O’Higgins & Luft
Play Monk & Trane
'Here’s a frontline to savour, with edgesome youth and deep jazz experience, two musicians with a sense of the out-there while remaining grounded in making music accessible and, shh, whisper it gently, fun. O’Higgins and Luft offer no deferential forelock tugging as they dig deep into the music of two jazz grandmasters.'
Coin Coin Chapter Four: Memphis
'The fourth installment in Matana Roberts’ ambitious meditation on African-American history and folklore focuses on the city of Memphis “unlike a place I have yet 2 know”, according to the artist. Regardless of the inspiration that Roberts has drawn from the location, her treatment of the subject maintains the high standards set by the previous work.'
'Drawing on players from Entropi, Paradox Ensemble and other projects she plays in, pianist Rebecca Nash has assembled a likeminded collective whose strengths she knows well. Thus armed, she has created a debut album of distinctively written pieces that allows her band plenty of individuality, while her subtly persuasive keyboards keep things moving in her chosen direction.'
Stan Getz/Dizzy Gillespie/Sonny Stitt
For Musicians Only
Essential Jazz Classics
'OK, here it is; the ultimate speed-demon slug-out between two of bebop’s leading lights and the then king of the cool school. Taped over a single session in 1956, For Musicians Only (its title a nod to those who might best appreciate the album’s cutting contest vibe) has long been the stuff of legend – the final, definitive on-record proof that pretty boy Getz could hold his own against the toughest of horn playing competitors.'
'There’s no downside to being a Miles Davis disciple, if you can do something as personal with that sound as Miles did himself. Enrico Rava, the great Italian trumpeter who has brought as intimately intense a Mediterranean perspective to the Miles legacy as his fellow ECM brassman Tomasz Stańko did from a more introverted East European one, apparently regarded this 2003 session – a return to ECM in Rava’s early sixties after a 17-year gap – as his best work.'