belcoo which is right on the invisible border with the Republic of Ireland and he spent a lot of his childhood there and went to school in nearby Florencecourt.

“My mother was a huge music fan and when I returned to London she insisted I start learning an instrument, as music lessons were free at my school. In Ireland, I was a regular listener to the folk tales and myths that surrounded the history of the Enniskillen area, especially being border country (I was a regular visitor to the village of Blacklion [across the bridge and into County Cavan]) there were many tales,'' Khan tells the Herald.

And that strong folk flavour transmits itself here from the off but the jazz sensibility is intact and you don't feel it is bolted on like some sort of uneasy or worse architecturally wrong house extension.

The legendary Jacqui McShee of Pentangle and new guitarist and jazz-singer songwriter vocals star Rosie Frater-Taylor are among the guests and the album's very clear sonics will poke your ears out.

There's a brilliant version of John Martyn 1973 classic 'Solid Air' beloved of many jazzers and folkies with a fine solo from Khan. Hopefully, the saxist can be tempted over to play a gig in jazz starved but traditional Irish and country'n'Irish-rich Fermanagh some time. This project joins the dots in so many ways. Opening archaically almost with a ghostly tale - 'She Moves Through the Fair' was collected by Irish poet Padraic Colum and musicologist Herbert Hughes and published in 1909 but undoubtedly is much, much older. Pertinently Neil Spencer in The Observer writes that the album is ''a fascinating reset for the genre'' - how true.