MUSIC: CD REVIEWS - JAZZ

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The Independent Culture
JON HASSELL: FASCINOMA

(Water Lily Acoustics, dist: Direct)

The ambient-inclined trumpeter plays other people's compositions for the first time, covering standards such as "Nature Boy", "Caravan", and "Poinciana" with a band that includes Jacky Terrason and Ry Cooder. Hassell's playing remains limpid and is accentuated by the spare sound, recorded on valve equipment by hi-fi nut Baron de Paravicini. Perfect Sunday morning music.

MONTY ALEXANDER: STIR IT UP - THE MUSIC OF BOB MARLEY

(Telarc Jazz)

An obvious pairing, as Jamaican pianist Alexander had a hand in early ska sessions and left for the US just as reggae was taking over, but Monty's take on Marley is entertaining. "Jammin", "Could You Be Loved", and "Is This Love" adapt perfectly to improvisation. Though for all the lissome trills, the final impression is of how great a songwriter Marley was.

JASON REBELLO: NEXT TIME AROUND

(Onion Records)

After retiring for a while to a Buddhist monastery, the pianist has bounced back with a vengeance. All the hallmarks of his sparky style are present in this set, recorded in Brooklyn, but Rebello also displays a new-found lyricism that is most becoming.

A version of "Jersualem" is beautifully conceived - emerging out of a cocktail-jazz intro - and an arrangement of Thelonious Monk's "Round Midnight" is startlingly inventive, bringing a touch of Debussy to the sublime if rather careworn theme. The rest are almost all Rebello's own tunes, and they veer from headlong bop to angular, New York-style grooves very effectively.

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