Focus on the jazz projects this week with Gabriel Grossi, Tori Freestone Trio, Gareth Lockrane, First Meeting and In Common!
The passion and energy in the performances of Brazilian harmonicist Gabriel Grossi are as crystal clear as the sounds and atmospheres he produces from one of the smallest yet evocative instruments on the bandstand. Described by legendary Toots Thielemans as his successor, Grossi’s many collaborations have included Chico Buarque, Ivan Lins, Guinga and Snarky Puppy. Now he releases his first live album, #motion, on Whirlwind – a joyous celebration of his career to date, dedicated to those he loves, featuring his latest quintet: trombonist Sergio Coelho, pianist Eduardo Farias, bassist André Vasconcellos and drummer Rafael Barata. Guest appearances including celebrated fellow countryman Hermeto Pascoal.
The natural phenomenon of the Canary Islands’ ‘sea of clouds’ is an exhilarating experience – a highland ascent which rewards with views across the shifting stratocumulus ocean surrounding El Teide (the highest point in Spain) and her neighboring summits. It’s a landscape which has proved endlessly inspirational for tenor saxophonist and composer Tori Freestone, and a special impetus for El Mar de Nubes, her third trio album with double bassist Dave Manington and drummer Tim Giles.
In his most ambitious artistic undertaking yet, respected British flautist, composer and educator Gareth Lockrane brings his debut big band project to Whirlwind to interpret eleven original works on an exciting, cinematic scale in Fistfight at the Barndance. Known for his considerable work with smaller ensembles such as Grooveyard (with saxophonist Alex Garnett), as well as being a familiar sideman on the UK scene, here Lockrane distils all of his experience into leading a 20-piece which sparkles with ebullient expression.
Lee Konitz is "one of the most consistently brilliant, adventurous and original improvisers in the jazz tradition" (John Zorn). His recorded legacy is massive and uniquely influential, stretching back to his recordings in the late 1940s with the Claude Thornhill Band, Lennie Tristano and Miles Davis, and his debut as leader in 1949.
The moment when spontaneity and technical expertise coalesce into a decidedly different soundscape is captured convincingly in this eponymous debut release from In Common. Behind that veiled moniker are the prominent names of tenor saxophonist Walter Smith III and guitarist Matthew Stevens – and together with vibraphonist Joel Ross, bassist Harish Raghavan and drummer Marcus Gilmore, they fashion striking improvisations from original compositional foundations.