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 New Release Round-up, Jazz New Release Round-Up - 25 October 2019

Wow, there are some amazing releases out this week. It's a great time to be a jazz listener, as not only is there a bewildering array of new talent to enjoy, like the Niko Leopold Quartet, Alison Rayner Quartet and Scott Kinsey's Joe Zawinul tribute, but also some major rediscoveries, such as the Charles Lloyd Quartet at the Montreux Festival in 1967, enjoying its first ever airing this week. The Bad Plus also make their Edition Records debut, twenty years into the game, with a wonderfully considered album.

ARQ (Alison Rayner Quintet)

This is the third album from the Alison Rayner Quintet, ARQ, and on this evidence I’ll certainly be checking out the previous ones. It’s got an appealingly clean cut sound, based on Rayner’s catchy compositions, performed with wit and panache by the group (nice to see the girls outnumbering the boys for a change). Croajingolong Bushwalk is a good taster for their more quirky side – I was impressed with the way Deirdre Cartwright’s scratchy guitar strums, emphasising the metallic sounds of the wound strings, seemed to transfer to the piano parts later on. Charming, and utterly British, these musicians are a generation older than the current new-kids-on-the-block down in London, but can match them all the way for new ideas and energy.

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

ARQ (Alison Rayner Quintet)

Also available on vinyl.

Available Format: 2 Vinyl Records

The Bad Plus

The second album from The Bad Plus to feature pianist Orrin Evans, who joined the trio back in 2018, this is a consistently rewarding listen, with the interplay between all three members really something to behold. Reid Anderson (bass) and Dave King (drums) featured alongside Craig Taborn in Golden Valley is Now (whose debut album was a recent Recording of the Week), and they bring the same vitality here – King is especially attentive to Evan’s melodic flights of fancy. As a primer try The Red Door and have a quiet dance to yourself.

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

Something of an historic concert this, coming from the first ever Montreux Jazz Festival. Charles Lloyd is joined by Keith Jarrett, Ron McClure and Jack DeJohnette who proceed to whip him into a frenzy throughout. It is incredible that this brilliant concert has never been released until now, but along with other finds, like the Tubby Hayes lost sessions also released recently, this is clearly a golden age for retrospective jazz discoveries. A great introduction to Lloyd’s energetic style - and who would have guessed back then that Jarrett and DeJohnette would form (with Gary Peacock) one of the longest running and highly acclaimed trios in jazz.

Available Format: 2 CDs

Niko Leopold Quartet

There’s a pleasing grandeur to this album from the Niko Leopold Quartet, and an immediacy that leaps out of the speakers. Sample the title track, which rolls and surges through numerous sections, the core group of Chris Kronreif (soprano and tenor saxophone, bass clarinet), Leopold (piano, cello), Judith Ferstl (bass) and Jakob Sigl (drums) really pay attention to each other whilst not being afraid to make big statements. A tight rhythm section always helps and Ferstl and Sigl really do get into some sweet grooves on this thing. Special guests include Bastian Stein (trumpet, flugelhorn), Alois Eberl (trombone), and Jörg Ulrich Krah (cello).

Available Format: CD

Scott Kinsey

Finally, a tribute from one keyboard shredder to another, Scott Kinsey’s nod to Joe Zawinul. Taking six tunes from across Zawinul’s career, plus one by Wayne Shorter and a couple of originals, this is like finally taking a refurbished Delorean that’s been in the workshop for ages out for a spin. Hadrien Feraud’s bass almost outdoes Pastorius in terms of wilful self-pleasuring, and the whole band obviously had tons of naughty fun coming up with this. Try Where the Moon Goes for unadulterated vocoder excess, and listen out for the weird coda.

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