The Americans Are Coming…

Looking through the March jazz schedules it’s exciting to see Ronnie’s booking some of the top American artists on the scene. Marcus Roberts is visiting with his trio on the 19th and 20th.  You can read Martin Porter’s fantastic post, from his superb Played Twice blog (Monk, I geddit), on his week absorbing the delights of Roberts here. I really need to try and check out more Roberts!

Chris Potter is also performing as part of Jazzwise magazine’s 15th anniversary. One of my favourite Chris Potter turns is Tim Ries’ Live At Smalls, a superb album also featuring the Hungarian pianist Kalman Olah. In fact Kalman left a copy of the album at the 606 back in November. It’s gorgeous.

I’ve spent the past week listening to, then re-listening to, and then re-re-listening to Ambrose Akinmusire’s When The Heart Emerges Glistening. I’ve owned the album for a while now, but only recently have I been able to do it justice. It really does live up to expectation and if I only had one gig opportunity this month, this is my man.

When The Heart is a real multifaceted album, a brimming musical pot of panache lines, melancholic melody, suave sophistication and wit. Akinmusire has a sweet, smooth tone, very controlled and elegant, yet wholly original. His sound is unmistakably American, not only steeped in the history of jazz trumpet but audibly proud of it – a point that often separates us Brits from our American cousins. And yet I can definitely detect European undertones, both in sound and song structure – John Fordham also picked-up on this in his review from April last year. The mature, individual playing of such a youthful band has resulted in some very exciting music indeed. Roll on Monday the 26th.

Some well-written reviews of When The Heart Emerges Glistening can be found here, here and here.

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About Will Rodway

what you hear, what you read...
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