Once again, we are left to measure just how resistant these superb melodies are to experimentation.
On the passing of accordionist Marcel Azzola, Brel's "Vesoul" sounded in all corners of l'hexagon (metropolitan France). Mentioned alongside the great names of French song, he was also a proponent of swing and a great defender of the accordion.
Fahmi Alqhai Koury is a virtuoso of the viola da gama (viol). The Syrian-born musician grew up in Seville from the age of eleven, forming his skills, in part, by playing with Jordi Savall’s Hespèrion XXI. His collaborator, Rocio Marquez is one of the foremost contemporary voices of flamenco.
It is like a breath of fresh air to rediscover this time; when jazz was inventive at the same time as being adopted by mainstream audiences. Theirs was a music that resonated, announcing its own historical moment while refreshing the jazz repertoire as a whole.
The French saxophonist Jérôme Sabbagh and the Australian guitarist Greg Tuohey seem built to complement each other. It is easy to misinterpret No Filter at first; there is a sense of familiarity – of a certain strain of perfectionism that is rooted in jazz tradition. But that fades quickly, giving way to delightful finesse as the writing unfolds with more subtlety than it first seemed to contain.
For The Seasons, the American saxophonist Ben Wendel has chosen to play in a quintet. This is his fourth album in a solo career that runs alongside his jazz-fusion outfit Kneebody. It takes us through the seasonal calendar in a musical journey inspired by Tchaikovsky’s piano suite and a painting by Lee Krasner.