Literature

Along with Allison & Busby and New Beacon, Bogle L’Ouverture is a pioneering presence in black British literature. Founded in 1969 by the late Jessica Huntley and her husband Eric, the publisher brought to the UK seminal texts by West Indian writers such as Walter Rodney, Andrew Salkey and Linton Kwesi Johnson.

The annual conference in honour of the Huntleys is thus an important event, even more so this year, as it is the 50th anniversary of the press they courageously founded. The all-day session at the London Metropolitan Archives has numerous panel sessions with a socio-political focus, but the performance element is also noteworthy. Flautist and composer Keith Waithe brings his band Macusi Players to the podium in the afternoon to debut new material that flows from his constant research of the rich folklore of his native Guyana, as well as other territories he has visited.

Waithe, erstwhile collaborator with the likes of Courtney Pine and Nitin Sawhney, is a virtuoso whose superlative command of the concert flute is matched by a highly imaginative use of his voice that enables him to create a wide range of nature-inspired percussive effects, some of which are executed at daringly high tempo. Backed by bass guitar and congas, Waithe is on good form, and the minimalist set-up serves to highlight his clarity of articulation and precision of timekeeping. Pieces such as ‘The Lightning Bolt’, with its swaying Caribbean pulse, go down well, as does the ambling swing of ‘Jazz In The Sea Of Life’. Joining the players is the spoken word artist-storyteller Sandra Agard, who brings a commanding presence to the stage to underline the deeply rooted alliance of black music and oral culture that Bogle L’Ouverture celebrated with the publication of Johnson’s visionary dub poetry back in the 1980s.

On the downside, the relatively poor sound engineering largely muffles the low register of the music, and there are times when the definition of some of the more intricate arrangements is swallowed up. But Waithe’s musicality and the immediate responsiveness of the audience ensure that this shortcoming doesn’t dent an uplifting event that gives due praise to those who had the long view, and the strength to match.

Kevin Le Gendre
– Photo by Francisco Castanon (London Metropolitan Archives, City of London. 2019)

The inaugural Turquazz: Anatolian Jazz & Roots Festival – a new multidisciplinary music and arts festival – starts in London next month and is set to shine a light on Anatolian jazz and roots culture emanating from Turkey and its surrounding regions.

Running from 13 to 30 March at various venues around the capital, the festival features a busy programme of jazz gigs, film screenings, jazz documentaries, talks on Anatolian jazz as well as a Turkish tango dance event, a jazz-funk DJ event and a pop up dining experience.

A major highlight of the programme will be an appearance by renowned guitarist Erkan Oğur and his group the Anatolian Blues Project, who appear at Rich Mix, Shoreditch on 18 March. Oğur is known for creating his own fretless acoustic guitar which he uses to dazzling effect to explore blues, jazz and traditional Turkish music.

Key jazz gigs include the Dave Brubeck-inspired Funkbook a La Turc (named after the pianist’s 1959 classic ‘Blue Rondo à la Turk’) who are led by guitarist Önder Focan and saxophonist Şallıel Brothers. Appearing at the 606 Club, Chelsea on 27 March, the band perform music from their 2018 album Standard and 'Swing' A la Turc, which features their funky take on Turkish folk songs, jazz and urban music styles.

Also performing are pianist Can Çankaya and bassist Kağan Yıldız, in their acclaimed duo project, Timeless. Appearing on 20 March at Phoenix Arts Club, Soho, they play classic jazz standards and original compositions.

The Turkish jazz underground is also featured when six-piece band The Origins, rock up to Cafe OTO, Dalston on 26 March for a night of esoteric music making. Featuring bandleader/bassist Cem Tuncer, guest trumpeter Baris Demirel (pictured above) and organist Tolga Zafer Ozdemirc the group explore a wide range of wild instruments, including the Anatolian Kamancheh, the Kopuz (lute), kanun, clarinet, kaval, duduk, bendir and oud.

– Mike Flynn

For more information on the whole programme visit www.turquazz.org

Acclaimed saxophonist Seamus Blake releases his new album, Guardians of the Heart Machine, on 15 March via UK-imprint Whirlwind Recordings. His ninth album to date, and his first to be released on vinyl, the London-born, Vancouver-raised tenorist will launch the album at Kings Place, London on 8 March as part of a whistle-stop European tour.

