Published Feb 11, 2019For those who recognize Mark de Clive-Lowe's name from this or that compilation disc, his new straight-up jazz effort is the most pleasant surprise of the new year. Others who follow the pianist more closely have long recognized his outsized talent.
No matter your perspective, it is clear the 44-year-old New Zealander has gone next level. Incorporating a progressive sensibility honed as part of the UK's broken beat scene, de Clive-Lowe has produced an early candidate for jazz record of the year.
Largely an acoustic production, Heritage feels just as fresh and modern as anything he's released or remixed in the past. Where electric piano, synthesizer and samples are incorporated, their effect is subtly modern. They enhance the end product, rather than defining it.
The performances delivered here by de Clive-Lowe and bandmates Josh Johnson (alto saxophone and flute), Teodross Avery (tenor saxophone), Brandon Eugene Owens (bass), Carlos Niño (percussion) and Brandon Combs (drums) combine traditional jazz elegance and upscale lounge cool.
Heritage is frequently an understated, easy listen. Just as often though it offers up complex compositional ideas, all served well by expert performances. Repeated listens — and I promise, you will come back to this album again and again — consistently reveal something new.
De Clive-Lowe's discography includes more than 30 LPs, EPs and singles. This surpasses everything he's done to date. (Ropeadope)