Mark Lockheart, Smiling, Edition ***

As a highly effective featured guest on new star-in-the-making Jakub Klimiuk's excellent new quintet album (Un)balanced to be launched next month, Mark Lockheart on Dreamers (2022) had already provided yet another different perspective of the …

Published: 18 Apr 2024. Updated: 34 days.

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As a highly effective featured guest on new star-in-the-making Jakub Klimiuk's excellent new quintet album (Un)balanced to be launched next month, Mark Lockheart on Dreamers (2022) had already provided yet another different perspective of the Loose Tubes, Polar Bear and Perfect Houseplants legend's profile given the contrasts thrown up by this brand new release. And to be frank we preferred Dreamers to this latest album. And yet this sized up 12 piece ensemble unit at work here generates its own whirl of off grid renewable turbine energy even if it doesn't float our boat half as much as its more compact predecessor certainly did. Lockheart it goes without saying sets the bar high nevertheless. The saxist co-produced Smiling with Steve Baker and the recording is full of Lockheart material. Personnel includes crucially in the reeds section Lockheart, Nat Facey, George Crowley (on clarinet rather than his customary tenor saxophone) and James Allsopp. Trumpeters include breakout star Laura Jurd while Lockheart writes for French horn, trombones and flute in the settings. Flautist Rowland Sutherland, guitarist John Parricelli, bassist Tom Herbert and drummer Dave Smith are among the line-up of mostly very well known players sprinkled throughout. Smith's groove on the funky 'Rapture of the Deep' is the main highlight for us of a big band album not quite along with the woodwind textures that on 'In Deeper' also work well.

Hear Mark Lockheart, pictured above, at the Parakeet in Kentish Town on Monday night

Tags: Reviews

Eurojazz clubbing over 23-28 April

Dave Holland Trio Blue Note, Milan Tuesday 23 April The Miles Davis In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew legend Dave Holland playing Milan with saxist Jaleel Shaw and drummer Eric Harland. Two shows happen on Tuesday - the late one has already sold …

Published: 18 Apr 2024. Updated: 34 days.

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The Miles Davis In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew legend Dave Holland playing Milan with saxist Jaleel Shaw and drummer Eric Harland. Two shows happen on Tuesday - the late one has already sold out.

Last year on 'The Bloodline' we sat up and took stock. Not strictly a jazz vocal or even at all depending on how narrow or not you are but stepping into an area not unfamiliar to the terrain Lizz Wright inhabits, backs-against-the wall Shayna Steele, Kamilah Marshall, David Cook song 'The Bloodline' proved a fine, highly sociopolitically conscious, introduction - couched within a humane lens - to Steele's latest album Gold Dust. The Broadway singer mixed several elements on the album itself which included a version of Stevie Nick's Fleetwood Mac Rumours song 'Gold Dust Woman'. Sax icon Donny McCaslin (late-period Bowie) was on the album version of Cole Porter's 1940s song 'You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To.'

Famed for his tenure with Ornette Coleman in his harmolodics pomp, for the stormingly compelling Are You Glad to Be in America? and for playing the blues like the ultimate mutha, hearing James Blood Ulmer is an exhilarating ride.

There's a way-in to the way-out reaching the west because this is a fine post, post, post modernistic jazz trio tour in prospect that reaches, just past the time of the spring tide, the Clew Bay Hotel in Westport when the tour makes it eventually to County Mayo. But first touring fairly extensively around Ireland, Danish guitar ace Mikkel Ploug and his trio known for his word of mouth work jamming with drummer Phelan Burgoyne in Copenhagen, has recorded for the Catalan label Fresh Sound New Talent including the highwater mark that is Ploug discography jewel Featuring Mark Turner recorded in 2006. Appearing on tour with fellow Dane double bassist Jeppe Skovbakke and Irish drummer Seán Carpio from the Featuring Mark Turner line-up but sans sax ace Turner, expect Ploug tunes and interpretative responses to the work of the folk inspired seam of the great Danish classical composer Carl Nielsen (1865-1931). Tours to Cork city (22 April), Dublin (24th), city of Limerick (25th), Westport (26th) and Wexford Town (28th).

The Pat Metheny and Vijay Iyer trio bassist Linda May Han Oh playing the Bimhuis with singer Sara Serpa, pianist Fabian Almazan and drummer Ziv Ravitz known for his work with Lionel Loueke. Oh's 2023 album The Glass Hours was significant in the way vocals are intertwined with tenor saxophone, piano, bass and drums. The process is not like a band backing the voice or the other way round when the voice acts as a bolt-on to an album whose spiritual core is largely instrumental. In other words this is a fully knitted together vocal-instrumental weaving of dreams. The tunes are often audaciously knotty and not standard shape at all in their construction. You glean what you are hearing is experimental and not built out of tough to click together cellular blocks. In ethos it is not generic or orthodox at all and is avant-garde in the sense of the Oh compositional mind trying to launch the sound into a new stratosphere. Oh dazzled from the get-go on 2020 Pat Metheny quartet release From This Place's 'Same River'. The Malaysian-Australian who lives in the United States also played a groundbreaking role on Uneasy with Vijay Iyer as he changed trio. Experimental Portugal-born singer Sara Serpa proved very significant on The Glass Hours especially on the moving and compelling stark anti-war meditation 'Jus ad bellum' that is incredible.

Tenor saxist Richard Howell is in Berlin with pianist Kelvin Sholar, bassist Charles Sammons and drummer Eric Vaughn

Playing music from Paper Flower the title track of which is streaming - the 'Don't Know Why' classic songwriting legend Jesse Harris here on guitars and vocals with pianist-keyboardist Richard Sears, bassist Christopher Thomas and acclaimed drummer Kenny Wollesen.

Sold out. Hot property this year guitarist Julian Lage and his trio are proving in the wake of Speak to Me

Bassist Sebastian Gramss with a band that includes WDR trombone star Shannon Barnett who was in fine form last year at Jazzahead with Lucia Cadotsch and Wanja Slavin.

Trumpeter Evans' Being and Becoming - here with Blue Note vibes star Joel Ross - superb this year playing the Nublues - bass player/cellist Nick Jozwiak and drummer Michael Ode

Brilliant guitar boffin Tom Ollendorff whose style bursts with positivity in Barcelona at jazz institution Jamboree with bassist Viktor Nyberg and French drummer Marc Michel from back home on the London scene. Read an interview with the O. The London guitarist's London Vibes: Suite For Freedom, a collaboration with French pianist Fabrice Tarel, is new this year (double bassist Christophe Lincontang and drummer Marc Michel completed the personnel on the Tetrakord release). Ollendorff broke through in our consciousness most with 2023's Open House.

Darragh O’Kelly on keys with Derek Whyte, bass, Joe O’Callaghan strapping on guitar and Shane O’Donovan playing drums make up Magical Dog. The band name is taken from the Jan Hammer piece of the same name.

Linda May Han Oh plays Amsterdam on Wednesday night photo: YouTube