Jazz Roger Thomas's pick of recent releases, from polished originals to takes on rock JUNE ROUND-UP
Jazz traditionally relies on collective interaction, yet paradoxically the music's development is always described in the terms of the innovative
statements made by individuals, from Satchmo to Coltrane and beyond. Each of this month's discs carries the name of an individual performer,
but they also neatly illustrate how such roles and the notion of leadership can be seen from a number of perspectives.
Pianist Hobgood's t e s s e t e r r a is also big on tunes but this intriguing album
is for the most part new and different take on the practice of raiding the pop-rock catalogue
for jazz-friendly material, which in this case is steered in an unexpected direction by the
addition of the excellent avant-contemporary string quartet ETHEL. With tunes borrowed
from The Police, The Beatles, and numerous other sources, the program is nothing if not diverse,
but ultimately it's the presence of the strings that gives the music it's unique stamp, with Hobgood's
arrangements expertly splicing precise and demanding compositional elements with improvised sections.
(Ubuntu Music UBU0019)