John Hardaker

John Hardaker is a musician and writer who also posts regularly at his site https://wordsaboutmusic.wordpress.com/.

John Hardaker is a musician and writer who also posts regularly at his site https://wordsaboutmusic.wordpress.com/.

REVIEW: Michael Griffin & Dale Barlow – Tribute to Cannonball & Coltrane

To see the two men working together, obviously digging each other’s playing was a thrill that pointed to this being one of the jazz gigs of the year for me. Griffin was overjoyed to be locking horns, literally, with the great Dale; Barlow, for his part, equally seemed to enjoy having the younger player’s sparkling alto nipping at his heels, pushing him into some hair-raising tenor work.

Album review: The Voyage of Mary and William (Matt McMahon) by John Hardaker

The Voyage of Mary and William is Matt McMahon’s first recording of solo piano improvisation. In his illuminating liner notes to the CD, he describes the piano – a machine of wood, ivory and wire he remains obviously still smitten by – as ‘this wondrous invention’. The same descriptor could be applied to The Voyage of Mary and William. It is all invention and, yes, it is pretty bloody wondrous.

Album review: The Hunters & Pointers

Hunters and Pointers cover

Few players – though brilliant on paper – could make something this good out of such freedom. Chops alone can’t do it – in fact chops often work in the opposite way. It is the subsuming of the ego and the meshing of consciousnesses that will get the players, and we the fortunate audience, there. And, here, The Hunters & Pointers do it every time.