Jazz, September 2019

hfnalbum.pngJoel Ross
Blue Note 7755528

In its 80th year, Blue Note is digging as deeply as ever into its much-mined archives. But the label tirelessly promotes new young jazz talent too and here vibraphonist Joel Ross, already heard with pianist James Francies, makes his debut as leader. Ross, still only 23, was fortunate enough to meet and learn from the late vibes legend Bobby Hutcherson while a student. For his own album, he chose bassist Harish Raghavan as producer and brought in his own Good Vibes band, with alto saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins, pianist Jeremy Corren, bassist Benjamin Tiberio and drummer Jeremy Dutton. They complement Ross's abundant technique and harmonic mastery with real energy and drive. SH


Alan Barnes
Alan Barnes + Eleven
Woodville Records WVCD151

Here the prolific British saxophonist indulges in a 60th birthday celebration that looks back to the great jazz albums of his birth year, particularly Art Pepper + 11. Trombonist Mark Nightingale wrote the arrangements for Barnes's specially convened 12-piece band, on tunes ranging from 'Take Five' to Monk's 'Little Rootie Tootie'. Barnes is heard on clarinet and baritone as well as alto sax, but all nine horn players get solo space as well as zipping through Nightingale's demanding charts – with an attractive immediacy, as the music was recorded live in a hall rather than in a studio. And Horace Silver's 'Blowin' The Blues Away' makes a romping finale. SH


Andrew Mccormack
Graviton: The Calling
Ubuntu Music UBU0025

It was in 2006 that pianist Andrew McCormack emerged fully-fledged as a solo artist with Telescope. Since then he's toured extensively with Kyle Eastwood while finding time for many other projects, including his own genre-bending Graviton. For their eponymous 2017 debut, the band notably included Shabaka Hutchings, with vocals by Eska. But Graviton's second, hardly less, stellar lineup features Josh Arcoleo, tenor sax, while Noemi Nuti (on harp last time) provides lyrics and sings them. Inspired by ancient creation myths, McCormack's eclectic music follows 'the classic hero's journey' from chaos through confrontation to final calm. SH


Wes Montgomery
Back On Indiana Avenue: The Carroll
DeCamp Recordings
Resonance Records HCD-2036 (two discs; mono)

A sixth tranche of previously unheard recordings of the great guitarist, mainly from the '50s. Some tracks on preceding Resonance issues came from the late pianist/arranger Carroll DeCamp, but this wasn't known then, so now Resonance's Zev Feldman fulfils a promise to credit DeCamp in full. Dates and personnel are unknown, but there are Nat Cole-style trio numbers, organ trios and a sextet with horns. You get Wes's well-known pieces such as 'Four On Six', 'West Coast Blues' and 'Jingles', jazz standards like 'Whisper Not' and even 'So What', and other favourites like 'The End Of A Love Affair'. SH