Brad Mehldau – Live at the Barbican 2017

Last night I went to see the Brad Mehldau Trio play live at the Barbican. They were absolutely incredible, all three were on top form, they played three encores and the crowd were fantastic. The audience all knew that they were witnessing three of the best musicians come toegther to play some of the most exciting, technical music out there, and there was no doubt that the Trio excelled. I think Brad Mehldau is one of the most talented Jazz pianists to hit the stage and is a close rival to the man at the top – “Keith Jarrett”. Nevertheless, Mehldau has very much his own distinct style and is partial to a few interpretative covers of more modern type music; e.g. Radio Head, Massive Attack, and the Verve, which I think stand him out to being one of today’s more inventive artists. To sum up, last night was a hugely enjoyable evening and I give this concert a 5-Star review. *****

Christian Scott – Rebel Ruler

It has been a pretty good month for music: Glasper dropped a new track; then Kamasi, and now Christian Scott just dropped a new album: first in a part three series. Awesome stuff; good to hear him take centre stage again. Stretch Music was awesome too, but Elena Pinderhughes took the crowd with her amazingness on the flute. Ruler Rebel incoporates some hip-hop beats with Scott tearing it up.

Truth – Kamasi Washington

Kamasi Washington just dropped Truth; and it is 12 mins of awesomeness. If you haven’t heard Kamasi yet you need to. His last album “The Epic” was in my opinion one for the history books, so I have no doubt his new upcoming EP “Harmony of Difference” will also be one to remember. One of the coolest things about Kamasi is that he has the same spiritual sounds as Coltane yet is also keeping up with today’s Brainfeeder crowd.

Rolling Stone’s Cover of the story [Click Link]

 

Wolfgang Wuthspiel – Rising Grace

What an incredible album! The Austrian guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel plays alongside jazz giants Brad Mehldau and Brian Blade to produce what I believe to be one of the best albums of 2016. An absolute must listen to.

Muthspiel moves between electric guitar and classically tinged acoustic six-string, his playing by turns grooving (“Boogaloo”) and enchanting (“Rising Grace”). The lyrical flights of Akinmusire’s trumpet and the probing improvisations of Mehldau run through Muthspiel’s rich set of compositions like golden threads, the tracks including a warm tribute to a late, great ECM artist, Kenny Wheeler (“Den Wheeler, Den Kenny”). Rising Grace also includes a deeply melodious piece that Mehldau composed especially for the album, “Wolfgang’s Waltz.”

Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band – Landmarks

Until recently I had managed to completely overlook Brian Blade’s own work. However, after seeing him play with Wayne Shorter at the 2016 London Jazz Festival I quickly realised that I needed to give him some serious listening time. Working through a number of his albums he has very quickly raced to being one of my absolute favourites, and I now know why he was always appearing on top billed albums with people like Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock. Brian Blade is one of the today’s greatest jazz drummers and an incredible musician.

Keith Jarrett Trio – God Bless the Child

One of my favourite’s from the Keith Jarrett Trio, featuring  Jack Dejohnette and Gary Peacock, is the classic standard “God Bless the Child”, written by  Billie Holiday (see Wiki). From their album “Live Standards” here is the live recording; its pretty sweet: