Van Morrison - Backseat Driver

Frustrated for years at being tagged as a rock singer, Van Morrison's new album with Hammond hero Joey DeFrancesco, You're Driving Me Crazy, finds him digging down deep into his jazz roots. Ahead of his headlining appearance at Cheltenham Jazz Festival this month he spoke to Nick Hasted about how, from his 1968 classic Astral Weeks, to long-term collaborations and brief encounters with Georgie Fame, Gregory Porter and Annie Ross, the jazz he first heard as a child in Belfast has always stayed with him

This is an extract from Jazzwise Issue #229 – to read the full article click here to Subscribe, save money and get a fantastic jazz CD FREE

ENEMY – The Enemies Within

Django Bates acolyte Petter Eldh and UK jazz luminaries Kit Downes and James Maddren are taking no prisoners with their debut release as ENEMY. Ahead of the trio's appearance at Cheltenham Jazz Festival this month, they spoke to Thomas Rees about their fearsome compositions, peppered with rhythmic riddles and extra-terrestrial sounds; the importance of pushing boundaries; and the threat of enemies, both real and imagined

This is an extract from Jazzwise Issue #229 – to read the full article click here to Subscribe, save money and get a fantastic jazz CD FREE

Peter Brötzmann – Machine Gun Etiquette

Peter Brötzmann's boisterous free-jazz assault Machine Gun was released on an unsuspecting world 50 years ago this month. Daniel Spicer outlines the sonic and political backdrop which birthed this brutal blast of protest music and gauges its influence on a whole new generation of mutinous minds

This is an extract from Jazzwise Issue #229 – to read the full article click here to Subscribe, save money and get a fantastic jazz CD FREE

Esperanza Spalding - In The Hot Seat

Esperanza Spalding has won both industry and critical acclaim for her wildly divergent work, notching up four Grammy Awards, most notably a 2011 Best New Artist Award that had the chutzpah to trounce pop idol Justin Bieber and folk-rockers Mumford & Sons. Yet, the bassist, singer and multi-instrumentalist has never sought an obvious or easy creative path, especially for her latest album, Exposure. Living up to its title, the writing and recording of the album was streamed live on Facebook, with the continuous three-day session clocking up 1.4 million views. She spoke with Kevin Le Gendre about how this brazen creative process pushed her performance skills and endurance to the edge

This is an extract from Jazzwise Issue #228 – to read the full article click here to Subscribe, save money and get a fantastic jazz CD FREE

Beats & Pieces – Let’s Dance

Celebrating a decade together this year, Mancunian big band Beats & Pieces continue to refine the parameters of expanded ensemble playing, that's as likely to include deconstructed David Bowie and Björk songs to their own heavy-riffing originals. With the band appearing at this year's Jazzahead! conference in Bremen and a forthcoming third album set to feature more rock-out experimentation, Selwyn Harris spoke to the group's leader Ben Cottrell and drummer Finlay Panter about the collective's evolution through Manchester's DIY scene and their contemporary twist on the big-band tradition

This is an extract from Jazzwise Issue #228 – to read the full article click here to Subscribe, save money and get a fantastic jazz CD FREE

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Q&A with Trio HLK

Q&A with Trio HLK

Trio HLK are one of the most distinctive voices to appear on the Scottish jazz scene in recent times. Their debut album, Standard Time was released in May, since when...

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Kamasi Washington: the return of the West Coast warrior

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Following his critically acclaimed triple-album, 2015’s The Epic, LA saxophonist has circumnavigated the globe with a seemingly endless series of concerts that have cemented his reputation as the go-to spiritual...

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John Coltrane: the lost album

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The unexpected news of the existence of an unreleased John Coltrane studio session, now issued as Both Directions at Once – The Lost Album, is sure to get the jazz...

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Patrick McMahon offers a guide to the thriving jazz scene in Mexico, including a list of artists to listen out for. You can enjoy most of these tracks in our...

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Jazz drumming and the vision of Jonathan Barber

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Kay Shackelford introduces a bold new force on the jazz drumming scene: Jonathan Barber When listening to Jonathan Barber, there’s an earful of innovative and thoughtful rhythmic execution that causes pause...

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All aboard the Blue Note at Sea jazz cruise

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Jon Newey experiences the unique musical possibilities of the Blue Note at Sea jazz cruise It’s early Monday morning on 29 January and the day has dawned surprisingly clear. Overnight the grey...

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Classic interview with Hugh Masekela: “Hey, instead of rhythm and blues, how about ghetto and Bach?”

Classic interview with Hugh Masekela: “H…

In 2010, Hugh Masekela, the great South African musician and an inspiration in the cultural and political struggle against apartheid, spoke candidly to Jazzwise's Marcus O'Dair about his continued to fight...

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Frank Zappa's jazz legacy

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Frank Zappa left a huge legacy of pioneering music and outspoken opinions that has proved obliquely influential in shaping the style and attitudes of generations of rock and jazz musicians...

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Across the tracks: Ella Fitzgerald's recording of Duke Ellington's ‘I Ain’t Got Nothin’ But The Blues’

Across the tracks: Ella Fitzgerald's rec…

Brian Priestley takes the opportunity to put Ella Fitzgerald’s soulful 1957 version of Ellington’s ‘I Ain’t Got Nothin’ But The Blues’ under the microscope It’s well known that Ella Fitzgerald had...

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