The Saturday morning listen: Harper trio, Passing By, Little Yellow Man Records

Gratifyingly shorn of any of the clichés you usually encounter on a ''spiritual jazz'' harp record Passing By is something of a breath of fresh air from relative newcomer harpist Maria-Christina Harper here with ex-Neil Cowley drummer Evan Jenkins …

Published: 28 Oct 2023. Updated: 3 months.

Gratifyingly shorn of any of the clichés you usually encounter on a ''spiritual jazz'' harp record Passing By is something of a breath of fresh air from relative newcomer harpist Maria-Christina Harper here with ex-Neil Cowley drummer Evan Jenkins and saxophonist Josephine Davies - the latter in particularly fine form - alongside. Tunes are easy to latch on to - a touch of psychedelia enhances 'In Cairo / Grandma's Coat' and you get plenty of flow in the lead harp lines from the Greek-born Harper who has Egyptian roots. The album was very cleanly engineered by James McMillan at his south coast studio and you get a real sense of immediacy particularly in the saxophone lines on 'Safe Place'. A pleasant surprise of an album full of Harper's excellent, reliably soothing, tunes.

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Marius Neset, Geyser (Live at Royal Albert Hall - BBC Proms), ACT ***1/2

Not often do you find a release of a jazz recording made at the Proms - this hot spring themed work features the titanic Norwegian saxophonist Marius Neset with pianist Ivo Neame, vibist Jim Hart, bassist Conor Chaplin, drummer Anton Eger and the …

Published: 27 Oct 2023. Updated: 3 months.

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Not often do you find a release of a jazz recording made at the Proms - this hot spring themed work features the titanic Norwegian saxophonist Marius Neset with pianist Ivo Neame, vibist Jim Hart, bassist Conor Chaplin, drummer Anton Eger and the London Sinfonietta conducted by Geoffrey Paterson was commissioned by Radio 3 and performed at the Proms in September last year. Full of grandeur and commitment Part 2 'On Fire' certainly grabbed us a good deal and here Neset displays just what a tonally versatile player he is - the piece full of vigour and personality. Neame delivers a high point in his solo at the beginning of 'Out of Sight' joined later tastefully by Hart. Neset is a major artist - his own generation's Jan Garbarek perhaps - and here in his writing beyond sheer instrumentalism also shows considerable scope and imagination in his compositional ideas. The approach manages to blend jazz and classical disciplines for long stretches although some tracks ('Lava' particularly) shaped by the Sinfonietta seem more classical than jazz. Another milestone in the remarkable career of Neset it's clear. Out today. Marius Neset photo: ACT. Neset's band and the London Sinfonietta play Geyser at the EFG London Jazz Festival on 17 November in the QEH.