The release of O’Higgins & Luft Play Monk & Trane slows it right down and by doing so captures the essence of ‘I’ll Wait and Pray,’ the George Treadwell-Jerry Valentine song Sarah Vaughan performed in 1944 with the Billy Eckstine orchestra and that a decade and a half later was interpreted by John Coltrane on what would be issued as Coltrane Jazz. 

Dave O’Higgins turns in an exquisite performance and clearly he is at the top of his game. A saxophone icon of the UK jazz scene O’Hig is in the studio with his band who are new generation guitarist Rob Luft stepping up to act as co-leader, and with drummer Rod Youngs out of Washington D.C. known for his work with Jazz Jamaica – and completing the line-up Belfast organist Scott Flanigan who had first surfaced to wider recognition touring with blues guitarist Ronnie Greer.

O’Higgins says: “The music we’ve chosen to play focuses on lesser known Monk compositions and some of the songs Coltrane chose to record in the late-50s, more than the usual few Monk tunes and modal Coltrane so often heard. The choice of Scott Flanigan on organ changes our course from the obvious sonority associated with either musician.” One of the best albums anywhere in 2019. 

• The O’Higgins-Luft Monk Trane quartet play Pizza Express Jazz Club, London on 7 October.