Hailed as one of the most influential saxophonists of his generation, the 48-year-old Blake has performed and recorded with such luminaries as Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Dave Douglas, Antonio Sanchez, Michael Brecker and John Scofield. The high-energy album features three rising stars of the French jazz scene - pianist Tony Tixier, double bassist Florent Nisse and drummer Gautier Garrigue – all of whom will join Blake on the road.

Mike Flynn

For more info visit www.seamusblake.bandcamp.com

 

 Taborn

The large number of musicians at this sold-out show says a lot about the significance of the artist on stage. Craig Taborn is an American pianist held in the greatest respect by his peers, and whose tuition of younger European players, such as Kaja Draksler, has been important. With a body of work for labels like Thirsty Ear, Tzadik and ECM the 48-year-old has kudos, and has appeared in London many times as leader and sideman to the likes of Tim Berne and David Binney. But this solo gig gives a prized opportunity to really enjoy the breadth of his imagination and depth of technique up close and personal. It is a chance to hear a whole range of traditions within the broad church of improvised music filtered by a mind that is very contemporary in outlook.

Though he opts for one long set instead of two shorter ones, Taborn subverts the expected format of the uninterrupted suite. The performance is broken into several pieces that give the evening the feel of a live album instead of drawing room recital, and the downtime between tracks also releases the tension between artist and audience. It underlines Taborn’s affinity to a looser, modern pop culture as well as to the buttoned-up gravitas of high art. The highpoint of the set is a perfect example of these worlds colliding. A lavishly syncopated middle-register riff jockeys and jostles into life to the accompaniment of strikingly hard, curt right-hand stabs, the intonation so sharp and precise it feels as if the notes are being sliced by a cursor on the screen of a laptop rather than by hands on a keyboard. The metronomic push holding all the ugly beauty together implies house and techno in the most vivid terms, reminding us of Taborn’s serious engagement with the electronic dance music scene of Detroit, as well as his avowed interest in state-of-the-art audio software and Macbook arranging.

Prior to that piece there is a dazzling display of orchestral-like composition in which Taborn’s touchstones, from Andrew Hill and Jaki Byard to Cecil Taylor, are evoked and personalised so as to create intricate entwinements of phrases that go off on tangents without ever losing momentum. Many of Taborn’s chords are voiced with an eye-of-the-needle finesse, but he never relinquishes an edginess and awareness of how effective a relatively straightforward shift of harmony can be. In one very compelling moment a mischievously twisted latin number is boiled down to a jittery, hypnotic left-hand riff that is allowed to run for what seems like an age before Taborn jumps down an octave, and the stark surge of bass threatens to shake the piano on stage.

If the muscular rhythmic drive of the songs has everybody in the room rapt, there is also textural invention to admire. Taborn makes timbres hiss and crackle through a smart blend of foot pedal and overtone manipulation to suggest something close to an analogue synthesiser, a kind of unprepared prepared piano. And yet amid this endless stream of ideas there is another crucial episode when Taborn draws an ageless anthem from daringly spaced single notes left to hang in the air with a church bell reverence.

This is a solemn statement, broadening the emotional canvas of the whole evening by conveying vulnerability amid the virtuosity. Taborn ends with a diptych of two of his inspirations: Geri Allen and Sun Ra. It is a marriage made in heaven. Or on Saturn.

Kevin Le Gendre
– Photo by Roger Thomas

The full line-up has been announced for Cheltenham Jazz Festival, which runs from 1 to 6 May, at various venues around the picturesque Spa town. With a newly designed festival site in Montpellier Gardens set to include a larger 2,000-capacity Big Top, jazz vocal/piano star Jamie Cullum will appear there on the opening night.

