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11,767 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 907 of them this year alone and, so far, 44 this month (August 11).

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August

Tuesday 11: Happy Birthday Dave Hignett & Peter King (80).

Thursday 13: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free. OUTDOOR gig.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

CD/LP/Digital Review: Andre Canniere - Ghost Days

Andre Canniere (trumpet, flugelhorn), Tori Freestone (tenor sax), Brigitte Beraha (voice), Rick Simpson (piano/keyboards), Tom Farmer (double bass), Andrew Bain (drums)
(Review by Chris K)

A gem of an album, and a multi-faceted gem at that, from the UK-based US trumpeter Andre Canniere on his fourth album for the adventurous ten-year old Whirlwind Recordings label.

The leader/composer stars with thoughtful elegy and wholesome inflected tunes, topped off with energetic but controlled soloing. However,  a lot of space is given to Tori Freestone's soaring lines on tenor, the excellent Rick Simpson on piano, and of course the remarkable Brigitte Beraha on vocals. A sure footed and agile rhythm section provide an ever-shifting variety of platforms, ranging from pensive and spacious through clever pop (think Everything Everything), anthemic prog, all the way to full on jazz blowing.

Beraha has drawn comparisons with Norma Winstone and indulges in remarkable (but tasteful!) bouts of voice-as-instrument yelping. I found her closer here to Dido, expressive but clear, and with her own distinctive style perfectly matched to the material, the first six tracks being based on poems from collaborating writers Malika Booker and Rebecca Lynch.  

The overall emotion, meaning and mood is a further facet - from the album notes: "The songs deal with loss, anxiety and disappointment, but are leavened with humour and a powerful sense of hope".   Given that the opener (Suicides) deals with dead ladybirds, it is quite a trick to pull off an optimistic airy feel, which recurs throughout the album!

Colours sets off with a gorgeous ensemble repeated rhythmic romp, soon joined by Beraha, and climaxing with a trumpet workout with echoes of '70s Nucleus or Miles.   Erasure starts slowly and builds into a captivating vocal improvisation before stretching out into a trumpet led finale.

My Star is languid and open, infused with yearning and gorgeous lines played on trumpet as well as a perfectly crafted solo from Simpson on piano.  Arrival is brooding and intense building to a supercharged breakout from Freestone resolving to a gorgeous catharsis. One More Down sees Simpson chart an adventurous solo over a tricky jazz-rock groove.

The instrumental finale, Endure, was a single take from a new arrangement, and falls more into conventional contemporary jazz territory, albeit overlaid with a strong, relaxed trumpet line.

This is top notch writing, playing and singing - immensely sophisticated but fresh and natural with honesty and humour throughout.  More please !

Highly recommended - try buy  link.
Release date: 14.02.2020 

Unfortunately only touring  in the benighted south - to us, Manchester, Liverpool, Nottingham and Birmingham are considered as much south as London and Poole!
Chris.  

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