Jan 10 2013
Floriaan Wempe – Flo’s Flow
When a young musician records a strong straight-ahead jazz album that for all intents and purposes is effectively flawless, I immediately become hesitant. It’s one thing to hear sparks of brilliance. It’s also another thing for the recording to be highly regarded, but somewhat outside the box. But when the album covers well-established territory like 1960s Hard Bop, an area that some of Jazz’s greats created and thrived in, well, I try for an extended pause before expressing anything that might resemble effusive praise. But, really, even after repeatedly listening to Floriaan Wempe‘s debut, Flo’s Flow, I really can’t find much of anything wrong with it.
It’s a remarkable album, and one that should delight Jazz fans who prefer when modern artists elicit strong echoes from Jazz’s past.
Your album personnel: Floriaan Wempe (tenor sax), Karel Boehlee (piano), Jos Machtel (double bass), Willie Jones III (drums), and guests: Tom van der Zaal (alto sax) and John Ruocco (clarinet).
Wempe has a strong presence on tenor sax, displaying an awareness of the best spots to add an extra ounce of delicacy to accentuate the intensity of a string of notes that preceded it, and when to step out and when to join hands with his veteran cast. Seven of the eight tracks are Wempe compositions (the sole exception a Coltrane tune). Guest appearances of alto sax and clarinet illustrate Wempe’s talents as a composer extend to layering in ingredients that add some pleasant texture to the album’s overall feel, with Ruocco’s clarinet being especially enjoyable.
Just an all-around impressive debut. I’m very excited to see where all this leads.
Released on the Challenge Records International label.
Jazz from the Hague, South Holland, Netherlands scene.
John Turville Trio – Conception
There are two sides to John Turville‘s magnetic piano trio album Conception. There’s the straight-ahead modern piano trio album… brooding melodies that cook in immaculate jazz rhythms. And then there are the chaotic tunes that subversively emit avant-garde messages of deconstruction.
The duality of these two facets combine for a winning album.
Your album personnel: John Turville (piano), Chris Hill (double bass), Ben Reynolds (drums), and guest: Eduardo Vassallo (cello).
Tracks like “Arc-en-Ciel,” “Conception,” “Pharoah-ant,” and a cover of Radiohead’s “Scatterbrain” allow Turville’s trio the opportunity to display both their knack for the right solos at the right time and solid group-interaction. Whereas tracks like “Barrio Once,” “Elegia,” and “Milonga” incorporate guest cellist Vassallo and Turville’s background in tango for songs that make an intriguing composite of an undercurrent of schisms.
The flow from one album track to the next can be startling, as a soft-spoken pretty tune can immediately shift to a song wielding sharp flashes of strings and crooked piano lines. But this is a big part of what makes this a winning album, those sudden jolts of differentiation, keeping the ear attuned to what might come next, while, in the meantime, enjoying the track that’s offered in the moment.
Really, just one of those recordings that has slowly accreted my appreciation with subsequent listens.
Released on the F-IRE Collective label.
Jazz from the UK.