The trouble with broadcasting on a small community radio station is that facilities are limited. This week I had to pre-record the show because at the broadcast time the studio was required for training. I went to ICR earlier in the day to pre-record, had produced an hour of the show and was then told the studio was needed by others.. As I could not return later the last half hour of the show was added by the ICR station manager, thankfully a jazz fan.
I decided to make this an hour of contemporary jazz, largely from the UK, except for Goran Kajfes from Sweden and Ambrose Akinmusire from the USA. There were two tracks from the new Kairos 4-Tet Album Everything We Hold – one instrumental and the other with vocals. It’s a very varied album and the vocal are ambitious in their scope. Personally I prefer the instrumental tunes.
Neil adds: I think the vocal tracks on the new Kairos album are part of an interesting development in new British jazz. Kairos are fronted by saxophonist and composer Adam Waldmann, and are spearheading this mix of improvisation and songwriting, trying to balance powerful instrumental solos with the roundedness of the more traditional English songform. Waldmann began with Kairos Moment, an album that marked him out as a powerful new voice in British jazz (BBC), and as a precociously talented composer and player (All About Jazz). In 2011, their second release, Statement of Intent, led to the MOBO Award for Best Jazz Act and now in Everything We Hold Waldmann explores the art of song in more depth and with greater variety. Vocals come courtesy of Swedish singer Emilia Mårtensson, British neo-soul icon Omar, and emerging Irish singer-songwriter Marc O’Reilly. In places the music is reminiscent of John Martyn and Nick Drake – themselves no strangers to jazz tunings and inflections. Even the song titles themselves are reminiscent of this folk-jazz blend – Narrow Boat Man is not a million miles away from Drake’s River Man, itself a track covered by Brad Mehldau and others. Watch for more developments in this area. I really like Omar’s vocals on the track Song for the Open Road – and check out his own return to form on his excellent new album The Man.
The show ended with an extended track from Pharoah Sanders (from the 1974 Love in Us All album) and a taste of Marcos Valle from a recent release – 2010’s excellent Estatcia.
- Kairos 4-Tet (feat. Emilia Martensson & Marc O’Reilly) – Narrow Boat Man from Everything We Hold
- Ambrose Akinmusire – Confessions to my Unborn Daughter – from When the Heart Emerges Glistening
- Goran Kajfes – Sarasvati from Album X
- Roller Trio – Deep Heat from Roller Trio
- Trish Clowes – Tangent from Tangent
- Kairos 4-Tet – Reunion from Everything We Hold
- Matthew Halsall – Cherry Blossom from Fletcher Moss Park
- Larry ‘Stonephace’ Stabbins – Africa from Transcendental
- Pharoah Sanders – Love is Everywhere from Love In Us All
- Marcos Valle – Prefixo from Estatcia
Video this week comes from Goran Kajfes seen here last year leading his Subtropic Arkestra at the Nordic Jazz Festival on the roof of the House of Sweden in Washington D.C: