Michael Hashim

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Various
LABELS: 33 Records
WORKS: Transatlantic Airs
PERFORMER: Hashim (ss, as); David Newton (p); Clark Tracey (d); Tina May (v)
CATALOGUE NO: 33JAZZ 023

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The effervescent but cultured saxophone sound of Michael Hashim owes clear allegiance to swing masters Johnny Hodges and Benny Carter, but also to later players such as Charlie Parker and Sonny Criss. From the former he derives a sweet plangency tinged, where necessary, with urgent gruffness, from the latter an apparently inexhaustible exuberant inventiveness and a predilection for playful, but always apposite, quotation.

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Previous recordings have featured him either with a big band, the Widespread Depression Orchestra, or with his own quartet, which is equally at home paying tribute to Billy Strayhorn or pumping out organ-centred R&B. Here, fronting a UK rhythm section with whom he toured last year, he applies his alternately joyous and caressing sound to standards bustling and languorous, to a quartet of bluesy originals, and, in two Kurt Weill songs, to showcasing Tina May’s silken but virtuosic vocals. Lively, accessible, but surprisingly subtle, Hashim’s playing should be more widely known. Chris Parker