Track of the day: 'Rise and Shine' by Miles Okazaki

A creative solution to a pressing problem presents itself here, the lack of the ability to play live: check 'Rise and Shine' from Trickster's Dream new from one of marlbank's favourite guitarists Miles Okazaki. Opening with something of the feel of …

Published: 3 Jul 2020. Updated: 31 days.

A creative solution to a pressing problem presents itself here, the lack of the ability to play live: check 'Rise and Shine' from Trickster's Dream new from one of marlbank's favourite guitarists Miles Okazaki. Opening with something of the feel of konnakol, Miles explains his thinking: ''This album is an imagined live concert. The band Trickster was supposed to tour the United States and Europe for six weeks in May-June of 2020, and after the pandemic shutdown I was looking for some ways to keep the band 'working.' The idea of putting out a musical statement took on a new, more urgent meaning as the uprisings over racism in America took center stage. I decided to make an album of what the group might sound like after a couple of weeks on the road playing material from our last album, tempos pushed, forms stretched, risks taken. I sang an imaginary Trickster set, and we played along with it individually to make this performance in Brooklyn, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. A few older numbers and some improvised interludes snuck into the set, as they do during gigs. Anthony Tidd worked his magic to mix and master the home recordings. In order to convey some feeling of a live concert, there are accompanying videos for each song, filmed during the taping of the music.'' Out on Pi.

Miles Okazaki pictured. Photo: via Bandcamp

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Julian Shore, Where We Started

Beginning with a lulling quasi-classical feel and a title in 'Preludio' to match, pianist Julian Shore finds himself in reflective mood on Where We Started. The title draws on a line of poetry by T. S. Eliot and with Shore his collaborators on the …

Published: 3 Jul 2020. Updated: 31 days.

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Beginning with a lulling quasi-classical feel and a title in 'Preludio' to match, pianist Julian Shore finds himself in reflective mood on Where We Started.

The title draws on a line of poetry by T. S. Eliot and with Shore his collaborators on the record are a fine collection of leading players: Dayna Stephens, Caroline Davis, Ben Monder, Edward Perez, Colin Stranahan and fleetingly, actually on the title track itself, Oded Tzur.

That classical sense gives way a little as the album progesses and moves towards that new territory we hear so much on contemporary jazz records, a sense of composition that keeps its options open and avoids being overly constrained by any one tradition. One thing it's not is a blood and guts full throttle dash in some sort of competitive duel.

Shore possesses something of a Romantic touch to his flowing improvisations and I would say that this is an introvert's record rather than an extrovert's.

In terms of the process of his gaining wider recognition Where We Started certainly accelerates that direction. It's an excellent record. Highlights include the mystical charm of the band's interpretation of the Gesualdo madrigal 'O Vos Omnes' and the absorbing interpretation of Gil Evans’ arrangement of Gershwin’s 'Oh Bess, Oh Where’s My Bess' are certainly high among them and Monder's role is important as is the way the album pivots between piano, saxophone and guitar for its essential centre of gravity. As a whole it works as a kind of meditation and conveys its own faraway atmosphere highly effectively.

Out now on Tongue Rogue Records.