Los Angeles tenor titan Kamsi Washington, double bass dude Miles Mosley & The West Coast Get Down and fast rising UK altoist Camilla George's Quartet are among the latest additions to the Love Supreme Jazz Festival's fifth and strongest line-up to date that runs from 30 June to 2 July. Set in the bucolic surroundings of the South Downs in Glynde, East Sussex the festival now also includes acid jazzers D'Influence, acclaimed soul-jazz diva Mica Paris' Sings Ella Fitzgerald set and rising star singer Poppy Ajudha (pictured top right) who also channels Ella and spaced-out Alice Coltrane-style jazz vocals. Fresh-faced newcomers appearing include folk-jazz influenced singer/instrumentalist Becca Stevens, horn-laden groovers Nubiyan Twist, edgy electronica jazz duo Blue Lab Beats and soul-jazz vocal trio LaSharVu, while large brass and latin ensembles Kansas Smitty's House Band and La Mambanegra are sure to get crowds moving.
The final line-up for the festival, for which Jazzwise is media partner, is as follows:
Saturday 1 July: The Jacksons; Herbie Hancock; Corinne Bailey Rae; Nao; Bad Bad Not Good; Lee Fields & The Expressions; Michael Wollny Trio; Shabaka & the Ancestors; Clare Teal & Mini Big Band; Mammal Hands; Comet is Coming; Sons of Kemet; Ashley Henry Trio; Joey Negro DJ Set; D'Influence; Mica Paris Sings The Ella Fitzgerald Songbook; Poppy Ajudha; LaSharVu and Becca Stevens.
Sunday 2 July: Gregory Porter; George Benson; Laura Mvula; Robert Glasper Experiment; St Paul & The Broken Bones; Hot 8 Brass Band; Christian Scott; Kamasi Washington; Charenée Wade; Michael Janisch Paradigm Shift; Jordan Rakei; Yussef Kamaal Makaya McCraven; Miles Mosley & The West Coast Get Down; Nubiyan Twist; Kansas Smitty's House Band; Camilla George Quartet; La Mambanegra; Blue Lab Beats; Incognito vs. The Brand New Heavies DJ Set and Tru Thoughts Disco.
Full weekend and day tickets are available along with camping and glamping options via the festival website www.lovesupremefestival.com
The 25th EFG London Jazz Festival continues its early build up to its epic quarter-century edition with a further tranche of names announced to appear between 10 and 19 November at venues across the capital. Additions to the opening weekend now include an appearance by fiery Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stańko's New York Quartet (Cadogan Hall, 10 Nov) featuring a starry cast of pianist David Virelles, bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Gerald Cleaver playing music from their latest ECM album, December Avenue.
Another ECM artist appearing will be leading Bristol sax-man Andy Sheppard previewing material from his new album, Beyond The Dancing Sun, due for release in the autumn, played by his Anglo-French-Norwegian group of Sebastian Rochford, Michel Benita and Eivind Aarset (Kings Place, 11 Nov). Much-lauded pianist Brad Mehldau follows the duo success of his appearance at last year's festival with Joshua Redman, pairing up at the Barbican (12 Nov) with renowned bluegrass mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile (founding member of the Punch Brothers), to explore songs and dazzling instrumentals from their recent eponymous album on Nonesuch.
Cadogan Hall packs in two esoteric nights with the Andalusia-based Romani pianist and composer, David Pena Dorantes in collaboration with the fiery Taksim Trio from Turkey creating a wild mix of flamenco piano and Ottoman instrumentation (13 Nov) followed by charismatic French soul-jazz singer songwriter Ben L'oncle Soul who performs his take on the music of Frank Sinatra from his Blue Note debut, Under My Skin (15 Nov). Further bookings confirmed are the irrepressible global groove-jazz of keyboardist Bill Laurance (Kings Place, 16 Nov); French bass giant Henri Texier also returns to perform his fine blend of modern jazz and globe-trotting sounds (Kings Place, 17 Nov); Italian pianist Stefano Bollani pays exuberant tribute to his much-loved Naples, with Napoli Trip, and his quartet of fabled composer and saxophonist Daniele Sepe, one of the greatest exponents of Naples folk music, alongside clarinettist Nico Gori and drummer Bernardo Guerra (Cadogan Hall, 18 Nov). And the bombastically brilliant Beats & Pieces big band will shake Shoreditch to its foundations when the 14-piece troupe appear at Rich Mix (17 Nov) to mark their decade together, which they will be celebrating in 2018.
