Jazz albums round-up
Friday 11 July 2003
You can imagine the modus operandi behind Ronny Jordan's At Last (Sony Jazz) all too well. First, the man with the crane comes and winches Ronny out of his bed at 3am and delivers him to the studio on a trolley. The technicians slip a guitar into his hands, while the producer whispers quietly into his ear, fearful lest he wake him up: "Funky, but not too funky, Ronny. Smooth, but not too smooth." At last they're ready, the backing track begins to roll, and Ronny comes in right on cue, not easy from a prone position. In the control booth afterwards, they all compliment the guitarist on another job well done, but Ronny is already back home in bed, dreaming of quavers.
It's 11 years since Ronny Jordan reached No 32 in the UK chart with his debut single, "So What", and in the interim nothing whatsoever has changed. The trademark sound is still one-part Wes Montgomery to two-parts George Benson, with Jordan's multi-octave thumb-strokes decorating easy on the ear, hip hop lite, backdrops. The new album sounds perfectly pleasant too, and if you heard it in a hairdresser's or a bar (and you probably will), you'd tap your foot quite happily. Good luck to him, you might say, if there wasn't something so insidiously soul-destroying about following a formula for more than a decade without even the teensiest sign of wanting to buck the trend: a wish to record with Derek Bailey, say, like Pat Metheny. You can hear the original model on The Very Best of George Benson: The Greatest Hits of All (Warner Bros), a great new 20-track compilation. It's another formula, but a better one.
It's 10 years since US 3's brilliant if overplayed hip-hop adaptations of classic hard bop hit the charts, and whether in celebration of the anniversary or not, the company has commissioned Shades of Blue: Madlib Invades Blue Note by the artist known as Madlib (actually Otis Jackson Jnr, nephew of the jazz trumpeter Jon Faddis and son of the soul singer Otis Jackson). From tracks by the likes of Donald Byrd, Bobbi Humphrey, Horace Silver, Herbie Hancock, Reuben Wilson and Ronnie Foster, Madlib creates radical, vibrant and funky new soundscapes. Remarkably successful for a remix project.
Game of Thrones
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
- 2 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 3 Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
- 4 Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
- 5 Refugee crisis: Aylan's life was full of fear - in death, he is part of 'humanity washed ashore'
The real reason Eddie Redmayne was cast as a trans woman in The Danish Girl
First Look at Bryan Cranston transformed into LBJ for HBO’s ‘All the Way’ film
Idris Elba is ‘too street’ to play 007, says James Bond author
This little boy loves books so much that he cries when his mother stops reading to him
Prog rock finally comes of age with launch of the first Official Progressive Chart
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up