Off Minor

Musings of a Jazz geek

Soweto Kinch – A life in the Day of B19: Tales of the Tower Block

Posted October 12, 2006

Soweto Kinch - A life in the Day of B19

Ok, I won’t shy from it, I really do think Soweto Kinch is the most exciting thing to hit the mainstream of British jazz, to my mind, for at least the last six and a half years… (!) Ok, he’s probably not technically the best sax player in the world, he might not have the most imaginative lines in the universe and, yes, he has played the same set list for seemingly the last two years straight (at least, it seemed to be pretty much identical both times I caught him at the Coventry jazz festival in 2004 and ’06). However, I really don’t know of any band so truly vibrant and care-free, with such an over-riding sense of fun and humour… It’s like Soweto Kinch is in his own perfect world, and there’s nothing else really coming anywhere close. In the MainStream there’s the Oxbridge-style of F-ire collective outfits, the Leicester University-set of Arts Council wannabes, and then Soweto Kinch, whose band sounds like a well-matured student outfit, formed in the performing arts department of Wolverhampton Polytechnic (to point out that Kinch is actually himself a product of Oxbridge — having graduated from Oxford with a degree in Modern History — is to slightly miss the point).

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EST – Tuesday Wonderland

Posted October 6, 2006

EST - Tuesday Wonderland

Managed to get hold of the Esbjorn Svensson Trio’s new release, Tuesday Wonderland, this morning.

Jez Nelson had got Svensson in for a Jazz on 3 interview just over a weeks ago (22/9/06) in which he (that is, Jez) actually managed to lay into the band pretty well (that is, for a jazz interview), generally decrying the insipid monotony of their recent album releases and the total, unflinching lack of musical development, risk-taking, adventure and experimentation that had apparently come to define their very existance both on record and in live performance, to date. (“Jazz Groundhog Day” was the exact term used.) I can’t quite make out Jon3’s true opinion of the trio; Jez’s commentary seems to like to cream itself pretty well whenever it gets the chance to discuss the band (they’re on tour, again!), although I do seem to remember him grumbling over Viaticum (and, yet, still playing plenty of tracks and dismissing his dismissal as mere uncertainty that would surely right itself, just as soon as he’d been able to listen to it hard enough…).

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Pure Fire! – A Gilles Peterson Impulse! Collection

Posted October 3, 2006

Pure Fire!

Forgot that this was supposed to be out… I think this is a tie-in with all the House that Trane Built compilations that have been coming out recently to celebrate 45 years of Impulse records (or, at least, the fact that someone’s published a book about it). I thought that this would be cheaper than the full box set…

The Blessing Song Michael White
Never heard of Michael White before… Should I have? Pretty good, like something off Archie Shepp’s Attica Blues, only more Gilles Peterson-y.

Enchanted Lady Milt Jackson and Ray Brown
This is just so, so chilled… Have heard this before, but don’t know where. Probably on Gilles’ BBC Radio 1 show… Great highlight, almost worth the cover price alone…

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