Jazzwise can exclusively announce that Django Bates, cover star of the June issue of Jazzwise (on-sale 25 May), is set to release Saluting Sgt. Pepper, his tribute to The Beatles' icon album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, on 7 July, (Ringo Starr's birthday and the 50th anniversary of the original album and the release of the single 'All You Need Is Love'), on Edition Records. We can also announce that the music will receive its UK premiere over six nights at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club, London from 4 to 9 September. Bates will be joined by Danish trio Eggs Laid by Tigers (drummer Peter Bruun, bassist Jonas Westergaard Krauter and vocalist Martin Dahl), the 14-piece Frankfurt Radio Big Band and special guest multi-instrumentalist Stuart Hall on guitar, lap-steel, violin, sitguitar and vocals.

The project was jointly commission by HR Rundfunk Big Band, Frankfurt Radio Big Band, Norrbotton Big Band from Sweden, The Danish Radio Jazz Orchestra and the Umo Big Band from Finland and is set to be performed in each ensemble's country in a telling example of pan-European collaboration.

– Mike Flynn

For more info visit www.ronniescotts.co.uk and www.editiorecords.com and pre-order signed CD at djangobates.bandcamp.com

Brit-jazz sax great John Surman has won the Ivors Jazz Award this year – in only the second time the award has ever been presented since the composing honours were first created by British Academy Of Songwriters Composers & Authors (BASCA) in 1956. The Ivors Jazz Award "Recognises an outstanding collection of jazz compositions", which Surman's can add to his two Spellemannprisen awards (the Norwegian Grammy Awards) which he won with longtime collaborator Karin Krog in 1999 and 2013.

– Mike Flynn

For the full list of winners visit www.theivors.com/the-ivors-2017/

 

Having been a fan of Polly Gibbons' vocal and songwriting artistry ever since a review copy of her debut What's The Real Reason popped through my letterbox back in 2006, this UK launch of her latest album on Resonance Records, Is It Me...?, served to confirm her compelling gift as a storyteller, one of the multifarious reasons why she was a Jazz FM Award nominee for Vocalist of the Year.

Gibbons possesses incredible technical facility, as evidenced from the get-go both in the virtuosic run right to the top of her range in 'Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams' and the way in which every note is absolutely centred, but it's her emotional sincerity and the way she makes her material resonate in an entirely personal way which makes her such a persuasive performer.

Featuring pianist James Pearson, an outstanding presence throughout, guitarist Al Cherry, bassist Chris Dodd and drummer Saleem Raman, the band limbered up with a jaunty account of 'I've Never Been in Love Before', penned by Frank Loesser and excerpted from the brilliant Guys and Dolls. Other first set highlights included an adroitly layered 'Comes Love', a sumptuous 'Wild is the Wind' (one of the new album's stand-outs) and an adrenalised 'Love For Sale'.

Set two unfolded with even greater force and conviction, beginning with the joyously swinging title track co-written by Gibbons and Pearson, and taking in an impassioned 'Dr. Feelgood', a heart-warming 'Sack Full of Dreams', plus the self-penned title track from Gibbons' 2014 album My Own Company, "about getting used to one's own head", she noted.

Written by Billie Holiday and Arthur Herzog Jr., and performed here as an intimate piano/vocal duet, 'Don't Explain' saw the singer mining untold depths of melancholy, squeezing the bitter-sweetness out of every note against the backdrop of Pearson's increasingly rhapsodic accompaniment. Delivered with a seismic power and dramatic sweep, a brace of classic blues, 'I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl' and 'Trouble In Mind', brought the evening to a rambunctious close.

– Peter Quinn

 STETSON

Sax powerhouse Colin Stetson plays a one-off solo show in support of his latest long-player All This I Do For Glory at Brighton's historic Duke Of York's Picture House. The virtuoso horn behemoth brings his jaw-dropping technique and muscular post-jazz moves to arguably 'Britain's oldest cinema' on Sunday 3 September.

