Daily jazz blog, Marlbank

London Brew, London Brew, Concord Jazz *****

So far this year there have been only two major statements by jazz artists from the UK and Ireland. The first A Short Diary last month is from the Scotland born Sebastian Rochford and English born Kit Downes operating as a duo; the second, this, …

Published: 22 Feb 2023. Updated: 15 months.

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So far this year there have been only two major statements by jazz artists from the UK and Ireland. The first A Short Diary last month is from the Scotland born Sebastian Rochford and English born Kit Downes operating as a duo; the second, this, month, is by the Ireland born singer Christine Tobin where Returning Weather is like splitting the atom of jazz and Irish traditional music for the first time successfully. The third arrives in March - from London English Brits from a wide range of backgrounds often spanning the AfroCaribbean diaspora - London Brew (5-stars). It is significant because the Concord Jazz release marks a new chapter for post electronica post colonialist jazz-rock. Whether London Brew will tour as a band or not is unclear.

The album takes the Miles Davis jazz rock epic Bitches Bew as part of its creed and belief system as well as its nominative manifesto. But apart from Dave Okumu's role - the John McLaughlin of the project - there isn't any obvious or even any connection at all to the obvious style of Bitches Brew or more to the point any exact idiom. What you have here instead is a band of players in a state of the art studio with highly creative producers and engineers on hand telling their own truth, living their best lives in a post-post-post electronica alt-rock universe fed by jazz language when sadly much of the essential language out there has been mothballed to the museum or lives on only in the tribute band circuit. Rather like a book that has a dedication to a great one at the beginning the pages that follow are the interesting bit and completely London Brew's own narrative. Nubya Garcia, Shabaka Hutchings, Okumu, Theon Cross , Benji B, Tom Skinner and more are involved most of whom are significant leaders in their own right and actually tear up the book only keeping a torn reference to Miles out of respect. Think of the project less as a thesis about the strength of the dynamic UK jazz scene because it is that but more quite simply a work of art because it certainly is. Photo: Nathan Weber. Out on 31 March

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Delfeayo Marsalis and the Uptown Jazz Orchestra, Uptown on Mardis Gras day, Troubadour Jass Records ****

Riotous New Orleans trad jazz here from Wynton's brother lively trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis on a terrific release that ranges around and simply flies. Among the delights are a lit up inside muted wah-wah melody line version of 'Mardi Gras Mambo,' …

Published: 21 Feb 2023. Updated: 16 months.

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Riotous New Orleans trad jazz here from Wynton's brother lively trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis on a terrific release that ranges around and simply flies. Among the delights are a lit up inside muted wah-wah melody line version of 'Mardi Gras Mambo,' a Frankie Adams and Lou Welsch song that goes back to the 1950s when it was covered by the Hawketts and later in the 70s received The Meters seal of approval on Fire in the Bayou. There's also a rollicking treatment of Allen Toussaint classic 'Big Chief' bustling to fantastically responsive horns doing call and response. Personnel includes Branford Marsalis, Marvin "Smitty" Smith and Glen David Andrews. Delfeayo Marsalis, photo: YouTube still