Sylvie Courvoisier and Mary Halvorson, Moonbow, Pyroclastic Records *****

From piano-guitar duo album Searching For The Disappeared Hour this is extraordinary. Mary Halvorson's signature detunery and aching bluesy sense hard set against the strict avant garde atonal empathy of Sylvie Courvoisier who wrote the piece, …

Published: 31 Oct 2021. Updated: 33 days.

From piano-guitar duo album Searching For The Disappeared Hour this is extraordinary. Mary Halvorson's signature detunery and aching bluesy sense hard set against the strict avant garde atonal empathy of Sylvie Courvoisier who wrote the piece, Courvoisier's playing style at times reminiscent of Julie Sassoon. Recorded last year in a studio in Mount Vernon, New York the piece is both original and stimulating, these two formidable improvisers matching and fusing as spiky, oblique lines intertwine and the duo discover new shared spaces to explore and then inhabit. Mary Halvorson, top left, and Sylvie Courvoisier. Photo via Pyroclastic on Bandcamp

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Leo Green, QT Bar, Covent Garden

''Requests? keep them to yourself!’' joked Leo Green not at all harshly, the powerhouse tenor saxophonist and bandleader kicking things off during his new Friday and Saturday ''Green Room'' residency at Great Queen Street hotel basement spot the QT …

Published: 31 Oct 2021. Updated: 33 days.

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''Requests? keep them to yourself!’' joked Leo Green not at all harshly, the powerhouse tenor saxophonist and bandleader kicking things off during his new Friday and Saturday ''Green Room'' residency at Great Queen Street hotel basement spot the QT Bar tucked inside the Middle Eight Hotel. The pre-Simon Cooke era Ronnie Scott’s artistic director is well-known for his rapport with Van Morrison on Days Like This. Van was actually there in the QT among the audience chilling to hear Leo and his fine band on a few numbers sat back a few tables from the stage in front of Leo. Superb soul singer Beverley Knight was also in the QT a few tables further back. Take That’s ‘Let it Shine’ opened both sets followed by U2 song ‘I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For’ with fine gospellised exuberant vocal from featured singer Katy Eckland. A romping 'Stuck in the Middle With You’ was just about the best thing in either of the sets. Also in the vocals front line Emma Hutton standing next to Leo was also a real soulful personality throughout the evening. Of course this was a Saturday night know-the-songs-from-the-radio sort of set for a casual general music loving crowd and nothing wrong with that. But it was surprising what was snuck in and the band all have serious jazz chops so the pop numbers are served up with a twist and the band can certainly groove. As for the charts the transcriptions, not Leo's arrangements, were by Nick Taylor, according to the band’s very fine keyboardist Trinity College, Cambridge alumnus Liam Donachie of the Patchwork Jazz Orchestra chatting to marlbank a little during the interval and who channelled his inner Scott Bradlee in some of his best spots in the sense of playing ragtime to a pop tune. Meghan Trainor's ‘All About That Bass, no Treble‘ was another strong suit Leo interpolating ‘New York, New York’ effectively. Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’ against all odds worked. Riffing on flugelhorn or switching to muted trumpet ex-Van Morrison hornman Matt Holland was simpatico with Leo and also sang a little backing vocals. Days like this? You bet. The residency continues on Friday 5 November. Venue and tickets. Leo Green, top