Author: Daniel Marx

Get the Blessing @ Studio2 | Gig Preview

10 years after the release of their BBC Jazz Award winning debut album, All Is Yes, jazz-rock quartet, Get the Blessing are touring to promote their sixth full-length LP, Bristopia, including a stop at Liverpool’s own Studio2 on Parr Street on the 11th of October.   Pete Judge (trumpet), Jim Barr (bass), Jake McMurchie (sax) and Clive Deamer (drums) are all prolific instrumentalists who have performed with the likes of Portishead, Radiohead and Massive Attack, and their music is clearly influenced by those bands as well as jazz legends like Ornette Coleman (whose song, ‘The Blessing’, gave the...

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Phronesis – We Are All | Album Review

There has been a trend that has defined contemporary British piano trios over the last decade or so; one which has seen harmony and melodic development put on the back burner in favour of exploring, in real depth, the intricacies and nuances of rhythm and metre. Phronesis, the UK-based jazz trio comprised of pianist Ivo Neame, bassist Jasper Høiby and drummer Anton Eger, were early pioneers of this trend. While subsequent trios have doubled down hard on that basic tenet of “rhythm first”, Phronesis have spent the last decade using the idea as the basis for them exploring a...

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Idles – Joy as an Act of Resistance | Album Review

UK punk outfit, Idles, made a huge impression last year when they dropped their debut album, Brutalism. Like the album’s title suggested, it could be taken entirely at face value; the record was a livid commentary on the state of British society, full of sharp edges (both lyrical and instrumental) and no-holds-barred accusations. The band’s blaring middle-finger, proudly thrust in the face of society and establishment politics, was a gesture that clearly resonated with a lot of people, garnering the band a significant following, and earning near-universal critical acclaim for Brutalism – something Idles seem not to be bothered...

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Kamasi Washington – Heaven and Earth | Album Review

Heaven and Earth, the new gargantuan double album from acclaimed tenor saxophonist, Kamasi Washington is perplexing. It’s not as if the record isn’t a thoroughly enjoyable listen, but at the end of its two-and-a-half-hour run-time, there remain a few vitally important questions that, unfortunately, have particularly unsatisfying answers: What is the album trying to achieve? Does the music relate to the album’s concept? Is Washington justified in promoting the album, solely under his own name? Sadly, in the media furore surrounding this record, those questions have largely been ignored, resulting in blind value judgements, based on very little in...

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Why Jazz Fans Shouldn’t Pin Their Hopes and Dreams on Kamasi Washington

Kamasi Washington’s unlikely, yet meteoric rise to prominence in the music industry has been an interesting journey to follow. Working with Steven Ellison (AKA Flying Lotus), Kendrick Lamar, Terrace Martin and Robert Glasper brought the West Coast tenor sax player into the limelight thanks to his dexterous and energetic performances on Flying Lotus’ You’re Dead! (2014) and Kendrick Lamar’s masterwork, To Pimp a Butterfly (2015). Ellison clearly saw something in Washington, as the producer offered to release the saxophonist’s debut record – a three hour long, triple album of original jazz tunes called The Epic (2015) – on his...

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