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 New Release Round-up, Jazz New Release Round-Up - 22nd November, 2019

Some of the new releases that I've been enjoying this week include saxophonist James Carter's funky debut for Blue Note, a grand meeting of jazz's cutting edge with the Dopolarians, an album recorded in Istanbul by pianist Burak Bedikyan just before he left for New York; a vinyl-only, rare-as-hens'-teeth 1980 album from Lagos-based bandleader Shina Williams, and, on the electronica side of life, Warp's reissue of Boards of Canada's classic Peel Session. Also, we find Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers in top form live at Birdland in 1960, and Brighton-based multi-instrumentalist Marcus Hamblett delivers his inviting second album, mixing jazz, folk, electronica and post-rock to winning effect.

James Carter Organ Trio

The Blue Note debut for ace saxophonist James Carter, appearing here with his smokin' organ trio. Live From Newport Jazz is his first new release since 2011, and finds him and the group in excellent form. Carter has an appealing R&B-infused style and he’s ideally suited to the louche environs of the organ trio, in a performance clearly being enjoyed by an appreciative Newport crowd.

Available Format: CD

Dopolarians

A mighty meeting of some of the legends of avant-garde jazz with an adventurous younger generation of improvisers from the southern United States. There are proper tuneful melodies behind the ruckus on Garden Party, and the line-up will appeal to anyone with a taste for experimentation: the late Alvin Fielder (percussion), Kidd Jordan (tenor saxophone), William Parker (bass), Christopher Parker (piano), Kelley Hurt (voice) and Chad Fowler (alto saxophone & saxello). Sadly, this session was the last date Alvin Fielder would make as he fell ill in late 2018 and passed away on 5th January 2019. A founding member of the AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians), Alvin was an acclaimed drummer and educator and is an inspiration to generations of jazz musicians.

Available Format: CD

Burak Bedikyan

Burak Bedikyan is a Turkish-born Armenian pianist/composer, who left his homeland in 2017 to become a permanent part of New York's jazz scene. Bedikyan recorded this album just before he made the move, with his Istanbul-based group including drummer Can Kozlu, one of his teachers from Istanbul Bilgi University. Here is a unique group of musicians with diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds, presenting daring, exciting improvisational music.

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC

Shina Williams & His African Percussions

This is the first official reissue of a hidden gem of an album by Lagos-based bandleader Shina Williams, best known for his album Agboju Logun - a ground-breaking fusion of afrobeat, electronics, boogie and disco first released on Phonodisk in 1979, which has become something of a cult collector's item. This self-titled album was its follow-up, and quite why it has fallen off the radar is something of a mystery as it diverts into deeper, hypnotic, afro-beat territory that will appeal to fans of modern-day bands like BCUC. Though listed as a six-track album, each side (comprising three tracks) is built upon one continuous groove with call-and-response female and male vocals, and instrumental solos coming and going as each side progresses. The results are raw, hypnotic, locked-in grooves, which sit perfectly on forward-thinking contemporary dance-floors. Official Mr Bongo reissue. Replica original artwork, and LP only at present.

Available Format: Vinyl Record

Boards of Canada

It's not unusual to read interviews where modern jazz artists list electronic acts like Aphex Twin, Squarepusher and Boards of Canada as influences, all of whom recorded for Warp Records, a label started in Sheffield in the early nineties. Warp eventually relocated to London and became not only one of the key electronica labels, but also a cutting-edge film production company. Warp are releasing a series of historic sessions recorded for John Peel’s show on Radio 1, and this set from Boards of Canada shows the band in peak form, creating the surreal, pastoral electronica that defined them.

Available Format: Vinyl Record

Marcus Hamblett

Multi-instrumentalist Marcus Hamblett's second album is a real mash-up of genres, with elements of electronic music, jazz, post-rock and modern composition. Hamblett has an impressive CV, working with Villagers, James Holden & The Animal Spirits, This is the Kit, Fear of Men, Laura Marling, The Staves, Lucy Rose and Broken Social Scene, among others. Kate Stables of This is the Kit makes an impressive appearance on Lost at Sea, and James Holden (with whom Hamblett plays in his band, The Animal Spirits) also makes a memorable contribution.

Available Format: CD

A two-volume live album recorded on 14th September 1960 at Birdland, New York City, this sees the legendary Jazz Messengers band in top form, during the period when Wayne Shorter was rapidly becoming the hottest tenor in town (and still a few years away from joining Miles Davis). Also features Lee Morgan (trumpet), Bobby Timmons (piano) and Jymie Merritt (bass).

Available Format: Vinyl Record

Volume 2 of this legendary date.

Available Format: Vinyl Record