Lost (And Found) In Yonkers: The Billy Lester Story, NPR

Sal Mosca set the wheels in motion somewhat for Billy Lester. But the obscure pianist took his time to know his own sound and then let us in on it. Did Lester's purism however hold the pianist back or is he just not that bothered about all the PR …

Published: 2 Feb 2021. Updated: 29 days.

Sal Mosca set the wheels in motion somewhat for Billy Lester. But the obscure pianist took his time to know his own sound and then let us in on it. Did Lester's purism however hold the pianist back or is he just not that bothered about all the PR malarkey part of today's relentless cycle in getting the word out? With Rufus Reid on bass and Matt Wilson on drums recorded in 2019, you'll make a stab at the answer perhaps. Whatever your hunch Jazz Night in America feeds the imagination all over again. Billy Lester, top. Photo: Anna Yatskevich/Newvelle.

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Fred Frith and Ikue Mori tracks

Henry Cow leg-end Fred Frith towards the end of last year listed on his website his latest activity including news of A Mountain Doesn’t Know It’s Tall succinctly described by the musical genius as ''a new duo recording playing home-made …

Published: 2 Feb 2021. Updated: 29 days.

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Henry Cow leg-end Fred Frith towards the end of last year listed on his website his latest activity including news of A Mountain Doesn’t Know It’s Tall succinctly described by the musical genius as ''a new duo recording playing home-made instruments with Ikue Mori (laptop electronics).'' That zen sounding album title is finally out this month on the Swiss avant jazz label Intakt. Of the four tracks streaming ahead of its release next week I'd certainly plump for the however counterintuitively notioned pretty bluesy 'Nothing to it'. No terminology or neat captioning does the sound justice, in its fracturing and layering. I haven't ever seen Frith live however I have seen Ikue Mori when the laptop artist was in Dave Douglas' Witness band at south Belfast club the Guinness Spot in 2001. Douglas has not moved me that much in many years but Witness and a completely different kind of album The Infinite really turned me on at the time as did several of his fantastic earlier albums. Mori more to the point that night seemed a complete artist and all these years on Fred-ing the eye of the needle it is a consummate thrill to hear tracks such as these when laptop electronica two decades into the 21st century is a different thing entirely. Mori is certainly a pioneer and her approach is still so distinctive given the often brutal march of technology obsessed with premature obsolescence for the often contrary and by times finicky sake of it.