As in previous years, Linn is offering free Studio Master quality high-resolution music downloads in the run-up to the festive season, in its 24-bits of Christmas promotion. From 1 December, it’s running what it describes as an ‘online advent calendar’, with a new track available every day until Christmas Eve.

A wide range of genres will be available from across the Linn Studio Master catalogue, starting with Almost Like Being in Love from pianist/singer Joe Stilgoe, recorded at last year’s London Jazz Festival, and taking in folk, jazz and classical works. That track is available until 10am GMT on Thursday 4 December, and is taken from Stilgoe’s Linn Records release Songs on Film Live.

The tracks are available from a dedicated section of the Linn Records, at www.linn.co.uk/christmas, and the Studio Master downloads can be played on network music players including Linn’s own models, or using home computers.

– Andrew Everard

Jazzwise can exclusively announce that MOBO-winning contemporary jazz group Empirical is set to take a radically open approach to developing music for their next album over six-nights at iconic London bookshop Foyles from 26 to 31 January 2015. The shop’s move to a new architecturally stunning location at 107 Charing Cross Road, that opened its doors on 7 June this year, now features a 200-capacity Auditorium performance space that Empirical plan to use in collaboration with in-store record shop Ray’s Jazz for the project.

The new music takes inspiration from the idea of ‘connection’ – that has also influenced the way the spacious new design of the shop allows customers to engage with books and culture through events such as this. The band intends to explore this too, “both the personal and musical connection between the members of the band but more importantly the connection between band and audience.” The new music will feature on the band’s fifth album that will be recorded the week after the residency and follows their eponymous debut in 2008, Out ‘n’ In (2009), Elements of Truth (2011) and Tabula Rasa (2013). The group still feature the long-running line up of saxophonist Nathaniel Facey, vibist Lewis Wright, bassist Tom Farmer and drummer Shaney Forbes.

Also drawing inspiration from the way 1960s jazz bands would do a run of gigs – rather than single dates at a venue – the twist here will be that every gig is free entry with the audience invited to discuss and give feedback on the music to the band in the shop’s café after the gigs. The band has commented: “it is a great opportunity to directly contribute to the making of our new work, so come and connect!”

Empirical will perform brand new music everyday for six days in the Foyles Auditorium, from 6.30pm on 26-31 January 2015.

– Mike Flynn

For more info go to www.foyles.co.uk/events

love-supreme-albumThe 50th anniversary of John Coltrane’s iconic album, A Love Supreme, is set to be celebrated in style on both sides of the Atlantic this coming week with concerts in London and San Francisco. The latter features saxophone icon’s son Ravi Coltrane (pictured top) and a stellar group of his US contemporaries including electric bassist Matthew Garrison (son of Jimmy Garrison who played on the original album), guitarist Adam Rogers, trumpeter Nicholas Payton and drummer Marcus Gilmore. The group will be performing on 13 December at the SFJAZZ Center, California in a bold contemporary exploration of the album that’s set to reflect the original’s sense of adventure as well as its deep spirituality.

A Re-envisioning Of John Coltrane’s Love Supreme is also set to take place at the Union Chapel, Islington, London on the album’s actual recording date of 9 December when it was laid down in a single day at Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey in 1964. The Enlightenment Ensemble will perform this newly expanded take on the album with the same group that performed at James Lavelle’s Meltdown earlier this year to great acclaim. The 15-piece band brings together a huge range of UK-based jazz talent and is led by flautist Roland Sutherland who has also written the extended, through-composed versions of the songs on the album, adding strong African and Indian elements via percussionists, tabla and kora.

The band features bata drummers – Adé Egun Crispin Robinson, Dave Pattman and Oli Savill – tabla/santoor player Ansuman Biswas, vocalist Juwon Ogungbe, drummer Mark Mondesir, bassist Neil Charles, pianist Nikki Yeoh, MD/xylophonist Orphy Robinson, keyboardist Pat Thomas, tenor saxophonist Steve Williamson and kora player Tunde Jegede.  

– Mike Flynn


For more info go to agmp.ticketabc.com/events/a-love-supreme/



Rising star US pianist Bobby Avey sets out on a five date tour of the UK this week with a stellar all-American line up that includes renowned saxophonist Miguel Zenón, in support of his latest album Authority Melts From Me, which was released on Whirlwind Recordings earlier this year.

The highly atmospheric album is inspired by Avey’s visit to the small Haitian village of Soukri, where he recorded a traditional Vodou Ceremony, which he used for the rhythmic base for this hour-long suite of music that pays homage to those involved in the Haitian Revolution. The band that’s featured on the album mostly appear with Avey on the tour and includes virtuoso Puerto Rican saxophonist Zenón, guitarist Ben Monder and drummer Jordan Perlson plus UK-based US bassist and Whirlwind label boss Michael Janisch.

The tour also includes three masterclasses from the band, which will take place at Birmingham Conservatoire (5 Dec), Trinity Laban Conservatoire (8 Dec) and Leeds College of Music (10 Dec). Tour dates are: Pizza Express Jazz Club, Soho, London (4 Dec); CBSO Centre, Birmingham (5 Dec); The Albert, Bristol (7 Dec); Band On The Wall, Manchester (9 Dec); and Leeds College Of Music, Leeds (10 Dec).

– Mike Flynn

For more info go to www.whirlwindrecordings.com

Piano trios, don’t cha just love ’em! Reports that the past decade’s deep infatuation with the format was beginning to fade would appear to be somewhat premature given the results of the Jazzwise Albums of the Year Critics Poll 2014, where three piano trios are placed firmly in the top five positions.

At number two, Phronesis’ highly kinetic live album of new material, Life To Everything, cements them as today’s preeminent Scandi-Brit piano trio as they continue to expand their horizons in Europe, America and beyond. But it was the Michael Wollny Trio’s dark, subconscious journey through dreamworlds, Weltentraum, that took pianist and composer Wollny’s increasingly inspired vision to a new level of performance and imagination, and grabbed a well deserved Album of the Year accolade in our annual poll, where 10 points are awarded to first place down to one point for 10th place.

Congratulations also to Christine Tobin and her superb interpretations of Leonard Cohen’s songs, A Thousand Kisses Deep, which nailed the number three spot. And for the second year running, Miles Davis tops the Reissues/Archive chart – but when Columbia turn out archive projects as magnificent as this Fillmore set, who’s to argue?

TOP 20 NEW RELEASES 2014

1 Michael Wollny Trio Weltentraum ACT

2 Phronesis Life to Everything Edition Records

3 Christine Tobin A Thousand Kisses Deep Trail Belle


TOP 20 REISUES AND ARCHIVE 2014

1 Miles Davis Miles at the Fillmore – Miles Davis 1970: The Bootleg Series Vol 3 Columbia Legacy

2 Herbie Hancock The Warner Bros Years 1969-72 Warner Rhino

3 Sun Ra and His Arkestra In the Orbit of Ra Strut

To see all the results and the full New Release and Reissues/Archive Top 20s click here to subscribe, save money and get a great EST CD Free

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