Redman, Mehldau, McBride, Blade, RoundAgain

I approached Right Back Round Again with a good deal of trepidation. Can you get a band that made one of the best albums of the 1990s together again and repeat the magic all over again? The Moodswing 1994 quartet of Joshua Redman, Brad Mehldau, …

Published: 10 Jul 2020. Updated: 22 months.

I approached Right Back Round Again with a good deal of trepidation. Can you get a band that made one of the best albums of the 1990s together again and repeat the magic all over again? The Moodswing 1994 quartet of Joshua Redman, Brad Mehldau, Christian McBride and Brian Blade set the bar high but that was a different time. It wasn't the edgiest sound in the world perhaps it might seem even more naive now.

With 7 new songs on Round Again (3 by Redman, 2 by Mehldau and 1 each by McBride and Blade). McBride's puntastic 'Floppy Diss' has maybe the best period reference of the song titles. The album has plenty of involving group play, none of the tunes mind will blow you away but the way say piano and sax lines intertwine is always absorbing and McBride's swinging beat always keeps the band on the right track and opening up 'Silly Little Love Song' is one of the touches you'll be wanting to hear again and again. So all in all, an enjoyable record. It's not as good as Moodswing but it's not a million miles away and worth a trip down memory lane for more than a few indulgent moments.

Out today on Nonesuch.

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James Copus, Dusk

We've had quite a few compelling trumpet-led jazz albums this year already from the likes of Byron Wallen, Ambrose Akinmusire and Linley Hamilton. And now another. Copus is the least known of these names and Dusk will be a surprise to many. A …

Published: 10 Jul 2020. Updated: 22 months.

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We've had quite a few compelling trumpet-led jazz albums this year already from the likes of Byron Wallen, Ambrose Akinmusire and Linley Hamilton. And now another. Copus is the least known of these names and Dusk will be a surprise to many.

A quartet record with Tom Cawley on piano and keys, Conor Chaplin on bass and Jason Brown on drums it has serious, brooding intent Copus' pure and tough trumpet sound landing somewhere between say the sound of Freddie Hubbard and Kenny Wheeler, soaring over busy hard bop rhythms that veer away from the norm and show a powerful imagination at play.

Of the seven tunes I'd go for 'Outro' or 'From the Source' most. But to be honest they all work on one level or another although I could do without the vocalisations Copus layers in on a few tracks. Surely, however, one of the debuts of 2020.

Out on Ubuntu on 17 July.