Daily jazz blog, Marlbank

Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama appoints jazz drummer Andrew Bain as their new head of jazz

Succeeding bassist Paula Gardiner who is retiring, drummer Andrew Bain is just anounced as the head of jazz at the Cardiff institution and leading music college in Wales the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. The Edinburgh born Bain who …

Published: 19 Jun 2023. Updated: 12 months.

Paul+Booth+Quartet

Succeeding bassist Paula Gardiner who is retiring, drummer Andrew Bain is just anounced as the head of jazz at the Cardiff institution and leading music college in Wales the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. The Edinburgh born Bain who himself studied at the Guildhall in London and later the Manhattan School of Music in New York will be leaving his post as deputy head of jazz at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire to take up the role. Bain sits on the steering committee for the International Network for Artistic Research in Jazz.

On record he appeared on Andre Canniere's Ghost Days (2020) and very fine Paul Booth album Travel Sketches (2019). Live we have caught him a couple of times down the years including a great late night showing at Ronnie Scott's back in 2013 as part a driving late night band that included Phil Robson and Michael Janisch. Andrew Bain photo: via Ubuntu

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Dahveed Behroozi, Standard Fare, Sunnyside ***1/2

It hasn't been a marvellous year for solo piano albums so far. But things are perking up mercifully with the disarmingly entitled Standard Fare from must-hear US pianist Dahveed Behroozi. A couple of years ago Behroozi dazzled with trio album Echos

Published: 19 Jun 2023. Updated: 12 months.

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It hasn't been a marvellous year for solo piano albums so far. But things are perking up mercifully with the disarmingly entitled Standard Fare from must-hear US pianist Dahveed Behroozi. A couple of years ago Behroozi dazzled with trio album Echos when this ''child of the 1980s'' from San José who went to the Manhattan School of Music and later Brookyln College emerged as if by magic. It seems deliberate the familiarity of the choices on this new, deeper in terms of gravitas, release - but even standards albums can throw up curveball selections in their choices. That isn't the case here and makes the favourable outcome even more impressive. What is surprising is how fresh each interpretation sounds given the seemingly obvious choices of repertoire. And Behroozi keeps you guessing. Listen to his take on 'Round Midnight' for instance with its unusual preamble and easy sense of flow. Recorded in a San José living room rather than an official studio performed on a Bosendorfer piano back in January it's the serenity rather than any grandiosity that lifts this out of the ordinary. And our admiration for Behroozi grows even more given a new acquaintance with this recording. Concentrate on the cultivated quietude and concomitant melancholia he unearths on Cole Porter Can-Can 1950s Broadway song 'I Love Paris' for one that proves a wonderful miniature and practically reinvents the song.

We say this has a newness of approach because listening we were also thinking of Stan Tracey's jaunty 1958 trio version on the great Londoner's Showcase album back in the day. Behroozi doesn't do jaunty here! And once again the realisation that a standards album can lend itself to a myriad of interpretations applies. And that's why an album such as Standard Fare is so welcome and sparks new thought processes as a listener.

Dahveed Behroozi, photo: press

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