Jazz, August 2021

hfnalbum.pngDan Wilson
Vessels Of Wood And Earth
Brother Mister Productions BRO4001

From Akron, Ohio, guitarist Dan Wilson drew attention recently with his jaw-dropping technique on tour with Van Morrison and Joey DeFrancesco. He'd already self-published two albums, but now a varied, accessible new album marks his debut for Christian McBride's Brother Mister imprint. With pianist Christian Sands, bassist Marco Panascia and drummer Jeff 'Tain' Waits, he kicks off an opener called 'The Rhythm Section' at a furious pace. Things calm down as he caresses Stevie Wonder's 'Bird Of Beauty' before we get to some gutsy vocals from Joy Brown, and finally, Wilson displays all his versatility and charm in a pair of off-the-cuff duets with bassist/producer McBride. The jaunty 'Born To Lose' is a winner. SH


Kurt Edelhagen & His Orchestra
The Unreleased WDR Jazz Recordings 1957-1974
Jazzline Classics D77091 (three discs; also 3LP)

German bandleader Kurt Edelhagen (1920-1982) had to do all kinds of music 'with discipline and precision', but as you'll hear on these 40 unreleased tracks from the Cologne broadcast studio archive, he and his superb orchestra loved to play big-band jazz. For much of the 1957-74 period the lineup included British jazz stars Jimmy Deuchar on trumpet and Derek Humble on alto sax, as well as the great Jamaican-born tenor player Wilton Gaynair, while a galaxy of visiting soloists appear here too. And it's fascinating to hear the orchestra responding to the changing scene from be-bop to jazz funk, even a wah-wah guitar creeping in by the end. A treasure trove. SH


Chris Potter Circuits Trio
Sunrise Reprise
Edition Records EDN1171; LP: EDNLP1171

Potter's 2019 Circuits marked a fusion-inspired change of direction for the celebrated saxophonist, who said he'd been 'itching to get back to grooveland'. Which is exactly what he did, in the company of top-of-the-tree drummer Eric Harland, outstanding young pianist James Francies and great electric bassist Linley Marthe. This time, given a brief chance to come together again between periods of lockdown restriction, Potter, Francies and Harland were more than itching to play and the result was a fantastic high-energy session. Building structures over wonderful keyboard bass lines that make up for the absence of Marthe, Francies astounds. SH


Sons Of Kemet
Black To The Future
Impulse! 3562232 [CD], 3562166 [LP]

Shabaka Hutchings' last release, in March 2020, was We Are Sent Here By History with his South African group The Ancestors. But this new album from the saxophonist's UK project was mainly recorded before that, in May 2019. Drawing on contemporary black music rather than jazz influences, it adds many voices to the core group of sax, tuba and two drummers, including British rapper/spoken-word artist Kojey Radical and grime MC D Double E, and Americans Moor Mother and Angel Bat Dawid. From the opening 'Field Negus' to the final summation 'Black' (both with lyrics by poet and long-time SOK collaborator Joshua Idehen) it's a powerfully-themed journey. SH