1st Season of Newvelle Box Set
(Newvelle Records. 6 LP set. Review by Geoff Winston)
Newvelle Records are making available a limited box set of their complete first year subscription series of six vinyl-only albums. How to describe this series? It would be fair to say this is an accumulation of many labours of love for the music.
The first three albums have already been reviewed on London Jazz News:
– Jack DeJohnette’s Return is his first ever solo piano album which magically illuminates the creative process (REVIEW).
– Noah Preminger’s Some Other Time is ‘a rich album in so many senses and repeated listening reveals much that goes on under the surface’ (REVIEW).
Pianist Frank Kimbrough on Meantime reveals the musician’s musician in the company of like-minded spirits. ‘The key that unlocks this album is the way that Kimbrough guides and shapes each number … [and] lets others blossom …'(REVIEW)
The remaining three albums in the set are in trio format, reinforcing Newvelle’s dedication and commitment to outstanding musicianship matched by audio quality and presentation.
– Don Friedman’s Strength and Sanity is a great slice of straight ahead, contemporary jazz which presents the master pianist mining the riches of the Booker Little songbook in his favourite trio, with bassist Paul Palombi and drummer Shinnosuke Takahashi, to reveal the depths of his interpretative powers in what was, sadly, to be one of his very last recordings before his passing in June 2016.
– Quiet Revolution by Ben Allison is, foremost, the bassist’s celebration of the great guitarist and composer Jim Hall. Guitarist Steve Cardenas’s delicate solo opening lines say everything you need to know about what’s going to be served up by Allison’s tightly integrated trio. Ted Nash, on saxes and on clarinet, recalls the flair of Bill Smith who played with Hall on Folk Jazz and Allison solos beautifully on the well-travelled Looking Up, in the understated manner of Hall’s bassists, Charlie Haden and Scott Colley.
– Argentinosaurus, pianist Leo Genovese’s dynamite trio with Esperanza Spalding on bass with occasional vocals, and Jack DeJohnette on percussion, thrive on an interaction which serves up surprises that gently wrongfoot conventional expectation. The whole album buzzes with invention and enjoyment based around Genovese’s compositional skills and keyboard flair. DeJohnette is ceaselessly inquisitive and his hi-hat, brushed metal and tapped toms are captured to a tee by engineer Marc Urselli – not to mention a spell on melodica – while Spalding adds her very own dynamic, pacey spice to Genovese’s Latin fusion flavours.
Newvelle will be seeing in the new year with the launch of their second series featuring six more recordings: by the John Patitucci Trio, the Kevin Hays and Lionel Loueke Duo, the Jon Cowherd Quartet (with Steve Cardenas, Tony Sher and Brian Blade), the Chris Tordini Trio (wih Becca Stevens and Greg Ruggerio), Aruan Ortiz (solo piano), and the Rufus Reid Trio (with Steve Allee and Duduka Da Fonseca and the Sirius String Quartet).