Music: Jazz Round-up

THE AMERICAN guitarist Pat Metheny's new album, A Map of the World (Warner Brothers), is derived from the sound-track to a forthcoming film of the same name starring Sigourney Weaver. Cynically, this sounds like a match made in heaven; Metheny's music often comes with a treacle-thick coating of folksy sentiment, and a predilection for technique at the expense of intelligence. Of course, he's a great guitarist, but unless you're a guitarist yourself (as many fans are), this isn't really enough. No offence, of course.

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.

Arts and Entertainment
Innocent victim: Oli, a 13-year-old from Cornwall, featured in ‘Kids in Crisis?’
TV review
News
Northern exposure: social housing in Edinburgh, where Hassiba now works in a takeaway
books An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Terminator Genisys: Arnie remains doggedly true to his word as the man who said 'I'll be back', returning once more to protect Sarah Connor in a new instalment

 

film review
Arts and Entertainment
Relocation, relocation: Zawe Ashton travels the pathway to Northampton
Arts and Entertainment
BBC Three was launched a little over five years ago with the slogan: “Three, is a magic number, yes it is.”

BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital move

TV
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer

film
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
Armie Hammer in the new film of ‘The Lone Ranger’

TV
Arts and Entertainment

festivals
Arts and Entertainment

Final Top Gear review

TV
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Carl Barat perform at Glastonbury 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Richie performs live on the Pyramid stage during the third day of Glastonbury Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

    Tribal gathering

    Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

    A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
    Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously

    Illnesses, car crashes and suicides

    Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously
    Srebrenica 20 years after the genocide: Why the survivors need closure

    Bosnia's genocide, 20 years on

    No-one is admitting where the bodies are buried - literally and metaphorically
    How Comic-Con can make or break a movie: From Batman vs Superman to Star Wars: Episode VII

    Power of the geek Gods

    Each year at Comic-Con in San Diego, Hollywood bosses nervously present blockbusters to the hallowed crowd. It can make or break a movie
    What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?

    Perfect match

    What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?
    10 best trays

    Get carried away with 10 best trays

    Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
    Wimbledon 2015: Team Murray firing on all cylinders for SW19 title assault

    Team Murray firing on all cylinders for title assault

    Coaches Amélie Mauresmo and Jonas Bjorkman aiming to make Scot Wimbledon champion again
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!
    Ashes 2015: Angus Fraser's top 10 moments from previous series'

    Angus Fraser's top 10 Ashes moments

    He played in five series against Australia and covered more as a newspaper correspondent. From Waugh to Warne and Hick to Headley, here are his highlights
    Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

    EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

    An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

    The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
    How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

    Heavy weather

    What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
    World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

    World Bodypainting Festival 2015

    Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
    alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

    Don't call us nerds

    Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high