Other concerts announced for the Wednesday and Thursday nights include emerging US vocal talent Charenee Wade (Daffodil, 1 May); and a Buck Clayton and Billie Holliday tribute featuring singer Julia Biel and multi-reedist Alan Barnes, backed by a high-calibre band (Daffodil, 2 May). Further early names are soul-jazzers Incognito, with guest vocals from Omar and Leee John (Town Hall, 3 May) and the popular Friday Night Is Music Night concert takes a nostalgic look at 'The Secret Life of Soho', featuring music inspired by Ronnie Scott’s and The Beatles (Big Top, 3 May). Friday night also sees the Parabola Arts Centre programme launch with über-trio Sunlight (comprised of alto-sax firebrand Soweto Kinch, Finnish guitarist Kalle Kalima and Swiss vocalist extraordinaire Andreas Schaerer), followed by feisty jazz-rockers Partisans. Saxophonist of the moment, Nubya Garcia, brings her high-energy show to the opening night as well, in a ‘pop-up’ venue in the House of Fraser basement. This unlikely locale also hosts gigs by Joe Armon-Jones and Vels Trio (4 May). By contrast Brit-jazz sax icon John Surman celebrates his 75th birthday year with an epic performance of his renowned 1976 Brass Project album, with help from a 10-piece choir from Birmingham Conservatoire and collaborator/conductor John Warren (Town Hall, 4 May).

Further additions include leading US saxophonist Joshua Redman (Town Hall, 4 May); swinging jazz-soul vocal don Georgie Fame with the Guy Barker Big Band (Town Hall, 4 May) and recent Jazzwise cover stars Rymden, the new Scandi-jazz super trio featuring Nu-Jazz pioneer Bugge Wesseltoft and EST rhythm team Dan Berglund and Magnus Öström (Jazz Arena, 4 May). Chart-topping vocalist Gregory Porter will headline the Big Top (4 May), while the core-jazz Parabola programme hots up with a strong Saturday line-up of UK saxophonist Rachel Musson’s Nonet; Dan Weiss’ hard-hitting drum-led Starebaby from the US; a rare chance to hear Nikki Yeoh and Zoe Rahman duet on two grand pianos and top European bassist Michael Formanek leads his Elusion Quartet.

Sunday highlights include the warm soul-jazz vocals of Kandace Springs (Town Hall, 5 May); American sax man David Sanborn with his acoustic band (Town Hall, 5 May) and exciting UK trumpeter Yazz Ahmed premieres music from her new album, Polyhymnia, with her 13-piece ensemble performing a suite of music dedicated to inspiring women (Jazz Arena, 5 May). More stellar Sunday names include The Bad Plus making their festival debut (Jazz Arena); the high-intensity piano/violin duo of Omar Sosa and Yilian Canizares (Jazz Arena); and a rare chance to catch South African piano legend Abdullah Ibrahim with his percussively-charged group Ekaya (Big Top). Folk-jazz songstress Madeleine Peyroux (Big Top) and virtuoso US pianist Fred Hersch (Parabola) also appear. The Parabola showcases more emerging talents, including Norwegian saxophonist Hanna Paulsberg’s Concept; gyil player Bex Burch’s West African groove trio Vula Viel and young Swiss jazz harpist Julie Campiche. Jazzwise is media partner for the festival.

– Mike Flynn

For full programme details visit www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/jazz/

Page 3 of 266

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website

If you do not change browser settings, you consent to continue. Learn more

I understand

Breaking News

Mark Nightingale's Big Band Go Large At …

  Trombonist Mark Nightingale is the most accommodating of virtuosi. He’ll...

Read More.....

Open letter leads protest at cuts to Rad…

Over 500 leading musicians from across the jazz, folk and...

Read More.....

Guinness Cork Jazz Festival director’s ‘…

The Irish jazz world has been shaken by the sudden...

Read More.....

George Coleman, Jimmy Owens and Frank Lo…

The Annual SAM Benefit concert will be held on 13 April...

Read More.....

Cécile McLorin Salvant, Makaya McCraven …

The first names have been unveiled for this year’s EFG...

Read More.....

Turville's Quintet Dare To Dream At Brig…

This is the last show in the tour and there’s...

Read More.....

Durrant At The Double With Duo Of Improv…

Phil Durrant and Martin Vishnick (pictured) launch, Rifinitori di Momenti, their forthcoming...

Read More.....

GoGo Penguin, SEED Ensemble and Marquis …

The wider jazz programme for this year’s Love Supreme Jazz...

Read More.....

Branford Marsalis Quartet Muster Technic…

  Bookended by a short opening solo piano set from Nikki...

Read More.....

