Editor's Choice Albums: December 2019 / January 2020

Our pick of the best new releases and reissues reviewed in the December 2019 issue of Jazzwise. Featuring Chick Corea, Jan Garbarek, Krokofant, Bill Bruford, e.s.t and Charles Lloyd

Chick Corea

Trilogy 2

Concord Jazz

Chick Corea (p), Christian McBride (b) and Brian Blade (d). Rec. 2010-2016

‘How Deep Is The Ocean’ kicks the collection off with a glossy masterclass in fresh lyrical invention and canny accompaniment, an eagerly impulsive ‘Work’ and a languid ‘Crepuscule With Nellie’ celebrate Corea’s affection for Thelonious Monk (and also his partners’ adroitness at the rhythm-juggling it invites), favourite Corea originals like ‘500 Miles High’, ‘La Fiesta’ and ‘Now He Sings, Now He Sobs’ are given freewheeling makeovers, and a throbbing and increasingly urgent account of ‘All Blues’ typically develops a high-stepping, dancelike feel that distinguishes it from its brooding source. Maybe Trilogy 2 is for Chick Corea completists, but it’s premier-league spontaneous music-making for all that. John Fordham

Read the full review in the December issue

Jan Garbarek/The Hilliard Ensemble

Remember Me, My Dear

ECM 

Jan Garbarek (ss), David James (countertenor), Rogers Covey-Crump, Steven Harrold (tenors) and Gordon Jones (baritone). Rec. October 2014

Anyone who heard this combination live will regard this as a more then fitting memento of some very special concerts, and those millions who bought the earlier albums will not want to miss the chance to add this to their collections. The album, just as the farewell performances themselves did, ends with the wistful emotional punch of the 16th century Scots ‘Remember Me, My Dear’ – the closing applause a fitting tribute to a 21-year cross-genre partnership that captured hearts and minds across the world. Alyn Shipton

Read the full review in the December issue

Krokofant with Ståle Storløkken and Ingebrigt Håker Flaten

Q

Rune Grammofon

Tom Hasslan (g), Jørgen Mathisen (s), Axel Skalstad (d), Ståle Storløkken (org, ky) and Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (b). Rec. February 2019

Prog’s home now is in the fjords and oil-subsidised streets of Norway, where Rune Grammofon are gathering a growing clan of exciting, interconnected talent. The Krokofant with Ståle Storløkken and Ingebrigt Håker Flaten addition of The Thing’s bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and Nordic keyboard monarch Ståle Storløkken puts Krokofant at the phenomenon’s forefront on this fourth album. Q forms a suite of grandly anthemic motifs, stormy improv, clamouring drum tattoos and celestially suspended sax notes. Nick Hasted

Read the full review in the December issue

Bill Bruford

Earthworks Complete

Summerfold

Bill Bruford (d), Iain Ballamy, Patrick Clahar, Tim Garland (s), Django Bates, Steve Hamilton, Gwilym Simcock (p, ky), Dave Stewart (ky), Tim Harries, Mark Hodgson, Laurence Cottle and Mick Hutton (b). Rec. October 1986-May 2005

This is how you tell the story of a band. Bruford has curated this box set with a diligence and precision that reflects the detailed yet light touch of the Sergeant Major’s drumming. Fifteen titles, 20 audio discs and four DVDs, including valuable unreleased material, chart the course of a group of musicians over nearly 20 years. Andy Robson

Read the full review in the December issue

e.s.t

e.s.t. Live in Gothenburg

ACT

Esbjörn Svensson (p); Dan Berglund (b) and Magnus Öström (d). Rec. 10 October 2001

What makes this album special is the extended solo space Svensson allows himself that demonstrates what a formidably accomplished jazz soloist he was – the latter composition and ‘The Rube Thing’ are striking examples of the group delving into swinging 4/4. But, despite his obvious technical accomplishments, he was equally happy to limit his playing in service of the song, patient in the exploration and development of melody, such as on ‘The Second Page’ or ‘The Chapel’. Stuart Nicholson

Read the full review in the December issue

Charles Lloyd Quartet

Montreux Jazz Festival 1967

TCB

Charles Lloyd (ts, f), Keith Jarrett (p), Ron McClure (b) and Jack DeJohnette (d). Rec. 18 June 1967

This is the Charles Lloyd Quartet hitting the peak of its powers during its brief lifetime that had begun on record with Dream Weaver, recorded on 29 March 1966, and would end with its implosion in late 1968. It was recorded during their summer 1967 tour of Europe that had produced Live in the Soviet Union the previous month and though the Montreux set shares two titles with it, ‘Sweet Georgia Bright’ and ‘Love Song to a Baby’, the extent to which the quartet had begun to make use of the kind of dissonance and abstraction associated with free jazz comes as something of a revelation. Stuart Nicholson

Read the full review in the December issue

Subscribe from only £49.50 per year

Start your journey and discover the very best music from around the world.

Subscribe

View the Current
Issue

Take a peek inside the latest issue of Songlines magazine.

Find out more