The great poet Michael Horovitz has died aged 86

Very sorry to hear of the death at the age of 86 of the great jazz-influenced poet and troubadour Michael Horovitz of New Departures and Poetry Olympics renown. In performance I think the first time that I saw him was in the 1990s at the Soho Jazz …

Published: 9 Jul 2021. Updated: 2 months.

Very sorry to hear of the death at the age of 86 of the great jazz-influenced poet and troubadour Michael Horovitz of New Departures and Poetry Olympics renown. In performance I think the first time that I saw him was in the 1990s at the Soho Jazz Festival with Stan Tracey with whom he performed extensively during Stan's lifetime. I met Michael a few times over the years, first of all when he contributed poetry to a magazine called Jazz on CD that I used to work for in the early-90s and I remember him coming into the office on South Audley Street and talking about Samuel Beckett and Allen Ginsberg. He was always a stimulating and erudite presence in conversation. In recent years I enjoyed his work on ‘Bankbusted Nuclear Detergent Blues (Jazz Poetry SuperJam #3),’ which the distinguished Beat made with Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon and Paul Weller recorded in 2013 at Weller’s Black Barn Studio and the Blur singer’s Studio 13. Michael's ''rewriting'' of The Waste Land, A New Waste Land: Timeship Earth at Nillennium (2007) was a significant work in the latter part of his life. The Poetry Society have paid wonderful tribute to Michael who passed away at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington. Michael Horovitz above with Damon Albarn

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Album of the week: Giovanni Guidi, Ojos De Gato, CAM Jazz *****

The eyes have it. You may never have heard the world-class Italian pianist Giovanni Guidi in such a fiery setting. The theme is a tribute to the Argentinian saxophonist Gato Barbieri who died in 2016 who is remembered for his huge spiritual tone …

Published: 9 Jul 2021. Updated: 2 months.

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The eyes have it. You may never have heard the world-class Italian pianist Giovanni Guidi in such a fiery setting. The theme is a tribute to the Argentinian saxophonist Gato Barbieri who died in 2016 who is remembered for his huge spiritual tone and for his wildly expressive tango-influenced and Coltrane-inspired work on such albums as the sensuous soundtrack for the film Last Tango in Paris and albums on the Flying Dutchman and Impulse labels. And you may additionally fail to easily forgive yourself for any number of reasons say through lack of any publicity much hitherto if this does not gravitate to the top of your listening choices at the moment immediately.

In the Gato role is free-player James Brandon Lewis who is perfect here (his Live in Willisau drummer partner Chad Taylor is also on Ojos De Gato) and gets better and better year after year as his already titanic reputation goes deservedly into interstellar overdrive. Ojos De Gato was recorded at a studio in Astoria, New York, in February last year.

Guidi also ultilises Fender Rhodes on Ojos De Gato and has a different playing profile completely to his quietly intense piano trio on say his masterpiece This Is The Day. Gianluca Petrella's trombone sound makes a telling contribution through its sheer expressiveness in key passages. Francisco Mela adds very fine latinate percussion. An album that is extremely life-affirming and is certainly one of the best group records that I have heard all year. And Guidi magisterial on a highly charged 'Laura' complete with a forest of percussion is nothing less than the icing on the cake. SG. Out today