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 New Release Round-up, Jazz New Release Round-Up - 6th September 2019

This week I have been very impressed with the quality of two Odin releases, Gard Nilssen Acoustic Unity's To Whom Who Buys A Record (great title) and the Espen Berg Trio's Free Play, both reflecting what a hotbed of jazz talent the label is becoming. I also enjoyed the refitted Miles Davis album Rubber Band and live recordings of Marion Brown in the mid-sixites.

Gard Nilssen's Acoustic Unity

This is a blast – drummer Gard Nilssen, bassist Petter Eldh and saxophonist André Roligheten are clearly loving every moment of this record. It’s worth reading the description on the product page too… it describes the dichotomy between Sonny Rollins and Albert Ayler’s respective approaches to the saxophone led trio, Rollins the supreme ‘star’ melodicist who’s not really interested in interacting, as opposed to Ayler the brutalist team player. Not sure I agree with that hypothesis, and this set veers more towards Rollins than Ayler, but what I am really enjoying about the playing is how fresh it sounds – Roligheten’s alto ideas come fast and furious, but always on point. I feel the urge to pontificate on this at greater length next week! In the meantime give it a go.

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Espen Berg Trio

And another winner from Odin, Espen Berg Trio’s Free to Play is that rarity, a piano trio that doesn’t induce narcolepsy. A broad range of emotions are covered here, with some spooky sections that see piano and bass doubling the melodies.

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC

Miles Davis

Not being a big fan of eighties era Miles (I always imagine its super clean and processed funk soundtracking that moment in films from the period where the main character steps out of a limo into the ‘crazy’ streets of New York), I approached this revitalised version of unissued sessions from 1985 with some trepidation, but it’s actually rather palatable. I’m not sure if this is more due to the work of original producers Hall and Giles, who along with Davis’ nephew, Vince Wilburn, Jr. (who played drums on the original recording) have overdubbed and updated the sound, but it sounds much less creaky than I had feared. It's no On the Corner, but it has plenty going for it.

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Something of an over-looked artist in the sixties (in comparison to the likes of Archie Shepp and Pharoah Sanders), perhaps as he often played in a more sensitive and understated manner (although was fully capable of delivering the skronk when required – he does appear on Ascension after all), Marion Brown's music is ripe for reappraisal. These live recordings with Alan Shorter from 1965/66 are a timely reminder of how great a talent Brown was.

Available Format: CD