Other headline shows already announced in Jazzwise, who are the festival's media partner, include Pat Metheny Quartet (Barbican, 10 Nov); Jazz Voice 10th Anniversary (RFH, 10 Nov); Average White Band + LaSharVu (RFH, 11 Nov); Phronesis with Engines Orchestra (Milton Court, 12 Nov); Richard Pite's 1957: A Jazz Jukebox (Cadogan Hall, 12 Nov); Marcus Miller (Paolo Conte (RFH, 13 Nov); Abdullah Ibrahim/Hugh Masekela Jazz Epistles (RFH, 14 Nov); Harem Gospel Choir (RFH, 17 Nov); Carmino (Barbican, 17 Nov) and Omar Sosa and Seckou Keita (Barbican, 19 Nov).
– Mike Flynn
For full details and tickets www.efglondonjazzfestival.org.uk
Sonic Protest runs its core festival across various Parisian venues, but it also sends transmissions around the rest of France, staging satellite gigs in cities such as Marseille, Nantes, Lille and Bordeaux. The emphasis is on confrontational and/or challenging rock and/or electronics, but there is also much of interest for the more wayward jazz fan.
A noticeable sub-tendril was the appearance of three drummers with considerable jazz connections, even if they might often inhabit routes taken through other portals. Sticksmen from England, Sweden and the US were involved across three different evenings. Charles Hayward was a founding member of This Heat, one of the most visceral and innovative bands at the late-1970s intersection point of punk, dub, prog, noise and funk. Sven-Åke Johansson is a veteran free improviser, a founder member of the Globe Unity Orchestra. Weasel Walter spends much of his time at the extreme ends of rock, but has always nailed free jazz polyrhythms at the heart of his approach.
The cannily named This Is Not This Heat allows the trio's two surviving members to recall the old late-1970s repertoire with an expanded line-up that allows a fleshly recreation of the loop-piled, multi-instrumentalist overdubs of their original recordings. Most of the newer band's sonic gestures still lie at the dynamically potent points, but with this muscle-training tour in progress, and players who thrive on improvisation, unexpected moves are, paradoxically, expected. At the Centquatre arts centre Hayward mostly plays drums, in his avant-funk intensity, perhaps descended from John French and Jaki Liebezeit. Charles Bullen mostly plays guitar, his spiky, strafing style grown out of a punk/dub/funk collision that, in the late 1970s, was already predicting certain tendencies destined for the early 1980s. The additional members include two more guitarists, a second drummer and a keyboardist, but there are frequent outbreaks of multi-instrumentalism, and all players are part of the general vocal spread. The presence of Alex Ward, stage right, is particularly compelling, as he's responsible for frequent razor-chopping guitar riffs and manic clarinet solos, his horn rammed tightly down onto his microphone, pouring into a floor-spread of effects pedals.
Hayward's voice is as startling as his drumming, as dreamily sinister lines are delivered in what might best be described as a pastorally-yearning Cockney. This same tone is also emulated by Bullen, and indeed, other members of the band. It's akin to Robert Wyatt's imagined evil underbelly, as latent prog tendencies were drowned by punk and d.i.y. sensibilities. This Heat always sounded complex, in the Henry Cow manner, but they possessed a sonic palette that was much more prescient, a trio moving rapidly towards a harsher vocabulary of the later 1970s. 'Not Waving' and 'The Fall Of Saigon' have a curiously diseased romance, a melancholia for nothing, whereas 'Makeshift Swahili' has a rot-gut, visceral chant-mania, and 'SPQR' is almost conventionally skip-funked. On the classic instrumental front, they also deliver 'Horizontal Hold' and '24-Track Loop' with a fully convoluted momentum. These works are at the pinnacle of the unpopular music repertoire, and we couldn't have hoped for a more exciting interpretation, in this Parisian manifestation of the gutsiest experimentation possible.
Have you ever urinated into a plastic urn, filled with fresh hay? This was the avant-garde (or was it traditional?) toilette situation within the vast church of Eglise Saint-Merri. Its general, arching space was even more impressive. Representing an even older generation than Hayward, Sven-Åke Johansson is in his early seventies, still looking wiry and dapper. His kit is classically tiny, just a snare and a single hi-hat, although these are well-amplified. They need to be, as his trio partners are German singer Oliver Augst and French turntablist Alexandre Bellenger, the latter operating at extreme volume, speed, extremity and general ridiculousness. He's a fast-flicker, but not in the hip-hop fashion, preferring to work with decelerated vocal content, or entire chunks of eerily dragged or scratched vintage records. This particularly excites Augst, who has the distinction of being a suave chanson or cabaret stylist, caught in a maelstrom of chaotic free-forming. Once Johansson has dangled a suddenly-discovered large cymbal onto the floor, Augst sincerely croons 'Autumn Leaves', unruffled in his self-deluded supper club zone. Bellenger clamps down on a vinyl platter with his teeth, hoping to add further surface noise. Perhaps this charged set was most reminiscent of when Lol Coxhill used to warble along vocally with his Recedents colleagues, those equally anarchistic representatives of this off-road electroacoustic manifestation of improvisation.
