Daily jazz blog, Marlbank

Saturday morning listen: Hiromi, Sonicwonderland, Concord ****

There's a new sound, or more to the point sounds from the great Japanese pianist Hiromi on Sonicwonderland signalled a little on 'Wanted' with its choppy reggae-like rhythms that quickly morph into a silky trumpet led anthem and that finds Adam …

Published: 30 Sep 2023. Updated: 8 months.

There's a new sound, or more to the point sounds from the great Japanese pianist Hiromi on Sonicwonderland signalled a little on 'Wanted' with its choppy reggae-like rhythms that quickly morph into a silky trumpet led anthem and that finds Adam O'Farrill gelling well within the ensemble with his Randy Brecker-like sounds. Elsewhere the album does not forget the intimacy of balladry that the Japanese pianist taps into on 'Polaris'. And there is lit up bass contributions from Hadrien Feraud particularly at the start of 'Go Go' while drummer Gene Coye is a funky presence at times.

And fear not the extrovert piano sound we have all come to know Hiromi for isn't absent in a mix that spans jazz-funk and jazz-rock and is best caught on 'Up'. Certainly Hiromi has turned a corner here and shows she is unwilling to stand still and this band sound suits her more than well. The surprise element is the collaboration with singer songwriter Oli Rockberger who sings on 'Reminiscence' a song Hiromi co-wrote with Oli.Out on 6 October. Hiromi plays the London Jazz Festival on 13 November

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Wolfgang Muthspiel, Scott Colley, Brian Blade, Dance of the Elders, ECM ****

Every bit as good as the earlier Angular Blues, there's a sense of poise throughout on Wolfgang Muthspiel's latest album with bassist Scott Colley and drummer Brian Blade. Certainly on Dance of the Elders there is a reflectiveness too from the …

Published: 29 Sep 2023. Updated: 8 months.

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Every bit as good as the earlier Angular Blues, there's a sense of poise throughout on Wolfgang Muthspiel's latest album with bassist Scott Colley and drummer Brian Blade. Certainly on Dance of the Elders there is a reflectiveness too from the outset on the moving 'Invocation' with Colley Dave Holland-like when he solos and a certain weight from Blade as the American digs deep in accompaniment. Recorded after touring in Europe, the US and Japan last year at La Buissonne in France, the album includes studio improvisation, a take on Bach chorale 'O Sacred Head, Now Wounded' (also an inspiration of Paul Simon's 'American Tune'), Muthspiel original 'Cantus Bradus,' Kurt Weill’s 'Liebeslied,' a classic that Muthspiel and fellow guitarist the late Mick Goodrick covered on 2010's Live at the Jazz Standard and Joni Mitchell Hejira evergreen 'Amelia' plus 'Folk Song' - a Muthspiel piece inspired by Keith Jarrett. Muthspiel's debt to classical music shows on 'Prelude to Bach,' a pristine exercise in acoustic control, but contrasts are plenty. And you get a skipping sense of vitality on the title track while the cover of 'Amelia' is a gentle and humane way to end the album. For long term fans of the remarkable Austrian and newcomers alike. Out today. Wolfgang Muthspiel photo: Thomas Radlwimmer/Wikipedia