Mark Lockheart– Days on Earth Mark Lockheart, Alice Leggett, Liam Noble, John Parricelli, Tom Herbert, Sebastian Rochford and 30-piece orchestra conducted by John Ashton Thomas Released 18 January 2019 on Edition Records marklockheart.bandcamp.com
Lieven Venken/Rene Hart/Anat Fort Trio– Bubbles Lieven Venken, Rene Hart, Anat Fort Released 1 February 2019 on Hypnote Records hypnoterecords.com
THERE’S A MAJOR STORY behind this unassuming cartoon rocket ship hurtling up through the firmament. A decade after the tragic death of revered Swedish pianist Esbjörn Svensson, his longtime colleagues Dan Berglund and Magnus Öström have returned to the trio format which launched global high flyers, e.s.t. Alongside them on Rymden’s Reflections & Odysseys is one of Norwegian jazz’s respected names, pianist Bugge Wesseltoft, known for his enduring New Conception of Jazz project and various ECM and ACT collaborations over the years.
IT WAS THE ARTICULATION and focus in this recording which first drew my attention; and indeed, Minusgrader, from Swedish saxophonist Örjan Hultén and his Orion quartet, has only continued to charm with its sparky animation and romantic lyricism – an evenly-balanced conversation glistening with individual flecks of personality along the way.
UPCOMING releases from Scandinavia, Scotland and the United States that are grabbing my attention – web links below.
Rymden– Reflections & Odysseys Bugge Wesseltoft, Dan Berglund, Magnus Öström Releasing 8 February on Jazzland Records rymden3.bandcamp.com
Chris Potter– Circuits Chris Potter, James Francies, Eric Harland, Linley Marthe Releasing 22 February at Edition Records chrispotterjazz.bandcamp.com
Graham Costello’s Strata– Obelisk Harry Weir, Liam Shortall, Fergus McCreadie, Joe Williamson, Mark Hendry, Graham Costello Releasing 1 February at bpqd Records grahamcostello.bandcamp.com
The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra– Peter and the Wolf Prokofiev – arranged and orchestrated by Tommy Smith, featuring Makoto Ozone and narrated by Tam Dean Burn Releasing 25 January at Spartacus Records snjo.co.uk
THERE’S A DEFINITE Icelandic zephyr to November’s listening, along with another gem from Portuguese/London-based guitarist Vitor Pereira and quintet. Beautiful music, resplendent in its artistry and diversity. Follow the links below to sample/purchase.
Sunna Gunnlaugs Trio / Verneri Pohjola– Ancestry Available now at Bandcamp
Vitor Pereira Quintet– Somewhere In The Middle Releases 5 December, available at Amazon, iTunes, etc.