– Spencer Grady

For more details and ticket information visit www.dictionarypudding.co.uk

Some exciting international jazz names are among the latest additions to this year's 25th anniversary edition of the EFG London Jazz Festival, which takes over the capital's major concert halls, jazz clubs and free-stage spaces from 10 to 19 November. These include what's sure to be a pugilistic piano encounter between veteran Brit-jazzer Keith Tippett and keyboard whirlwind Matthew Bourne, who will then be joined by Tippett's Octet to play music from their latest album The Nine Dreams of Patrick Gonogon (Kings Place, 10 Nov). Genre-hopping fusions connect many of the other additions. These include a fiery Whirlwind Recordings triple bill topped by the Michael Janisch Quartet with Pakistani-American guitarist Rez Abbasi (top right), alongside trumpeter Henry Spencer's Juncture and Zhenya Strigalev Trio (Rich Mix, 10 Nov); Indo-jazz deity and tabla master Zakir Hussain (top left) leads his Crosscurrents ensemble that includes bass great Dave Holland and sax supremo Chris Potter (Barbican, 11 Nov); German piano star Michael Wollny heads up a gravity defying four-piece of dazzling beatboxer/vocalist Andreas Schaerer, ace accordionist Vincent Peirani and scorching saxophonist Émile Parisien, with support from Polish violin virtuoso Adam Baldych with the Helge Lien Trio (Cadogan Hall, 11 Nov); while African and Indo-jazz sounds combine in a danceable triple bill of Soothsayers, Arun Ghosh Sextet and Lokki Terra (Rich Mix, 11 Nov).

The global grooves continue with composer/pianist Roland Perrin's new Brazilian-meets-Baroque choral symphony, which will receive its premiere as performed by the Hertfordshire Chorus, Blue Planet Orchestra, Bishop's Hatfield Girls School Choir and Perrin's Trio (Barbican, matinee performance, 12 Nov). The latter is part of the 25 for 25 commissioning programme that also presents a new work from Beats & Pieces Big Band (Rich Mix, 18 Nov), and Phronesis' daring new collaboration 'Decade Zero' with the Engines Orchestra and composer Dave Maric (Milton Court, 12 Nov). There's also a head-banging Match&Fuse special with Led Bib, Schnellertollermeier and WorldService Project (Rich Mix, 12 Nov); and cult LA fusion-funk-pop band Knower, aka drummer-producer Louis Cole and vocalist Genevieve Artadi, make a rare UK appearance (Scala, 13 Nov); while ascendant trumpeter Christian Scott returns with new music from his Centennial Trilogy (Electric Ballroom, 15 Nov). Two rising female UK stars also appear – singer Zara McFarlane (above centre) performs music from her eagerly awaited third album on Brownswood (Rich Mix, 15 Nov), and trumpeter Yazz Ahmed explores electronica-tinged jazz from her acclaimed album La Saboteuse (Kings Place, 17 Nov).

The Wigmore Hall's intimate acoustics will be the setting for a spellbinding collaboration between classical Indian singer Ranjana Ghatak and Israeli Led Bib bassist Liran Donin for two interactive performances for children (11am on 16 and 18 Nov). And rounding off these additions is top US trumpeter Terrence Blanchard, who performs music from his fi lm scores – Herbie Hancock: By Himself and Robert de Niro's film The Comedians – with the BBC Concert Orchestra as well as a rare performance of Joe Zawinul's grand orchestral vision of one of the world's great rivers, 'Stories of the Danube', conducted by Järvi (Barbican, 19 Nov). Further shows already announced in Jazzwise (media partners of the festival) include Pat Metheny Quartet (Barbican, 10 Nov); Jazz Voice (RFH, 10 Nov); Tomasz Stanko's New York Quartet (Cadogan Hall, 10 Nov); Average White Band + LaSharVu (RFH, 11 Nov); Andy Sheppard Quartet (Kings Place, 11 Nov); Brad Mehldau/Chris Thile (Barbican, 12 Nov); Marcus Miller (RFH, 12 Nov); Richard Pite's 1957: A Jazz Jukebox (Cadogan Hall, 12 Nov); Paolo Conte (RFH, 13 Nov)and Abdullah Ibrahim/Hugh Masekela Jazz Epistles (RFH, 14 Nov) among many others.

– Mike Flynn

Full listings and tickets at www.efglondonjazzfestival.org.uk

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