Author Archives

Idler

  • Recent ***** CD reviews II

    Maria Schneider – Skyblue (Artists Share)*****The composer and orchestra leader Maria Schneider worked as a girl alongside the celebrated Miles Davis collaborator and revolutionary orchestrater Gil Evans. She is in a long line of bandleaders from Ellington to Carla Bley… Read More ›

  • M&M’s missing ingredient

    Metheny Mehldau QuartetSymphony Hall***The big-haired guitarist plays expansive wide-open spaces music, the pianist introspective, dark city stuff. Both play quite a lot of notes, and the two instruments are not the easiest of bedfellows. So it shouldn’t work, but for… Read More ›

  • RECENT ***** CD REVIEWS

    Kurt Elling – Nightmoves (Concord)***** You’d be hard pressed to find a more complete jazz singer than Kurt Elling. He handles the standards with grace and aplomb, mixes them in with more modern material and as a lyricist and master… Read More ›

  • WHEN ECM TOUCHED MY HORIZON

    It’s Easter, the jazz scene is relatively quiet and you might have some time off work.May I therefore share with you how I intend to spend this week because I think you could do a lot worse than emulate it.I… Read More ›

  • CONCERT REVIEW: ED JOHNSTON

    ****Birmingham Conservatoire’s jazz students (and their teachers) were out in force for this gig at the mac (Midlands Arts Centre), something of a milestone as it featured a Birmingham Jazz commission from a young musician who was one of the… Read More ›

  • CONCERT REVIEW: SOREN NORBO TRIO

    **** The audience arrived at the CBSO Centre in Birmingham, England, already fans of Django Bates. I think it’s a safe to assume they left fans of Denmark’s Soren Norbo Trio, too.It was clear from the first tune, Tu-Whoo –… Read More ›

  • JAZZ AS A COMMUNITY MOTIVATOR

    Soweto Kinch is not only making waves in the jazz community, he’s a force for good and change in the community as a whole.In an interview with Nick Booth for the Grassroots Channel, a podcast which highlights the driving forces… Read More ›

  • JANUARY GIG OF THE MONTH + CDs

    JULIAN SIEGEL TRIOCBSO Centre, Birmingham, England ***** Intimacy was the watchword here – both physically and musically. The band – Julian Siegel on tenor saxophone and clarinets, Joey Baron on drums and Greg Cohen on double bass – was set… Read More ›

  • THE BEST OF 2006

    In most years there are players that shine, gigs that are memorable, CDs that are favourites, trends that develop and look like they might show the way forward, venues that have that special magic, and home-bred stars that really make… Read More ›

  • UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL

    I’ve just returned from my first ever trip to New York and the highlight was a visit to the legendary Greenwich Village jazz club, The Village Vanguard.I had been listening to recordings made in the Vanguard for years, from Sonny… Read More ›

  • CREATIVE ANGLO-US RELATIONS

    Liam Noble Quartet/Julian Arguelles Trio Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham, UK Two UK bandleaders shared the same US rhythm team for this concert. First up was pianist Liam Noble. His compositions are rhythmically complex and have a witty darkness to them…. Read More ›

  • THE ICE QUEENS COMETH

    In the e-fuelled club world of the 1990s there was some optimum speed for the music, measured in beats per minute. Drop below that and the crowd would just not be interested. In Scandinavia the same might have been true,… Read More ›

  • CD OF THE WEEK

    Soweto Kinch – A Life in the Day of B19: Tales of the Tower Block (Dune DUNECD014) FIVE STARS It’s been tried before, the logical step of mixing up the black American street music of the middle of the 20th… Read More ›