Lee Jeok-yo is a 70ish year old man who is a respected poet. He cares fondly for his 30ish year old disciple Seo Ji-woo.
An air of inquiry suffuses Laura Marling's third album, a mood of experimentation as cerebral as it is playful. Opening song The Muse is like nothing she has released before: swaggering and brassy, with her voice pulling angular shapes across saloon-jazz piano and tight brush drums. Salinas and Rest in the Bed are like miniature western movies, with spit and sawdust in the guitar and banjo lines, melodrama in the backing vocals and Marling squinting at a relentless sun as her characters glare fate in the face. As on last year's I Speak Because I Can, Marling can sound curiously dispassionate, slurring the chorus of Don't Ask Me Why, maintaining a studied cool at the start of Sophia as she murmurs: "Where I have been lately is no concern of yours." But when Sophia unfurls into a glowing country romp, the distance between her and us suddenly shrinks – and the feeling is exhilarating.
On his seventh date as a leader, trumpeter Wallace Roney is clearly shaking the comparisons to Miles Davis, even while covering some of the same ground as the late jazz legend. Backed by his talented wife, Geri Allen (who is a gifted composer and adventurous bandleader herself), bassist Christian McBride, and first-call drummer Kenny Washington, Roney's fresh look at Davis' "Solar" is well worth investigating, while the spirited rendition of Charlie Parker's "Ah-Leu-Cha" features Washington driving the leader and guest tenor saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, while adding some wild arco bass by McBride.
One of the reasons that Mostly Other People Do the Killing has remained one of the most vital forces in modern jazz over the past decade is their willingness to embrace the joy and humor that can be found when playing music. From naming their tracks after small towns in Pennsylvania to the satirical dig at America’s culture of violence that gives them their name, the music is bright and buoyant and always a lot of fun. This album was recorded live during the Jazz and Beyond Improvised Music Festival on October 29th, 2012 at Jazz Klub Hipnoza in Katowice, Poland.