Track of the day: Berlin

In a sea of talented next generation players one UK jazz guitarist is sailing on like no other at the moment breaking loose from the modern mainstream doldrums that otherwise means sameyness. After last year's superb showing co-leading with Dave …

Published: 1 Feb 2020. Updated: 5 months.

In a sea of talented next generation players one UK jazz guitarist is sailing on like no other at the moment breaking loose from the modern mainstream doldrums that otherwise means sameyness.

After last year's superb showing co-leading with Dave O'Higgins a really stirring quartet album of John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk repertoire (who could have predicted that the quartet could breath new life into such classic material?) Rob Luft in a very different guise returns as a leader with the hypnotically chugging along melodicism of Life is the Dancer from which 'Berlin' by Anders (''AC'') Christensen, known for his work in the Stańko Dark Eyes band, is taken.

A studio album comprised largely of Luft originals to be released by Edition in April three years on from his debut Riser, Luft, who takes a blazingly engaged bluesy pitch-bending solo on this track from the 2 minute 1 second mark, on the album is with the core band of tenorist Joe Wright (not on this track), pianist Joe Webb, bassist Tom McCredie and drummer Corrie Dick.
photo: robluft.com

Tags: 2020 best so far tracks / albums

Track of the day: Shabaka and the Ancestors on Impulse!

Here is the beautiful 'Go My Heart, Go To Heaven' from the griot themed We Are Sent Here By History to be released on 13 March. Shabaka Hutchings, tenor saxophonist and clarinettist and titular head of the collective, in publicity calls the album to …

Published: 31 Jan 2020. Updated: 5 months.

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Here is the beautiful 'Go My Heart, Go To Heaven' from the griot themed We Are Sent Here By History to be released on 13 March. Shabaka Hutchings, tenor saxophonist and clarinettist and titular head of the collective, in publicity calls the album to be released by Impulse to which the band are newly signed as a “meditation on the fact of our coming extinction as a species. It is a reflection from the ruins, from the burning, a questioning of the steps to be taken in preparation for our transition individually and societally if the end is to be seen as anything but a tragic defeat. For those lives lost and cultures dismantled by centuries of western expansionism, capitalist thought and white supremist structural hegemony the end days have long been heralded as present with this world experienced as an embodiment of living purgatory.”

Shabaka & The Ancestors came together in 2016 first spawned through a Hutchings collaboration with trumpeter and bandleader Mandla Mlangeni who helped him put the band together resulting in Wisdom of Elders. This new record was made in Johannesburg and Cape Town during 2019. With Shabaka are Mthunzi Mvubu, alto sax; Siyabonga Mthembu, vocals; Ariel Zamonsky, double bass; Gontse Makhene, percussion; Tumi Mogorosi, drums plus Nduduzo Makhathini (Fender Rhodes), Thandi Ntuli (piano), Mandla Mlangeni (trumpet) on selected tracks.