Review: Some two years on from the release of his latest must-have album on ECM, "The Dreamer Is The Dream", long-serving saxophonist and clarinetist Chris Potter delivers a cracking new double-album. Potter's two instruments of choice are prominent throughout on a set that never settles on one particular style or sub-genre. Alongside keyboardist James Francies, drummer Eric Harland and bassist Linley Marthe, the improvisation-loving musican giddily flits between jazz-funk, more traditional-sounding jazz cuts, left-of-centre nu-jazz workouts, jazz dance slammers and cuts whose use of electronic hardware and sounds defy easy categorization. While hard to pigeonhole, the whole album is hugely enjoyable and should appeal to 21st century jazz heads as much as the fare pushed forwards by the likes of [re:jazz] and Brownswood Recordings.
Review: New Devices is the third album from Leeds based trio and Mercury Prize nominees Roller Trio. A unique group, their sound is modern and gritty, pushing sonic boundaries to their limits. Their mix of high octane technicality and deceptively catchy tunes has transcended their jazz heritage, bringing them acclaim from fans and critics alike. The new album's theme is as relevant as it could be in today's social climate. New Devices reflects people's confused relationship with technology and the public participation in self-surveillance. The music is dark, gritty and urban - menacing bass lines underpinned by squalling improvising from guitar and sax attaining ultimately uplifting fulfilment.