Snarky Puppy announce Royal Albert Hall …

Grammy-winning powerhouse group Snarky Puppy are gearing up for a...

Read More.....

Waithe On Song At Huntley Conference

  Along with Allison & Busby and New Beacon, Bogle L’Ouverture...

Read More.....

Turquazz: Anatolian Jazz & Roots Fes…

The inaugural Turquazz: Anatolian Jazz & Roots Festival – a...

Read More.....

Saxophonist Seamus Blake launches new al…

Acclaimed saxophonist Seamus Blake releases his new album, Guardians of...

Read More.....

Taborn's Finessed Tapestry Of Textures F…

  The large number of musicians at this sold-out show says...

Read More.....

Abdullah Ibrahim, Gregory Porter, Yazz A…

The full line-up has been announced for Cheltenham Jazz Festival...

Read More.....

Irreversible Entanglements + Matana Robe…

  Matana Roberts (above) is so relaxed tonight her short opening set...

Read More.....

Jazz FM Awards nominations celebrate gia…

The names for the 2019 Jazz FM Awards were revealed...

Read More.....

Patchwork Jazz Orchestra premiere ‘Badge…

The London-based 17-piece Patchwork Jazz Orchestra are set to release...

Read More.....

NJYO, JCM, friends and family pay tribut…

As Jon Hiseman would say: “If you are going to...

Read More.....

Sons of Kemet, Moses Boyd, Nubya Garcia …

The programme has been announced the inaugural We Out Here...

Read More.....

NCO hit bullseye with CTI at Ronnie Scot…

Tomorrow’s Warriors’ role as a springboard for emerging talent in...

Read More.....

Countdown To Ecstasy: Royal Academy Big …

  There are some people, who I've never understood, who smirk...

Read More.....

Melt Yourself Down, Laura Mvula and Kama…

The second edition of Love Supreme at the Roundhouse takes...

Read More.....

Michel Legrand 24/02/1932 – 26/01/2019

The prolific French film composer and pianist Michel Legrand was...

Read More.....

Hamasyan In Inspired Orchestral Manoeuvr…

The Brussels Jazz Festival is a relative newcomer, but this...

Read More.....

Zara McFarlane and Soweto Kinch turn up …

The night goes on and they keep on coming, a...

Read More.....

Jazz meets theatrical protest with The A…

Few styles of music can claim to have come as...

Read More.....

Snarky Puppy return with new album Immig…

Grammy-winning groove crew Snarky Puppy return with a new studio...

Read More.....

Blue Note spearheads 80th Anniversary Ye…

The iconic Blue Note label will celebrate its milestone 80th...

Read More.....

John Turville dives in Head First – new …

Pianist and composer John Turville returns with a new album...

Read More.....

Uri Caine and Henri Texier dazzle while …

Jazzfestival Münster is celebrating its 40th anniversary, but has only...

Read More.....

Ezra Collective bring the Brit-Jazz Nois…

Much like in other recent editions of New York's Winter...

Read More.....

Yazz Ahmed and Jasper Høiby line-up for …

For some there is a Holy Grail in jazz: to...

Read More.....

Matthew Herbert marks Brexit with Big Ba…

Composer, conductor and sampling-supremo Matthew Herbert is set to release...

Read More.....

Joseph Jarman 14/09/37 – 9/01/19

  The recitation of 'Non-Cognitive Aspects Of The City' by Dante...

Read More.....

Wandering Monster step up with 'Samsara…

Bass-led progressive jazz group Wandering Monster are set to release...

Read More.....

Making The Cut Mpu 300x500px

Subcribe To Jazzwise

Advertisement

Call 0800 137201 to subscribe or click here to email the subscriptions team

Get in touch

Jazzwise Magazine,
St. Judes Church,
Dulwich Road, 
Herne Hill,
London, SE24 0PD.

0208 677 0012

Latest Tweets

@profound_lore excited about this
Follow Us - @Jazzwise
@KirkdaleBooks that's not Pavel Nedved?
Follow Us - @Jazzwise

Newsletter

© 2016 MA Business & Leisure Ltd registered in England and Wales number 02923699 Registered office: Jesses Farm, Snow Hill, Dinton, Salisbury, SP3 5HN . Designed By SE24 MEDIA