Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Music for Commuting: Jonathan Crayford and Jean-Paul Celea

Ornette Coleman; Jonathan Crayford
A couple of albums keeping me company as I roll through the farmland each morning and evening. Jonathan Crayford’s Dark Light will eventually get the NZ Jazz post treatment, as it deserves more than a passing mention. As does Yes Ornette!, from the trio led by bassist Jean-Paul Celea. This one was of interest on a few fronts: I’m into Ornette and this album features his compositions including many he did’t record. Plus, featured throughout is the soprano sax of Emile Parisien, a player I hadn’t heard before. I’ve been listening to a bit of Ornette played by others lately so expect to see more Ornette-oriented albums getting a mention here soon.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Arthur Street Loft Orchestra - Mark Lockett

Monday night at The Third Eye is big band night with the Arthur Street Loft Orchestra. The band shifts personnel each week and features the music of a local composer. This past Monday, drummer Mark Lockett provided the tunes (mostly from his trio album Sneaking Out After Midnight) which were arranged by Lucien Johnson for the pretty standard lineup of 5 saxes, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones and rhythm. I was surprised to learn that this was Mark's first ever big band gig. And maybe that's what I liked most about his playing... he didn't seem like a big band drummer (that chops-driven, bombastic, big band drumming cliche has never really appealed to me). Due the pick-up nature of the band, things tend to be a little underrehearsed, but it really didn't matter at all, as the feeling projected by the band overpowered any inefficiencies. In fact, it was the most fun I've seen and felt exuding from the bandstand in quite some time. It's catchy too, as the crowd really got on board with the good vibes. Jake Baxendale is doing a great job putting together this series, get along and check it out.
New Zealand Jazz
Mark Lockett featured with the Arthur Street Loft Orchestra

Saturday, November 17, 2018

The Melancholy Babes at Snails

I forgot to post a photo of The Melancholy Babes gig. Snails in Palmerston North was the third stop (of five) on the trio’s North Island tour supporting the release of their fourth album, Shingles.  It was nice timing to hear Jeff live, having just spent the previous month digging into The Triplets Book. I picked up a copy of Shingles, so eventually I might get around to adding that to the NZ Jazz posts.
New Zealand Jazz; The Melancholy Babes
The Melancholy Babes (L-R) Jeff Henderson, Anthony Donaldson, Tom Callwood

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Music for Commuting: C.L Bob and Steve Lacy

A couple of discs doing the rounds recently -  C. L. Bob’s Stereoscope and Steve Lacy’s Wordless. After many years apart I’m reacquainting myself with the former, which will eventually make its way into a NZ Jazz post. The latter is the earliest example I have of Lacy’s "Tao Suite" (and it features an early incarnation of the quintet) which makes for fascinating listening. I need to check his discography to find out if an earlier version of the complete suite exists. And a listening session last night, I spun the opening of the suite, "Existence," from his solo album Remains (highly recommended) and it opened up some very good discussion.
C L Bob Steve Lacy