Jazz, October 2022

hfnalbum.pngJoey Alexander
Mack Avenue MAC1198; LP: MAC1198LP (two discs)

Making his international debut aged 11 in 2014, the young Balinese pianist was championed by Herbie Hancock and Wynton Marsalis, going on to play Carnegie Hall, The Newport Jazz Festival and The White House. Now comes his sixth album, all original music themed on the seasons and thoughts of the future. As with 2020's Warna, it features bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Kendrick Scott. But this is more than a trio album as there are contributions from guitarist Gilad Hekselman and saxophonist Chris Potter, who offers a sensitive and beautiful solo in 'On The Horizon'. Both guests return for the crisp and energetic 'Winter Blues', Alexander sparkling at the Rhodes. It's more like winter sunshine. SH


Chet Baker Trio
Live In Paris: The Radio France Recordings 1983-1984
Elemental Music 5990442 (two CDs); LP: 5990541 (three discs)

There's no shortage of live recordings from the trumpeter's last years in Europe. He's to be heard elsewhere on a 1983 Paris date with Duke Jordan. But on the two sessions here, the pianist is Baker's usual French accompanist Michel Graillier. Though the June 1983 set has its moments, only a real Chet casualty could enjoy the vocals. Much better is the February 1984 gig, in a more intimate venue with the lively Riccardo Del Fra replacing Dominique Lemerle on bass. Baker's playing keeps you listening from his own 'Funk In Deep Freeze' through to the final track, 'Walkin'', and the package offers enough essays and interviews to keep you reading to the end too. SH


Charles Lloyd
Trios: Chapel
Blue Note 4526649; LP: 4526650

First in a 'Trio of Trios' each with different personnels, this is named for the venue where the players first came together. In 2018, Lloyd invited Bill Frisell, recently a member of his group The Marvels, to play a special concert at the Coates Chapel, San Antonio. The acoustic wasn't suitable for drums so he suggested Frisell's duo partner, the bassist Thomas Morgan. Frisell's penchant for embracing country, pop and other music happily matches Lloyd's lifelong eclecticism, but this is not foot-tapping music. In his late 80s, Lloyd's playing is still inventive while reaching new levels of serenity. He can't go on for ever but sometimes it seems that he might. SH


Justin Thurgur
Many Faces
Funkiwala FWCD008

When not playing in the brass-infused folk band Bellowhead, London trombonist Justin Thurgur has figured in many Afro-Cuban and Latin projects. Here, with pianist and Funkiwala label partner Kishon Kahn plus the Many Faces of the title (18 musicians credited) he's brought everything together in this 'global jazz' album. The opening 'Be A Little Wiser' starts as a funk-pop ditty sung by Sahra Gure, then becomes a long instrumental groove. Later we hear piano from Afrobeat star Deli Sosimi and some great playing by session guitarist Phil Dawson and trumpeter Graeme Flowers, as well as Thurgar's muscular solos. Joyous, danceable, rhythmically irresistible. SH