Unscientific Italians, Rob Roy ****

Terrifically deep into the verdant pastures of Friselliana and with the blessing of Dear Bill himself and squiggling in via the cover art, there are three tracks streaming so far drawn from the Alfonso Santimone-led Unscientific Italians record …

Published: 17 May 2021. Updated: 4 months.

Terrifically deep into the verdant pastures of Friselliana and with the blessing of Dear Bill himself and squiggling in via the cover art, there are three tracks streaming so far drawn from the Alfonso Santimone-led Unscientific Italians record Play the Music of Bill Frisell Vol. 1 that is to be released on Friday by the new Hora label. 'Rob Roy' is possibly the most exquisite of the three (but the standard is very high across what we have listened to so far: take your pick) particularly for its defty contrapuntal, luminous, airy feel and intuitive arrangement that avoids the clinical and instead embraces the humane. 'Rob Roy' appeared on Frisell's Wayne Horvitz produced album Where in the World? released by Elektra Nonesuch in 1991.

An ''idiosyncratic'' rewriting and orchestration that borrows Frisell's compositional and instrumental language is the official description of the Unscientific ones' approach, if a blurb on Bandcamp is indeed ''official'' speak. It's also both meticulous and simpatico drawing out a Copland-esque quality in the Frisell piece via the clarinet and French horn lines. Of the band trumpeter Fulvio Sigurtà is perhaps most known to UK audiences in recent sightings, for instance heard on Babel release Loredana and sometimes spotted in the finest London jazz clubs. This release you would hope will up the profile of everyone involved if there's any justice and yet it is a fine artistic statement that resonates regardless. SG

Hear more via this link to: Unscientific Italians Play the Music of Bill Frisell Vol​.​1

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Sons of Kemet, Black to the Future ***

With Sons of Kemet I far prefer their earlier work when Sebastian Rochford and Oren Marshall were in the band. While still interesting (actually the formula has many of the original ingredients still) on this latest album Shabaka Hutchings' best …

Published: 16 May 2021. Updated: 3 months.

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With Sons of Kemet I far prefer their earlier work when Sebastian Rochford and Oren Marshall were in the band. While still interesting (actually the formula has many of the original ingredients still) on this latest album Shabaka Hutchings' best work at the moment is guesting on other projects say with Anthony Joseph recently, see here for more, which I think is more inspiring. Having said that Sons of Kemet deliver their most accessible and tuneful record to date and so that surely will bring in a new audience. The album is too sprawling, however. Guests include saxist Steve Williamson, an icon of UK jazz from the 1990s, multi instrumentalist Angel Bat Dawid, MC D Double E and poet Moor Mother check it out by all means. But don't forget to go back to the early days for even more inspiration. That's a trip worth making. SG