By way of contrasting venues, the next night's gig is at Petit Bain, which is a small shack on the banks of the Seine, not too far from Notre-Dame. We wonder how high their rent is, for the kind of venue that presents extreme sounds such as those made by The Flying Luttenbachers. This is Californian drummer (transferred to NYC for much of the last decade) Weasel Walter's old combo (originally convened in 1991), revived and touring France in a reduced power trio configuration. Not that this impedes a tendency for elaborately staccato arrangements of hellishly-amplified guitar (Chris Welcome) and bass (Tim Dahl), with the latter's fuzzed-up, slide-action tones frequently veering into lead axe territory.
Dahl is probably most-known for his work alongside trumpeter Peter Evans in Pulverize The Sound. He might carefully consult his music-stand score during a finger-twister number, but one of this set's heat-points actually arrives whilst Welcome disappears backstage to change a string, resulting in a spontaneous (and necessary) improvised tussle between Weasel and Dahl. Is this prog or math or simply freak-out? Weasel's locked closely to the string slashcore, with much of the music possessing a slapstick humour, taking us aback with its stark shunts, shanking outbursts and free-form suspension. Not that the Luttenbachers look noticeably amused by all this, but rather, violently intent on realising each savagely condensed assault. At one point, all three players savour a series of excruciating silences, then crack in as one brain cell, heightening the import of each eruption. Weasel's brief pieces are loaded with all manner of exaggerated activity: it's rock'n'roll with a freedom sensibility.
– Martin Longley
– Photos by Magouka
You can tell a lot about a man by the company he keeps. In the case of Squarepusher (aka Tom Jenkinson) and his monstrous live set-up of towering twin Marshall amps, homemade super-computer to frizzle-fry his alien-looking six-string bass and shimming LED facemask this is a man, and band, ready for some serious sonic warfare. Indeed, Shobaleader One, first appearing on record in 2010, are his hooded, LED-masked group who until they made their first public appearance at the Troxy in late 2015, were merely a menacing figment of Jenkinson's wild imagination. The band themselves are clearly highly-skilled jazz musicians – and with their perfectly warped 2000 AD-esque pseudonyms Strobe Nazard (keys), Company Laser (drums) and Arg Nution (guitar) they exude an oddball automaton nature, dispatching Squarepusher's churning, chugging electro funk riffage with po-faced mechanised precision. There's a reason for all of this of course, as one of electronic music's most-feted pioneers downed all pre-programmed tools in protest at dance music's homogenous malaise. His subsequent dive into incendiary drum'n'bass-disco-dub-jazz-funk-thrash is something akin to a one-man protest movement in favour of real-time human performance.
So what began as an opportunity to explore some of his 1990s classics from Feed Me Weird Things and Hard Normal Daddy, has expanded to songs from the Shobaleader One album, as well as a blistering 'Hello, Meow' from Hello Everything and the darkly-metallic thrash of 'Delta V' from Just a Souvenir. Opener 'Cooper's World' warms things up nicely with its dramatic dead-stops and hairpin turns, Jenknson's bass pushing the band along. Things step up a gear with the jerky disco of 'Hello Meow', Jenkinson unleashing his first fuzzed-out thumb-heavy bass break, whipping up a wall of syncopated snaps and pops.
There's some respite in the dreamy guitar chords of 'Iambic 9 Poetry' before the full-on wonky jazz of 'The Swifty' once more featuring the bassist's virtuoso soloing, this time with a keyboard sound emanating from his fingerboard via some impressive technical trickery. It's a high-stakes, high-risk set up when any form of computing power is involved and the momentary laptop fail and keyboard malfunction (thankfully, not at the same time) provide the band with a chance to improvise with aplomb, the second incident just ahead of 'Anstromm Feck 4' – a ferocious face-melting live take on 'The Modern Bass Guitar' – with Nazard switching solos with Jenkinson, and the head-smashing drumming of Laser once more cramming in more break beats per bar than seems humanly possible.
While Jenkinson may indulge his bass playing on the likes of 'E8 Boogie' and 'Deep Fried Pizza', how many other über-producers out there could adopt a completely new, live, way of playing their music and in turn create one of the most ferociously brilliant live bands on the planet right now? Er, one. It'll be fascinating to see how this project develops, but for now there's a thrilling new double live album, Elektrac, to enjoy and many more live appearances to witness its evolution, live, real and raw.
– Mike Flynn
Nels Cline contributes the one and only outtake from his Lovers suite – a version of that beautiful ballad ‘In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning’ – to a special limited seven-inch issued by Blue Note for Record Store Day (April 22). This lush sax and string-quartet bolstered cut finds Shirley Horn’s spectacular rendering of the same song residing on the flip.
– Spencer Grady