The Fresh Sound Ensemble, Common Threads, Fresh Sound New Talent ***

As celebrations go this is not extrovert at all. Party hats were not worn. But it is good to see Barcelona label Fresh Sound New Talent marking 30 years as a label continuing to dip more into the UK jazz scene - qv the even better Dream Band and …

Published: 29 Dec 2022. Updated: 30 days.

As celebrations go this is not extrovert at all. Party hats were not worn. But it is good to see Barcelona label Fresh Sound New Talent marking 30 years as a label continuing to dip more into the UK jazz scene - qv the even better Dream Band and the pulsating Mind-Ear-Ladder. A sax-heavy snapshot of largely millennial and Generation Z talent drawn from ''new cool'' and laconic bebop rooted players who play a bunch of fairly glum originals recorded back in August and October at Porcupine Studios in Mottingham, south east London. Saxophonists Sam Braysher, Ronan Perrett, Alex Merritt (who produces), Alex Hitchcock, Adele Sauros (a Finn, not a Brit), Michael Chillingworth, trumpeter Steve Fishwick, pianist John Turville, guitarist Tom Ollendorff, bassist Conor Chaplin and drummer Jay Davis excellent this year with Mike Soper are the players involved. 'JT and the Planets' and 'Bin Raccoon' with Turville who was on Merritt's excellent Anatta appeal most of all. A pity that the John Taylor-like sound of Turville wasn't heard more from. On the plus side once again Ollendorff shines impressively - darting in and out spiritedly among the horns on 'Asimuth.'

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Tags: ALBUMS

Track of the day: Steve Beresford, Elastic Articles, Discus Music ***

Mercifully brief, mercifully given that repetition while necessary is often very dull when wrung out over 9 or 10 minues and even more so if an improviser is trying but failing to pluck inspiration from the lint of their lapels. There is nothing …

Published: 29 Dec 2022. Updated: 30 days.

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Mercifully brief, mercifully given that repetition while necessary is often very dull when wrung out over 9 or 10 minues and even more so if an improviser is trying but failing to pluck inspiration from the lint of their lapels. There is nothing repetitive or lacking in inspiration here. The John Cage loving pianist and composer Steve Beresford would perhaps be the first to say he's not, as he would put it half self-mockingly, ''up'' to playing jazz. Of course he can and does play it but there be dragons. Because it is a peculiarly English thing that goes back to the fork in the road hewn out of breeze blocks in the 1970s that points, arrow right, to free-jazz and, left, at the crossroads where the braziers are lit and constantly stoked to ''total'' improvisation. Some see the two as different, some the same. To use adjectives when speaking of abstract music is bizarre but we all do it. And so 'Elastic Articles' is balladic, serene and glacial. Beresford does not roam far on the piano, the low detonations are the yin to the yang of the almost serialist sounding rows his right hand finds and that linger beautifully. From the various artists compilation ZZAJ - Jazz From The 23rd Century out now.