Julie Sassoon Quartet: Voyages review | John Fordham’s jazz album of the month

todayJanuary 21, 2022

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The pianist and her long-running quartet’s buzzing and lucidly eloquent set mirrors lockdown’s swerves between isolation and longing

The enforced confinement of 2020 spurred Julie Sassoon to dust off and release an inspired but long-shelved solo improv recording, If You Can’t Go Outside… Go Inside. Later that year, in a gap between lockdowns, she and her long-running quartet made this buzzing and conversational set. In those starkly contrasting projects, the Manchester-born Berlin-based pianist/composer seemed to be mirroring the period’s swerves between isolation and dreams of shared life.

Sassoon is a fascinating original, her piano world inhabited by Keith Jarrett’s lyricism and driving hooks and Steve Reich’s minimalism, but perhaps most significantly, the resources she has been accumulating through collaborations with unorthodox jazz and contemporary classical improvisers since the 1990s.

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Written by: John Fordham

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