Jazz, November 2019

hfnalbum.pngMiles Davis
Rhino/Warner Records 0349785078 (two LPs: 0349785077)

When Miles moved from Columbia to Warner in 1985, he began by recording these tracks with Randy Hall and Attala Zane Giles as producers. But all went unreleased until the title number appeared on a 2010 compilation, though some trumpet solos had been used for the Doo-Bop album. Then in 2017, Hall, Giles and Vince Wilburn Jr started work on the tapes, bringing in singer Ledisi and creating a 12in vinyl EP for Record Store Day 2018 – still available. Among the other tracks, Hall adds a dated-sounding vocal to 'I Love What We Make Together', originally intended for Al Jarreau, while Lalah Hathaway is more successful on 'So Emotional'; and Medina Johnson's 'Paradise' is now a single release. At last you can have it all. SH


Mark Kavuma
The Banger Factory
Ubuntu Music UBU0028

Led by the fiery London-based trumpeter and developed during a long-term residency at the Prince of Wales, Brixton, The Banger Factory is a quintet that expands to an octet, playing danceable straight-ahead jazz. Core members are bassist Michael Shrimpling and drummer Will Cleasby, who like Kavuma studied at Trinity Laban, plus father-figure tenorist Mussinghi Edwards and fleet guitarist Artie Zeitz, who both played on Kavuma's 2018 debut album. But we also hear David Mrakpor on vibes and the sleeker tenor sax of Kaidi Akinnibi; and as Kavuma says, 'there aren't really any egos in the band'. It's the feeling of the whole that makes this music so enjoyable. SH


Paul Bley Gary Peacock Paul Motian
When Will The Blues Leave
ECM 7440423

This 1999 Swiss concert recording showcases a classic trio whose members, individually and together, had long associations with ECM. Along with drummer Paul Motian, bassist Gary Peacock had already made his name with Bill Evans when he played on Bley's Ballads – which also featured, incidentally, his predecessor in the Bley trio, Mark Levinson. Bley's music is spiky, never predictable, free yet ultimately logical, and sparks constant interplay with his cohorts. Closing the set, he ends 'I Loves You Porgy' with a triumphant flourish and a zing on the inside of the piano. As fresh as if it were yesterday. SH


Veronica Swift
Mack Avenue MAC1149

Picking songs that tell stories that she can really put over, this 25-year old singer is a powerful and sensuous performer with fabulous vocal technique, backed here by two eminent pianists and their respective trios. Benny Green is on three numbers, notably 'The Other Woman', which Swift segues into from Arthur Schwartz's 'Confession' to create a standout track. Emmet Cohen is brilliant on other tunes, including a snappily updated 'I'm Hip', Swift singing 'watching Netflix with my shades on' and 'Lady Gaga knows my friend'. But then, with only Russell Hall on bass, and with a nod to Anita O'Day, Swift makes 'No, Not Much' into a touching tour de force. SH