Jazz

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC REVIEWS -

ROSCOE MITCHELL Bells for the South Side ★★★ ECM

If New Orleans was the birth­place of jazz, and New York the scene of its apoth­e­o­sis, it was Chicago that really pushed the mu­sic to­wards the avant garde. The solemn, rau­cous, po­lit­i­cally charged ex­per­i­ments of the late 1960s and early 1970s - em­bod­ied by the Art En­sem­ble of Chicago – were hugely in­flu­en­tial on suc­ceed­ing gen­er­a­tions, and AEC founder Roscoe Mitchell was one of the most im­por­tant fig­ures in the move­ment. At 76, the sax­o­phon­ist is still bear­ing that par­tic­u­lar torch for­ward, and for this live per­for­mance at Chicago’s Mu­seum of Con­tem­po­rary Art, he leads a distin­guished line-up of younger play­ers - in­clud­ing pi­anist Craig Taborn, drum­mer Tyshawn Sorey and sax­o­phon­ist James Frei – con­nect­ing the no­ble as­pi­ra­tions of the 1970s icon­o­clasts to the still un­fin­ished busi­ness of the 21st cen­tury avant-garde. prop­er­mu­sic.com CORMAC LARKIN

GE­ORGE COLLIGAN More Pow­er­ful ★★★★ Whirl­wind Record­ings

The ti­tle of pi­anist Ge­orge Colligan’s 28th re­lease is an Obi-Wan Kenobi ref­er­ence - “more pow­er­ful than you can pos­si­bly imag­ine” - but it might just as eas­ily re­fer to the pi­anist’s abil­ity to learn and grow stronger from his own side­man encounters. Long-term as­so­ci­a­tions with lead­ers such as drum­mer Jack DeJohnette and vo­cal­ist Cassandra Wil­son, as well as his own om­niv­o­rous mu­si­cal ap­petite, have made the 47-yearold pi­anist a ro­bust and adapt­able mu­si­cian, and his re­sponse to his col­leagues here – the hugely im­pres­sive rhythm team of bassist Linda May Han Oh and drum­mer Rudy Roys­ton, with ris­ing sax­o­phon­ist Ni­cole Glover on sev­eral tracks – is assertive but never pre­scrip­tive, with one eye on the pi­ano tra­di­tion of McCoy Tyner and Her­bie Han­cock, and the other on where the US main­stream is headed next. whirl­win­drecord­ings.com CORMAC LARKIN

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