Jazz, March 2019

Reflections & Odysseys
Jazzland Recordings Norway 3779206 (two LPs: 3779207)

Pianist, producer, electronica whiz and Jazzland label founder Bugge Wesseltoft has recently been returning to jazz piano, even recording a solo album. And Rymden, with former e.s.t. bassist Dan Berglund and drummer Magnus Öström, is a trio at the highest possible level, displaying sheer mastery of structure and dynamics to build breath-holding climaxes and stunning effects. Then comes a track like 'Pitter-Patter' (gutsier than you'd think from that title), the trio playing as one in a fantastic funky groove while Wesseltoft revels in the sound of the Rhodes and makes it sing. No one could forget e.s.t. and the late Esbjörn Svensson, but this new super-trio sounds as if it was always meant to be. SH


Eric Dolphy
Musical Prophet: The Expanded 1963 New York Studio Sessions
Resonance Records HCD2035 (three discs; mono)

Saxophonist Eric Dolphy died tragically in a diabetic coma in 1964, a few months after making his best-known album, Out To Lunch on Blue Note. But in 1963 he'd recorded sessions with Alan Douglas, later known for the posthumous Jimi Hendrix albums, but then a noted jazz producer. Now, Resonance has accessed a cache of previously unheard mono tapes and worked with the Eric Dolphy Trust in LA to produce this definitive issue. Along with the Conversations and Iron Man album material, you get a complete disc of unreleased alternate takes and an absorbing 96-page booklet. It's a superb package. SH


Emile Parisien Quartet
Double Screening
ACT Music 9879-2

As title and artwork imply, the French soprano sax virtuoso and his very fine quartet have focused here on tech and cyber issues, so the title track comes in two editions, one slow and menacing, the other fast and frenetic. 'Malware Invasion' is a brilliant evocation, manic runaway chaos alternating with sudden stops, in a great composition by pianist Julien Touéry. Parisien's 'Spam 1' departs from normality with an insidious background hum, and later you hear 'Spam 3' then '2', from bassist Iva Gélugne and drummer Julien Loutelier. In the midst of all this, though, is the oasis of Touéry's beautiful 'Élégie Pour Carte Mère'. Compelling. SH


Andrew Cyrille, Wadada Leo Smith, Bill Frisell
ECM 677 5528 (LP: 770 5563)

Guitarist Bill Frisell appeared on drummer Andrew Cyrille's 2016 album A Declaration Of Musical Independence and producer Sun Chung then suggested this unusual trio. Wadada Leo Smith had played with Cyrille in the 1970s and '90s, and although this was the first time the trumpeter had worked with Frisell, the combination has magic. Smith made his own ECM debut with Divine Love in 1978, and here he's monumental, authoritative and compelling, while Frisell intertwines skilfully with his lines or creates moody metal landscapes around them. Cyrille never dominates from the drums but makes everything flow. SH