Jazz, February 2023

hfnalbum.pngRichard Galliano New York Tango Trio
Cully 2022
TCB Records TCB 02472

Other albums in this long series look far back into the Swiss radio archives; this one dates only from April '22, when the Cully Jazz festival made a joyful return after the pandemic, but it still has a classic quality. Galliano, the supreme accordionist for decades, leads his trio 'jazzistically', as he puts it, through the worlds of tango and French musette. His virtuosic improvisations are often breathtaking yet precise, elegant and somehow to the point, as when he follows his own often-recorded character piece 'Chat Pître' with Misraki's wistful 1950s film theme 'Chiens perdus sans collier'. At the end, he has his enchanted audience singing along with Serge Gainsbourg's 'La Javanaise'. A great concert. SH


Bill Frisell
Blue Note 4552313; LP: 4552315 (two discs)

After countless recordings on many other labels, the celebrated guitarist made his first Blue Note album with his cello-and-vocal Harmony quartet (2019), returning to a guitar/bass/drums trio for Valentine (2020). But this time he took three trusted colleagues from earlier projects into the studio with only sketches of the music to be played, and came out with an album of cohesive, absorbing music. 'Pioneers' has Frisell typically evoking old times and open spaces with churchy harmonies, saxophonist Tardy chiming in perfectly, the result uplifting. And Clayton's piano solo 'Always' is spare and beautiful, each note dropping into place like a jewel. SH


Emmet Cohen
Uptown In Orbit
Mack Avenue MAC1195; LP: MAC1195LP (two discs)

Since the release of Future Stride in early '21, the brilliant pianist's unmissable weekly stream from his Harlem apartment has won him global recognition. Cohen draws effortlessly and engagingly on jazz styles from A to Z and from the '20s to today, and here he kicks off with Willie The Lion Smith's 'Finger Buster' as a glittering stride fragment (with 78 sonics) that switches to a modern trio workout. The multitude of great artists who've joined Cohen on 'Emmet's Place' includes trumpeter Sean Jones and altoist Patrick Bartley who are guesting here, both adding zest to the gutsy title track, Bartley almost Hodges-like on 'The Loneliest'. A must-hear. SH


Enrico Rava & Fred Hersch
The Song Is You
ECM Records 4534395; LP: 4534397

As ECM reminds us, veteran Italian trumpeter Rava has been with the label 50 years, while for American pianist Hersch this is his ECM debut. But they're a natural and appealing duo. With Rava plumbing the deepest range of his flugelhorn or skimming high, they deconstruct or rekindle half a dozen standards, ranging from the title song to Monk's 'Misterioso' and 'Round Midnight'. In between, there are attractive new versions of Hersch's 'Child's Song' (with a real Caribbean lilt) and Rava's 'The Trial' – with agile counterpoint. And the sound is magically reverberant, thanks to Manfred Eicher and his favourite venue, the Auditorio Stelio Molo RSI, Lugano. SH