Daily jazz blog, Marlbank

Tori Freestone and Alcyona Mick, Make One Little Room An Everywhere ****

With guests singers Brigitte Beraha and Natacha Atlas (particularly evocative with its intimations of the ancient sounds of North Africa on 'Who We Are Now') this saxophone-piano duo album of Tori Freestone and Alcyona Mick is a beautiful …

Published: 8 Oct 2023. Updated: 8 months.

With guests singers Brigitte Beraha and Natacha Atlas (particularly evocative with its intimations of the ancient sounds of North Africa on 'Who We Are Now') this saxophone-piano duo album of Tori Freestone and Alcyona Mick is a beautiful achievement and is certainly one of the best jazz albums of the UK we have heard this year. Stirring originals and a cover of Joni Mitchell classic 'Both Sides Now' captured in iridescent fashion by Beraha with lulling accompaniment from Alcyona plus a version of the Gershwins' 'They Can't Take That Away From Me' first recorded by Fred Astaire and Johnny Green & His Orchestra in 1937 and massively covered down the decades since are in the mix. Freestone, whose style lands pervasively in the spiritual jazz domain and whose best work includes the marvellous In the Chop House which included a trio instrumental version of 'Both Sides Now' perhaps a prologue companion listen to the new version that fans will know, was among the 12 Ivor Novello Awards winners last year at the Ivors Composer Awards. The UK saxist won in the Jazz Ensemble category for her work 'Birds Of Paradise' which was premiered at the 2021 London Jazz Festival and a version of which is also a feature on the absolutely essential Make One Little Room an Everywhere.

Tags: Reviews

Shake Stew, Lila, Traumton ***1/2

A liadback hipster Afrojazz-tinged groove is order of the day with Shake Stew once again, the Austrian band led by bassist Lukas Kranzelbinder here with their sixth album. Succinct and no-nonsense, reminiscent a little of Danish band Girls in …

Published: 8 Oct 2023. Updated: 8 months.

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A liadback hipster Afrojazz-tinged groove is order of the day with Shake Stew once again, the Austrian band led by bassist Lukas Kranzelbinder here with their sixth album. Succinct and no-nonsense, reminiscent a little of Danish band Girls in Airports, Shake Stew boasts not just 1 but 2 drummers and 2 bassists with the horn section adding the beefy riffs. There's spoken word too with the Nigerian-Austrian Precious Nnebedum on ‘Not Water But Rest’ and three of the tracks on the album were recorded live in a Viennese venue. ‘Detroit’ is a homage to a scene in a Jim Jarmusch film. A sound that spreads out gracefully and where rhythm and a strong pulsating beat and groove are vital - it's all about the feeling. Out on Friday