Daily jazz blog, Marlbank

Yuhan Su, Liberated Gesture, Sunnyside ***1/2

A new name to us in New York Taiwanese vibist composer Yuhan Su although this is not a debut. Nevertheless Liberated Gesture remains a case when band members have higher profiles than their leader, particularly fine pianist Matt Mitchell here …

Published: 26 Nov 2023. Updated: 6 months.

A new name to us in New York Taiwanese vibist composer Yuhan Su although this is not a debut. Nevertheless Liberated Gesture remains a case when band members have higher profiles than their leader, particularly fine pianist Matt Mitchell here (known for his work with Tim Berne), and typically a spiky foil to any lead instrument. On opener 'Hi-Tech Pros and Cons' both Mitchell and Su provide choppy, insistent, support to saxist Caroline Davis.

It's the best track actually - the whole affair comprised of tunes written in Paris, Taiwan and Paris the Su approach is quite avant-garde but there is also a firm discipline and chromatic strength to the tunes. With the serious 'Liberated Gesture' suite at its core and inspirations including Joan Didion elsewhere - there's even a poetry recitation from Davis at one point - the ensemble is completed by busy bassist Marty Kenney who does sterling work and by that fine drummer known for his work with Chris Potter, Dan Weiss, who turns up the heat when needed.

Tags: Reviews

Palle Mikkelborg, Jakob Bro, Marilyn Mazur, Strands, ECM ****

Jakob Bro has never sounded more brooding and stark than here on Strands. And we'd put that factor down to the mesmerising presence on this Danish supergroup of a trio of Palle Mikkelborg whose atmospheric trumpet playing is matched by the ever …

Published: 25 Nov 2023. Updated: 6 months.

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Jakob Bro has never sounded more brooding and stark than here on Strands. And we'd put that factor down to the mesmerising presence on this Danish supergroup of a trio of Palle Mikkelborg whose atmospheric trumpet playing is matched by the ever expansive percussive ideas from Marilyn Mazur. A live album recorded at the Danish Radio Concert Hall earlier this year drawing on music from guitarist Bro's albums Returnings and Gefion, there is a beautful aching quality to the development of the pieces that always take their time and linger long in the imagination. Mikkelborg is superb throughout - I'd pick out 'Returnings' with its generous smears and dirty bluesiness as some of his best playing. And the spirit of Miles Davis you could even say hovers over the record, not surprising perhaps given both Mikkelborg and Mazur both collaborated with Miles. As for Bro he continues to conjure remarkable modal moods and on the title track particularly the sheer humanity of his sound shines through and always arrives kind of blue. SG

l-r: Palle Mikkelborg, Marilyn Mazur, Jakob Bro, photo: Jakob Jepsen/ECM