Paul Bley
Recorded live
at the Oslo Jazz Festival in 2008 inside a church of culture, a 19th-century neogothic building now used as a venue, material featured includes the Canadian free-jazz piano legend’s own compositions for the most part, with Sonny Rollins’ ‘Pent-Up House’ (featured on the 1956 Prestige album Sonny Rollins Plus 4) also added.

Play Blue lives up to the initial high expectations surrounding this release operating as it does at Everest-like altitude on the same slopes as fellow sonic mountaineer Keith Jarrett’s solo concerts and records. The album is built around two very long pieces, opener ‘Far North’ and the next track, not exactly poles apart stylistically but you get the drift as it's called ‘Way Down South Suite’, followed by ‘Flame’, the longer, er, ‘Longer’, where there’s an awful lot of clapping at the end, before the familiar notes of ‘Pent-Up House’ ring out where again the audience show their wild appreciation. A formidable record, full of opaque abstractions with a certain serene mystery to it that somehow connects. SG

Released on Monday 31 March