Friday, January 22, 2016

Recently Listening: A bunch of Mike Nock

There was plenty of Mike Nock on the apartment airways during 2015 and I’m only just starting to catch up on things now. It was exciting to stumble upon reissues of The 3 Out at Dusty Groove a couple of months ago (they are available on vinyl too). 
Move was recorded in 1960 shortly after Mike Nock (p) Freddy Logan (b) Chris Karan (d) formed The 3 Out. The focus here is on standard tunes (there are 3 originals – 2 from Logan and a slow blues credited to the trio).

The trio’s follow up, Sittin’ In, is split in two. The first side features the trio and the second half of the album is augmented with Erroll Buddle (ts) Don Burrows (as/bs) Ron Falson and Colin Jones (trpt) and features four original tunes (one each from Burrows, Nock, Falson and Logan).

I remember hearing Mike mention that this is the group people ask him about the most. Perhaps now that Move and Sittin’ In are more easily available the questions will ease up. These two albums are essential listening for Nock fans and those interested in the rise of modern jazz in Australasia. Now we just need reissues of The Fourth Way.

Another nice surprise from Dusty Groove was a Japanese reissue of Piano Solos (Timeless). Recorded in NYC in September 1978, this solo outing provides plenty of variety in tempo and mood.

Piano SolosRecorded during a fertile period for Nock - In Out and Around, Talisman, The Opal Heart, Climbing and Ondas are all from this era - Piano Solos has been on regular rotation of late. “Break Time” stood out on my first couple of listens and there will be some interesting follow-up listening. “Break Time” and “Jacanori” appear other Nock albums, and “Fallen Angel” alludes to “Forgotten Love” - from In Out and Around (recorded a couple of months earlier) and Ondas. Back-to-back listens of these tracks is on the cards sometime soon. Then I'll need to give Talisman another spin too, as both solo albums were recorded in 1978. 

Two-Out (FWM Records) pairs Nock with saxophonist Roger Manins for a set of eleven standards. Taking a quick look at the Nock discography, this album appears to be the first time he has recorded an album entirely devoted to standard tunes. The cover photo really captures the essence of the album - a relaxed, fun and warm meeting of friends. I can't recall hearing Manins sound so relaxed and, at times, vocal (a new dimension seems to have appeared in his tone) and it leaves me wanting to hear more..... how about a follow-up featuring Mike's tunes spanning his career?! I'm adding Two-Out to the list of his fine duo outings including The Waiting Game (with Marty Ehrlich), Duologue (with David Liebman), Open Door (with Frank Gibson Jr.), Kindred (with Laurenz Pike)... more on the latter, later.

Mike's albums on FWM Records are available via Bandcamp.

No comments: