Tenderlonious: You Know I Care review – fine and funky tribute

Ed Cawthorne leads a gifted quartet in an elegant set that honours heroes from the spiritual jazz era of the late 60s and 70s

As player, producer, bandleader and label boss, Ed Cawthorne (AKA Tenderlonious) has been an industrious presence on London’s jazz scene for the best part of a decade. Self-taught on flute and soprano sax, originally inspired by the likes of Yusef Lateef, Cawthorne has made eclecticism his calling card, with his records encompassing funk, hip-hop and techno, though his most recent outing was an album of ragas recorded in Lahore.

On You Know I Care there’s not a beat in earshot, as he and a gifted trio honour heroes from the “spiritual jazz” era of the late 60s and 70s. Opener On the Nile, cut by trumpeter Charles Tolliver in 1969, is typical of its time, loaded with an Egyptian melody that Cawthorne blasts on alto sax – a new enthusiasm – though the track belongs as much to the urgent flourishes of pianist Hamish Balfour. On a yearning but elegant set, the late Wayne Shorter’s Infant Eyes and Duke Pearson’s title track, both played on flute, are compositions known for their beauty. Less praised but equally lush is Maimoun by pianist Stanley Cowell, while John Coltrane, composed by Bill Lee (Spike Lee’s father), brings a funkier strain. A fine tribute.

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