JAZZ (cont’d)

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SAMI MOUKADDEM Re­sis­tance: Soul Food (no la­bel)

If there’s a dif­fer­ence be­tween Sami Moukaddem’s sec­ond CD in a year and his de­but, The Crest of a Wave, it’s in the sources he draws on for in­spi­ra­tion; here they’re more po­lit­i­cal-per­sonal than per­sonal-per­sonal, and gain res­o­nance from the latest news from Le­banon. The mu­sic is of a piece with its pre­de­ces­sor: a dis­tinct and en­gag­ing near east­ern hy­brid, with har­monic move­ment at a pre­mium, pre­sent­ing the quar­tet’s prin­ci­pals, gui­tarist Moukaddem and Bren­dan Doyle (alto/tenor/ clar­inet/flute), no­table rhyth­mic and lin­ear chal­lenges and op­por­tu­ni­ties. The rhythm sec­tion of Jose Car­los Anselmo (elec­tric bass and per­cus­sion) and Rob­bie Har­ris (bodhran and as­sorted per­cus­sion) is fine, but Fadi Ha­toum, whose dar­bouka and daff il­lu­mi­nated the first album, would have been an as­set. www.sami­moukad­dem.com.


Shar­ing a com­mon main­stream lan­guage, Barnes (alto/bari­tone) and Hamil­ton, on tenor, just set about some stan­dards – no great sur­prises in what they se­lected, ei­ther – and a few orig­i­nals by Zoot Sims and Cole­manHawkins, also based on stan­dards, with one a blues line. They have a ball. Se­cured by an im­pec­ca­bly ap­po­site rhythm sec­tion in David New­ton (pi­ano), Matt Miles (bass) and Steve Brown (drums), they stretch out to good ef­fect. No borders breached, but it does al­low an ap­pre­ci­a­tion of how mas­ter­ful Hamil­ton is at what he does; here he over­shad­ows even so su­perb a main­streamer as Barnes, al­though New­ton pushes him hard for solo hon­ours. And Brown, taste­ful and swing­ing, re­mains a drum­mer par ex­cel­lence for this kind of jazz. www.mu­s­ic­connec­tion.org.uk

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