Trish Clowes and Ross Stanley, Journey to Where, Stoney Lane ****

A change of label for English saxophonist Trish Clowes whose last album A View With A Room was on US trumpet icon Dave Douglas' Greenleaf Music that also involved pianist Ross Stanley. Heard live guesting with Sara Colman last year Clowes also …

Published: 4 Mar 2024. Updated: 47 days.

Trish Clowes & Ross Stanley 001

A change of label for English saxophonist Trish Clowes whose last album A View With A Room was on US trumpet icon Dave Douglas' Greenleaf Music that also involved pianist Ross Stanley. Heard live guesting with Sara Colman last year Clowes also gigged with Douglas in 2023 when the famed American bandleader was playing at London's 606.

Here closer to home on Birmingham label Stoney Lane in a stripped down duo recorded in London at Wigmore Hall along with Stanley - good with Chris Allard playing Fellini's Waltz a few years ago and live 8 years ago on Hammond organ with Alex Garnett at Kansas Smitty's in Hackney - Journey to Where conjures tenorist Clowes' abiding Iain Ballamy influenced timbral tonalism from the very beginning on 'Ashford Days' and later interprets Duke Ellington's 'Prelude to a Kiss' beautifully arranged, a rendition that shows Clowes' incredible breathing technique at low volume. There is also a strong Joe Hen aspect to her sound, a less than cryptic clue that you will discover perhaps for the first time if encountering Clowes.

A skilled classically influenced player, Clowes also revels in this duo performance. Among the repertoire is French organist-composer Marcel Dupré's Trois Preludes et Fugues (Op. 7) that dates to after the First World War. It is a work that Old Marlburian Stanley played on pipe organ when he was a pupil at the Princess of Wales' old school, Marlborough College, in Wiltshire. Herbert Howells' 1940s work 'Gloucester Service' from those Stanley schooldays music immersed experiences is also featured.

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Both jazz and classical genres live in a parallel communal space at easy with one another on Journey to Where. And some of the best work from either player we have heard separately certainly the album proves - clearly the duo is a meeting of minds and prodigious ability, the past learning and absorptions etched evocatively worn lightly. The Englishness of their sound, with its bittersweet, gentle melancholia and slightly stoic tendencies, is abundantly on display on these gentle affectionate, even almost Good-Bye to All That reveries when they go darker, that aren't afraid of a few lighter perhaps even more whimsical asides inserted as musical clauses in their story telling. As for fuller improvising the trajectories best experienced in Clowes' soloing on 20th century Cuban composer Osvaldo Farrés' 'Tres Palabras' that dates back to the 40s and was covered by Joe Henderson in the mid-1970s on Canyon Lady are the most appealing.

'Ashford Days and 'Decently Ripped' are streaming ahead of the full album's release on Friday when the duo return to play Wigmore Hall joined by, among others, singer Jo Lawry. Trish Clowes and Ross Stanley photo: via Stoney Lane

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Kenny Garrett and Svoy, Who Killed AI? Mack Avenue ***1/2

A remote human interrogator, within a fixed time frame, must distinguish between a computer and a human subject based on their replies to various questions posed by the interrogator. That's called the Turing Test. The sometimes wry and knowing …

Published: 3 Mar 2024. Updated: 41 days.

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A remote human interrogator, within a fixed time frame, must distinguish between a computer and a human subject based on their replies to various questions posed by the interrogator. That's called the Turing Test.

The sometimes wry and knowing ''Garrett Svoy Test'' meanwhile knows that AI isn't the tail that wags the jazz dog. Certainly an album not afraid to tinker with programming and striking in its skittering, hugely up-tempo runaway motion one that even Chase & Status, the electronica producers who won at the Brits last night, might be at home with.

With more beats per minute than a stack of ECMs, Svoy, aka Mikhail Tarasov, Garrett has worked with before. But this is the first time that the electronica maven shares a co-credit on the cover with Garrett.

The Detroit saxophonist, who was one of Miles Davis' best late-period collaborators and who since has led his own bands to no little acclaim and influenced the likes of next gen wiz Immanuel Wilkins, runs the AI voodoo down with gusto.

The seven tracks on this latest album were recorded mostly in KG's New Jersey living room. Svoy contributes programming, vocals and piano and shares all the original writing and arranging credits with Garrett - the majority of tunes on the album.

The altoist/soprano sax player's last album was 2021's acclaimed and very different Sounds From the Ancestors. And Who Killed AI also feeds in - against all odds - a cover of 'My Funny Valentine'. The good news is it's all fun and often a roller coaster ride. Some of the Garrett sax solos are as ferociously compelling as Savoy period Charlie Parker.

Out on 12 April. Opening track 'Ascendence' is streaming. Photos; Mack Avenue