Daily jazz blog, Marlbank

The Saturday morning listen: Art Hirahara, Echo Canyon, Posi-tone

Today in the Saturday morning listen it's the expansive title track from pianist Art Hirahara's upcoming Echo Canyon, a trio setting with bassist Boris Kozlov and drummer Rudy Royston. An original composition of the Stacey Kent pianist's there's a …

Published: 14 Oct 2023. Updated: 8 months.

Today in the Saturday morning listen it's the expansive title track from pianist Art Hirahara's upcoming Echo Canyon, a trio setting with bassist Boris Kozlov and drummer Rudy Royston. An original composition of the Stacey Kent pianist's there's a lot of warmth wrapped in generous chords with a for the ages main theme that hooks your ear pretty much from the beginning. Some of Royston's snare touches along the way add fine detail and the pace Kozlov sets makes the whole piece seem stately and authoritative while his tour de force arco work later seals the deal. The full album is out next week.

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Chris Batchelor's Zoetic, Telling the Tale ****

A lot less raucous and far more difficult to sum up in a few words than trumpeter Chris Batchelor's other project Pigfoot - that band's Paul Clarvis is also to hand here in an unusual quintet. Ask yourself how often do you find a viola in a small …

Published: 13 Oct 2023. Updated: 8 months.

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A lot less raucous and far more difficult to sum up in a few words than trumpeter Chris Batchelor's other project Pigfoot - that band's Paul Clarvis is also to hand here in an unusual quintet. Ask yourself how often do you find a viola in a small jazz quintet? Well, Margrit Hasler proves very soulful playing that instrument here in a grouping along with Batchelor, guitarist John Parricelli, bassist Steve Watts and Clarvis. You find various styles dotted throughout, all hanging together very easily - the fine tunes are mainly Batchelor's - and from a jazz-rock atmosphere with gutsy Parricelli work on 'Huckster' to a lost-in-a-dream chamber jazz feel on Edu Lobo/Vinicius de Moraes' 'Canto Triste' where Hasler is prominent there is even a passage that summons thoughts of a call to prayer on 'Corneta'. A melting pot of an album full of grace and charm - what a welcome diversion from the norm.

Chris Batchelor, above photo: via Bandcamp