Album Reviews

Monty Alexander – Uplift (Jazz Legacy Productions JLP 1001012) £12.99: This is a lovely live session by the senior pianist in which he runs in fine style through a programme that nods to two of his heroes, Nat ‘King’ Cole and Frank Sinatra. Alexander’s muscular, swinging style is well suited to numbers like Come Fly With Me, Sweet Georgia Brown and Just Can’t See for Lookin’, all of which get splendid workouts. He stretches out on Django and Body and Soul, taking the performances to some unexpected places. The bass and drums team of Hassan Shakur and Herlin Riley serve the music well. It’s another typically polished record from Alexander, who’s a reliable pleasure to hear. AV

Cannonball Adderley – Dis Here (Proper Properbox 157) £16.99: This is a delightful collection. Four CDs worth of powerhouse music from the great alto player spanning a clutch of immensely productive work in the middle to late 50s. There are some timeless performances here, not least Adderley’s encounter with Miles Davis from 1958, which produced classic takes of Love for Sale and Autumn Leaves. There really isn’t a dull moment. Adderley’s familiar working group with his brother, Nat, on cornet, is well represented, but a group of takes with Milt Jackson on vibes is especially fine. AV

Stravinsky – Four Ballets: (OPMC Classics 001 (3CDs) £22.99: A stunning new release tragically coinciding with the untimely death of Yakov Kreizberg, one of world’s finest conductors. Recorded last summer with his Monte Carlo Philharmonic, The Rite of Spring is played at white heat; Firebird flutters with wispy delicacy; Petrushka is brilliantly coloured and Pulcinella heard, unusually, in its complete form. One of a few remaining orchestras that sound French, the woodwinds are gorgeous, the strings silky smooth with high-impact brass and percussion. Fabulous sound, a special price, and passionately recommended. DD

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Schubert – Piano Sonatas 4 & 13/ Wanderer Fantasy (Naxos 8.572459) £5.99: A complete Schubert sonata cycle from the Uzbekistan pianist, Eldar Nebolsin, is a tantalising prospect. His purposeful and imaginative accounts, supported by a fabulous technique, has fingers dancing around the keyboard in the Fourth sonata, changing to a unusual degree of sadness in the Thirteenth. Yet it is the brilliance he brings to the Wanderer Fantasy that makes the disc special, the clarity of his playing in the most demanding passages placing this at the top of an over-subscribed catalogue. DD

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