Music: Jazz Round-up
Friday 12 November 1999
Metheny, who has composed all the material and extended the film score with a 25 minutes' worth of thematic variations, plays acoustic guitars, piano and keyboards. The music veers between John Williams-ish bombast to sensitive guitar-led themes in The Deerhunter genre associated with that other John Williams. At times it is beautiful in a New Age sort of way, recalling Metheny's album with Charlie Haden, Beyond the Missouri Sky.
After Metheny's ethereal noodlings, the reassuringly earth-bound grooves of Horace Silver come as a relief. The Horace Silver Retrospective (Blue Note), is a four-CD boxed set of selections from the pianist's nearly- 30-year-long stay with the label. Silver made so many albums for Blue Note that it's impossible to buy them all, and he's also such a well known quantity that there's a real danger of his being overlooked. Though associated most strongly with the churchy soul jazz of the Jazz Messengers - founded with Art Blakey - and his own later groups, he's been a notable composer, a talent-spotting bandleader and a killer pianist for close to 50 years now. His early experience with Latin bands also helped broaden jazz in the Fifties and Sixties, bridging the gap between bop and boogaloo. The 1965 album Songs For My Father is still the Silver album to get, but almost everything in the box is reliably good.
Although it's not a jazz album, there are strong echoes of Horace Silver's gospel-inflected piano style on Flak, by the British composer Graham Fitkin. The first four tracks, composed for four people on two pianos, ring out with ecstatic, rolling chords whose jangling overtones suggest barrelhouse and boogie-woogie as Stravinsky might have heard them. The album is available from Graham Fitkin Records on 01923 493903, or www.fitkin.com.
More authentically churchy is Jazz in the Sanctuary - Spirit of the Nation (Canopy Music). It's a British gospel album, with sanctified singers backed up by jazz musicians such as Mario Castronari, Dave Cliff and Rowland Sutherland. Harking back to the "Baptist Beat", recordings by soul jazz stars such as Les McCann and Donald Byrd, enthusiasm more than make up for the low budget. Anyone who likes Take 6 will find the album interesting. Available on mail order from 0208 694 8250, or canopyatglobalnet.co.uk.
Finally, Tim Richards' Great Spirit (33 Jazz, 051) summons up the bluesy flavour of mid-period Charles Mingus. Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the pianist's group Spirit Level, it features a nonet with the Mercury Prize nominee Denys Baptiste, with Gilad Atzman, Dick Pearce and Tony Kofi. Best of all, it comes with an additional CD of tracks by earlier incarnations of Spirit Level, in which the Eighties Brit-jazz vogue for feisty, late-Coltrane, blowing is captured with marvellous (low) fidelity.
The trumpeter Jack Walrath - a Mingus sideman for many years - can be heard on four tracks. Truly a blast from the past.
BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital moveTV
Final Top Gear reviewTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Florida man sentenced to two-and-a-half years for having sex on the beach in front of a child
- 2 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 3 Nick Kyrgios calls former Olympian Dawn Fraser a 'blatant racist' after she tells Wimbledon star to 'go back where their parents came from'
- 4 World learns of app that shows you who unfriended you on Facebook, app promptly crashes
- 5 Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
Game of Thrones season 6: Daenerys actress Emilia Clarke says '50/50 chance' Jon Snow is alive
Chronixx interview: Reggae sensation on taking the opening spot at Glastonbury and calling Barack Obama a 'waste man'
Game of Thrones season 6: Director Jack Bender says showrunners 'communicate closely' with George RR Martin
Top Gear: Jeremy Clarkson 'can't front ITV motoring show' due to BBC contract clause
Amy Winehouse film: Mark Ronson praises 'respectful' movie as it scores highest ever UK opening for British documentary
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
Greece debt crisis: Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande issue Athens with 24-hour ultimatum to avoid crashing out of the euro
Greece crisis: Referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its lack of genuine legitimacy