Thursday, February 20, 2020

Henry Cow. The World Is A Problem

Lazy types might well have filed Henry Cow under progressive rock long before now, but in this instance as in so many others that's too convenient, for as Piekut's borderline forensic account...

Brad Mehldau Trio for London in March

The jazz-going public’s opinion of the pure pianism of the Brad Mehdau Trio has never been equivocal. When the pianist presented a...

Obituary: Lyle Mays

Keyboard master, composer, founding member of the Pat Metheny Group and self-taught architect, Lyle Mays died in Los Angeles on the morning of 10th February 2020 aged...

Ronnie Scott’s 1959-69: Photographs By Freddy Warren

Facing a photograph of the saxophonist at the time of his most podgy and physically unattractive period is a quote from Ronnie...

Hagood happening

Your review of Herbie Mann: At The Village Gate asks of Hagood Hardy "whatever happened to him?" Hagood died from non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 1997 (the year after I was...

JJ 01/90: Steps Ahead – N.Y.C.

If memory serves, this group was sold as the 'new' Steps Ahead when it visited Britain last year. The newness subsists mainly in the personnel, which has changed almost entirely since the mid-eighties. In fact, the only constant is Mike Mainieri, who founded the band in the early 1980s. Its peak was probably around 1984, when Erskine, Brecker and Gomez were in the group. After that it went through a grimly electronic and sequ­enced phase, but now seems to be moving once again towards real-time playing. There's little of substantial novelty in the music, however. An enduring characteristic is Mainieri's marimba-like quasi-African ostinati, which are at best monotonous. A brilliant vibe soloist, he gets his turn here but never stands out as he did on the 1982 Steps Ahead (Elektra Musi­cian 96 01681). The most striking soloist is the young Scandinavian who simply calls himself Bendik. Not surpris­ingly he often uses the penetrat­ing folky timbres popularised by Jan Garbarek, but, perhaps aware of the band's history, also does a good line...

Julie London: Five Classic Albums

The widely recorded London (1926-2000) was accorded an appreciative paragraph in the first edition of Leonard Feather's Encyclopedia Of Jazz, where she...

Motherless Brooklyn

Actor Edward Norton secured the rights to Jonathan Lethern’s best-selling novel Motherless Brooklyn on publication in 1999. Exactly 20 years later he...

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Green Book

Fifty-six years after LBJ officially ended racial discrimination in the USA with the pen-stroke that signed the Civil Rights Act, the years...