Daily jazz blog, Marlbank

Track of the week (beginning 8 May): Jon Regen, Nobody But You

''Sticky and sweet'': With Grateful Dead-loving saxist Dave McMurray miasmically floating in and the big beat of Ron Carter from the Second Great Miles Davis Quintet joining Jon Regen's Billy Joel-esque vocal and anchoring the sound there is a hand …

Published: 7 May 2023. Updated: 13 months.

''Sticky and sweet'': With Grateful Dead-loving saxist Dave McMurray miasmically floating in and the big beat of Ron Carter from the Second Great Miles Davis Quintet joining Jon Regen's Billy Joel-esque vocal and anchoring the sound there is a hand clapping feelgoodness as the song develops and McMurray riffs to the manner born.

Track of the week for 8-14 May 'Nobody But You' is from July's Satisfied Mind. An album of mostly originals in the pop jazz domain grist to the mill for the Twentysomething generation of jazz fans turned on to Jamie Cullum 20 years ago, the title track is the much covered song of the country fiddler and songwriter Red Hayes and Jack Rhodes' from 1954 and features the great Larry Goldings known for his work with Sweet Baby James himself - James Taylor. Covered by lots of people: Bobby Hebb's cover on Sunny (1966) is the one we turn to first having heard what Regen does to the song (he is a little Elton John like on the word ''money'' perhaps as on 'Your Song') and enters the blues gospel domain so consummately more pervasively. We go to Jeff Buckley's amazing treatment next.

Regen who held the piano chair of honour with (''Little'') Jimmy Scott in the great singer's last incredible period is both a fine pianist and singer and was on great form when we caught him live at Soho club Crazy Coqs in 2016 when unbilled guest singer Judith Owen joined him late on. Fabulous diva Judith whose terrific Come On and Get It was a highlight last year is a guest on the album.

This new album was produced by Jamiroquai's Matt Johnson and on it Regen plays a Wurly, a Hammond, synths as well as piano. Johnson is on keys, does backing vocals and plays some bass and guitar as well as doing programming.

Songs are Regen and Johnson co-writes in the main. Regen original the missing you see-you-again-in-my-dreams ballad 'Hello Old Friend' which is totally Joel-esque is the best song lyrically . ''Feel the air black feel the sun grey'' are the words that linger with us most from the song. Regen's solo piano work on the poignant 'For Keith' think ''deep greens and blues for the colours I choose'' to borrow from the Taylor 'Sweet Baby James' lyric which actually seems apt the way the song modally-bright comes over. All this and complete with fabulous bass from Tim Lefebvre and crisp brush work from Jeremy Stacey. Jon Regen plays a Saturday night show at the Pizza Express Jazz Club in London on 17 June

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Asher Gamedze, Turbulence and Pulse, International Anthem ***1/2

Asher Gamedze is Andrew Cyrille-like on 'If It Rains. To Pursue Truth' which is very cool - the horns sound as if they belong on a Don Cherry record. Again catnip for adventurous listeners into the freeness. There's an unusual timbre to the bass of …

Published: 7 May 2023. Updated: 13 months.

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Asher Gamedze is Andrew Cyrille-like on 'If It Rains. To Pursue Truth' which is very cool - the horns sound as if they belong on a Don Cherry record. Again catnip for adventurous listeners into the freeness. There's an unusual timbre to the bass of Thembinkosi Mavimbela on 'Melancholia' and again a Cherry-like resemblance to what Robin Fassie does (remember him on Bokani Dyer album World Music?) as Gamedze rolls and swirls around him at the kit. The core unit also has Buddy Wells (also that Dyer album connection mentioned above) on tenor - with the chanting and then the mini lecture of spoken word from Julian ‘Deacon’ Otis on the less gripping opener 'Turbulence's Pulse' also slotting in. But 'Can't See the Sun,' one of Gamedze's originals - they form the main content of the album - is both buoyant and appealing. There's plenty here to get excited by even when you still feel when listening is done that there is even greater things to come from the Cape Town player also known for his work with Angel Bat Darwid. Asher Gamedze, photo: press