MALIJA – THE DAY I HAD EVERYTHING
London based trio MALIJA releases 'The Day I Had Everything' featuring the new all-star trio featuring Mark Lockheart (saxophones, bass clarinet), Liam Noble (double bass) and Jasper Høiby (piano) on November 27, 2015. brings together a collective empathy and co-leadership with all members sharing the production and writing roles. These names will need no introduction to Edition fans, having played together on Mark Lockheart’s quintet album ‘In Deep’ in 2009, but with their individual international profiles and explosive musical personalities integrated in a trio, there’s no hiding from the fact that this is the band to watch.
TEEMU AKERBLOM QUARTET
An excellent contemporary combo from Finland – but one who are right at home on the Jazzaggression label, which mostly issues rare gems from years past! The sound here is plenty classic – and recalls that great 70s moment on the European scene when the best groups were aware of 60s advances like free or modal jazz, but could also swing as well – often bringing all elements to play in a single tune, but finding a way to make their most creative work still hold very strongly to a larger tradition in jazz! The group here is a quartet, but one with a slightly shifting lineup – the core trio of Teemu Akerblom on bass, Mikko Arlin on drums, and Max Zenger on saxes and flute – plus a changing fourth player from track to track – either Ville Vannemaa or Jarno Tikka on tenor, or Verneri Pohjola on trumpet. The lack of any piano really enforces the importance of the bass to the rhythms – and Akerblom's a player with a strong sense of modal energy, which often sets things up beautifully for the reed and trumpet solos to really soar and do their thing – shifting in intensity from track to track, partly because of that rotating fourth player! All tracks are original, and very fresh – and titles include "Blues For Martin", "Dark Corners", "Gilman's Point", "October 22", and "Harmaata Nakyvissa". CD features two bonus tracks not on LP. ~ Dusty Groove
BRIAN ELLIS – IN THE DARK
Really sweet keyboards from Brian Ellis – a man who's been giving us a surprising amount of music in the past year or so, often in many different flavors! This time around, Brian's got a strong 80s groove – and uses his keyboards in the lead with kind of a post-Herbie Hancock approach to fusion – one that's very comfortable with mostly all electric elements in the instrumentation, but which also still has a really great old school sense of space and timing! By that, we mean that Brian's never too over the top, and always makes these tracks groove in a style that's mighty soulful – maybe somewhere in the territory of Bobby Lyle or Rodney Franklin, but even more electric overall. Titles include "Flipped", "In The Dark", "Banana Seat", "Boogie Box", "Moonlight Shadows", and "One Twenty". ~ Dusty Groove