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Amanda Whiting – The Liminality of Her [First Word Records]

In a short period, Amanda Whiting has made her presence felt on the UK jazz scene as an accomplished harpist and composer. Strong recordings on Jazzman records and Albert’s Favorite’s are evidence of that. “The Liminality of Her” is her first release on First Word records. The ten track release explores a new direction as the title suggests. Liminality is the in-between moments of what was and what is. “Liminal” is a blissful mid-tempo tune where Whiting manipulates the harp into sounding more like an acoustic guitar. “Waiting To Go” is another highlight where Chip Wickham’s flute phrasings complement the vibrations of the harp. “Rite of Passage is a gentle tune that features vocalist Peach. Whiting is venturing into new territory here. “The Liminality of Her” will be a gratifying listen for those who choose to travel along with her.


Alina Bzhezhinska and Tony Kofi – Altera Vita [BBE Music]

When it comes to Jazz duos, the tenor sax and the harp probably isn’t the first combination you think of. That said, the pairing of Tenor saxophonist Tony Kofi and harpist Alina Bzhezhinska is a heavenly match indeed. “Altera Vita” is a divine recording of two musicians submerging into a cohesive duo creating crisp yet warm compositions. “Tu Vides” begins with meditative percussion that the duo also contributes to the set. Kofi follows up with a seductive solo intertwined with Bzhezhinska’s gentle phrases. While her touch is tender she manipulates the strings for a bigger sound. “Audite Me – Hear Me” opens with the superb Muriel Grossman on the tanpura bass. The Middle Eastern rhythms combined with Kofi’s solo creates a spiritual jazz vibe. Bzhezhinska spins out phrases that bring it all together. Two great performances result in a marvelous recording. This will certainly inspire repeated listens.


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