Daily jazz blog, Marlbank

Rupert Cox, Search Party, Albert's Favourites ****

This is a bit special to say the least - the debut of keyboardist Rupert Cox who has been regularly cropping up in these pages on other people's records lately. There's a lot fed in here ranging from clubbier beats on 'The Nowhere Dance' to more …

Published: 25 Nov 2023. Updated: 6 months.

This is a bit special to say the least - the debut of keyboardist Rupert Cox who has been regularly cropping up in these pages on other people's records lately. There's a lot fed in here ranging from clubbier beats on 'The Nowhere Dance' to more sombre meditations. The moody vocals from Soren Bryce on the title track certainly also light the album up. It all just sounds very fresh, managing to swerve nu jazz clichés along the way, with songs written by Cox and Chris Hyson mainly. Snowpoet man Hyson produces and in the personnel Dave De Rose on drums, Linus Fenton on bass guitar, Yusuf Ahmed on percussion, Alex Haines and Thom Gill on guitar - Gill takes a fine featured spot on standout track 'Sanctuary' - Hyson himself on synths and Mohan Evans on vocals on the vivid 'Gold' figure. You can't really pin such an outstanding album down to anything too generic. And Cox's piano playing on the quietly moving 'Green Yellow Brown' is the icing on the cake.

Tags: Reviews

Espen Berg, Water Fabric, Odin ***1/2

Ridiculously prolific Norwegian pianist and composer Espen Berg has already made his mark this year with a series of intense solo piano recordings. But the chamber music of Water Fabric is even more distinctive with its genre exploding character …

Published: 25 Nov 2023. Updated: 6 months.

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Ridiculously prolific Norwegian pianist and composer Espen Berg has already made his mark this year with a series of intense solo piano recordings. But the chamber music of Water Fabric is even more distinctive with its genre exploding character and voracious appetite for mixing and matching genre whether firmly rooted in jazz or voyaging far beyond. A sextet album with a strong rhythmical character to its lead lines from trumpeter Hayden Powell on 'Circumzenithal' for instance that provide lots of character and is at its strongest in terms of jazz flavour on 'Triple Point Suite'. Drummer Per Oddvar Johansen, (no stranger to fans of that other fine Norwegian pianist Helge Lien) violinist Harpreet Bansal, violist Ellie Mäkelä and cellist Joakim Munkner complete the line-up and the writing for strings is neatly interwoven into the more expansive passages, lilting so engagingly especially on 'Triple Point Suite' where folk influences also find plenty of space to freely roam.