The BrknRecord feat Zara McFarlane, 'Lifeline', Mr Bongo ****

Jazz singer Zara MacFarlane is superb on 'Lifeline' here on the hard hitting Jake Ferguson-led project The BrknRecord's The Architecture of Oppression Part 1, the Heliocentrics bassist's debut as a bandleader and orchestrator joined by bandmate …

Published: 13 Oct 2021. Updated: 14 days.

Jazz singer Zara MacFarlane is superb on 'Lifeline' here on the hard hitting Jake Ferguson-led project The BrknRecord's The Architecture of Oppression Part 1, the Heliocentrics bassist's debut as a bandleader and orchestrator joined by bandmate drummer Malcolm Catto. MacFarlane, best known for her work with Jazz Jamaica in the early part of her career before forging out as a MOBO-winning bandleader herself on the Brownswood label, is among a wide range of contributors who also include Lee Jasper, former advisor on equalities to Ken Livingstone when he was mayor of London, and by Leroy Logan MBE, founder and former chair of the Black Police Association, who was an inspiration for director Steve McQueen on an episode of the acclaimed Small Axe. Look for The Architecture of Oppression Part 1 on the Mr Bongo label in November. Zara MacFarlane, top

Tags: Tracks

Sean Conly, The Buzz, 577 Records ****

You could arrive at this album for any number of reasons. As a piano trio lover, as a fan of Leo Genovese. You might even by taken on a cursory listen by the sonorous reverberation of double bassist Sean Conly or become totally drawn to the …

Published: 13 Oct 2021. Updated: 14 days.

Next post

You could arrive at this album for any number of reasons.

As a piano trio lover, as a fan of Leo Genovese. You might even by taken on a cursory listen by the sonorous reverberation of double bassist Sean Conly or become totally drawn to the fizzing sense of rhythm that drummer Francisco Mela so masterfully harnesses ('In the Stretch' is where Mela comes into his own).

Or you could just descend on it with no expectation at all and then wonder where this trio has exactly been all your life. Its apparent simplicity say on 'Send in the Clowns' is disarming because there is a lot hidden in the themes and some tracks are not simple at all even when their structures seem so. Genovese has such a charming expressive sense to the way he takes a riff and expands it into a flight of the imagination you switch the brain off and just feel.

Issuing label 577 is a free-jazz company and this is one of their more conventional releases in the sense that it isn't always a free-jazz record, but the signal does flicker ''out'' satisfyingly at times and the tectonic plates buckle in the heat and sizzle. The Buzz contains a certain open quality and on the title track there is an obvious sense of a free-improv landscape.

Conly is the least known of these players and he certainly acquits himself well on what is a studio record laid down in New Jersey last year. 'From C to Sea' displays his sheer propulsiveness (like Milt Hinton maybe although a world way from the Judge's habitual edicts or indeed idiom) and a certain puckishness here that Genovese keeps up his sleeve. Conly's arco work on 'Euterpe' throws us a curveball and again we enter the avant domain, with Genovese's accompaniment tartly atonal and beautifully gauged.

Out now