Jazz, August 2020

To The Earth
Edition Records EDN1154; LP: EDNLP1154

It's ten years since trumpeter and composer Laura Jurd teamed up with pianist Elliott Galvin, bassist Conor Chaplin and drummer Corrie Dick, all wonderful players. They all also appeared alongside the Ligeti Quartet and Ben Davis on Landing Ground in 2012 and in the Chaos Orchestra big-band project. Here the Dinosaur quartet sounds more acoustic than on 2018's synth-heavy Wonder Trail, creating an inviting and richly-textured sound world with only gentle electronic assistance. The one cover is a striking take on Strayhorn's 'Absinthe', and Jurd's pieces are great, from the sprightly, optimistic title piece to the Monk-tinged crawl of 'Slow Loris' or her flowing 'To The Water'. And her own playing is fabulous. SH


George Colligan Trio
Live In Arklow
Ubuntu Music UBU0055

New Jersey-born George Colligan majored in classical trumpet before starting as a jazz pianist. He's been recording steadily as a leader since 1995, and formed the trio heard here for the 2018 Bray Festival. US-based Irish drummer Darren Beckett is an old colleague, David Redmond a leading bassist on the Irish scene and, with a happy audience and a lively church acoustic, they deliver a great performance, varied and accessible. Kicking off with Freddie Hubbard's 'Up Jumped Spring', they move to fast Latin with Bossa pioneer Carlos Lyra's 'Influence Of Jazz', while Colligan's originals culminate with the fastest, 'Usain', sprinting to a world-class finish. SH


Avishai Cohen
Big Vicious
ECM 0836025; LP: 0860630

Something very different from the trumpeter's elegant 2019 duo album with pianist Yonathan Avishai, Playing The Room. Cohen formed Big Vicious in Israel six years ago after relocating back to his homeland from the USA, choosing musicians who'd blend rock, electronica and more. They are guitarist Uzi Ramirez, Yonathan Albalak on guitar and bass, Aviv Cohen on drums and Ziv Ravitz, drums and live sampling. 'We're all coming from jazz, but some of us left it earlier', says Cohen. So you get a cover of Massive Attack's 'Teardrop' and even a dip into Beethoven's 'Moonlight Sonata', but it's on other tracks that Cohen's Milesian trumpet shines more alluringly. SH


Jimmy Greene
While Looking Up
Mack Avenue MAC1154

Beautiful Life and its follow-up Flowers: Beautiful Life Vol 2 memorialised the daughter Greene so tragically lost in the Sandy Hook school shooting, with contributions from a host of guest stars. But now Greene has reunited with two cohorts from his earlier Mission Statement. Norwegian guitar star Lage Lund weaves wonderful tracery around Greene's latest crop of tunes, while bassist Reuben Rogers is featured especially when the group strips down to a trio for a sombrely effective 'Good Morning Heartache'. Pianist is Aaron Goldberg, and on drums is the great Kendrick Scott, while vibes master Stefon Harris guests on two tracks. Uplifting. SH