(Green Note. 15 November 2020. Livestream from EFG London Jazz Festival. Review by Jon Turney)
This looks enticing. Familiar players in an unfamiliar combination: trumpeters Laura Jurd and Chris Batchelor, with Corrie Dick on drums and Ruth Goller, appearing in place of Tom Herbert, on electric bass. Can’t think when I’ve heard a pianoless quartet with two trumpets before. Wonder what they’ll play?
Ah, I know that riff, it’s Ornette (Peace Warriors). This is great territory to explore. Freebop polyphony at its finest, with the two horns varying the texture by alternating muted and unmuted lines, and the other two bouncing the ensemble along the way the music demands. Goller is fluidly inventive, Dick leans more towards Blackwell than Higgins, and does it so well.
Second number? Ah, Ornette again (Feet Music). Almost the master’s simplest ever figure: a brief invitation to groove which all four take up eagerly. Are they going to play through In All Languages, in order, then? Not quite, though we do get Latin Genetics at the close. But there’s time for Coleman’s two earlier greatest hits, too (Lonely Woman and Ramblin’), and Geri Allen’s Skin.
How lovely to have this music piped into one’s living room early on a Sunday night, in such good sound and vision. It’s always a thrill to hear Coleman’s old dreams made new again by players who understand them so well. The group sound here is a good match for the great Coleman quartets. I miss the keening of the alto sax at first, but the double dose of inspired trumpet is quickly beguiling. Outside my window, it’s after sundown. Inside, this prolonged burst of sunshine leaves a lasting warmth.