Christine Tobin and Phil Robson - Coming of age

Daring to be different, singer Christine Tobin is set to delve still deeper into the consciousness of her fans and newcomers alike if the arrival of her brand new album Secret Life of a Girl is anything to go by. An emotional and personal stirring, one step beyond her previous album, the dark Romance and Revolution, Tobin on Secret Life inhabits the world of the young characters in the songs, representing different stages of an untold story, an incipient self awareness and maturity. The album is released at a time when her partner and regular musical colleague, guitarist Phil Robson, releases Six Strings and The Beat, a Bartók-infused strings album flavoured by post-modern jazz and African music alike. Stuart Nicholson talks to the pair about the story behind their albums and their quest to follow the road less travelled while long time fan, Lionel Shriver, author of We Need To Talk About Kevin, describes her reactions to that voice.

Jack DeJohnette - Rhythm Symbol

Master drummer Jack DeJohnette is part of a continuum in jazz that stretches back to the 1960s when the Chicagoan was a member of Charles Lloyd’s seminal quartet and when he made his debut as a leader. The line continued the next decade via Miles Davis and the groundbreaking album Bitches Brew, and then into the 80s and on with his own influential group Special Edition. With the foundation of the Keith Jarrett Standards Trio, which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, a new chapter in both DeJohnette and Jarrett’s career began, the birth of a group that would revitalise the trio format and then influence a myriad of jazz trios keen to break the mould just as DeJohnette and Jarrett had done themselves.

Ian Shaw - Safe And Sound

Ian Shaw, the leading male jazz singer of his generation in the UK, follows up his expertly pitched Joni Mitchell songbook album from 2006 with a brand new album released this month full of original material. The themes of the album, he tells Andy Robson, involve meditations on Shaw’s notions of his own sense of place, the process of growing older and above all, love

Matthew Bourne - Fun Boy Free

Pianist Matthew Bourne last year released a remarkable live album recorded in the Norwegian city of Molde. It provided a fascinating glimpse into the world view of the Leeds improv and jazz scene kingpin. The Molde album was the latest milestone in a career trajectory that saw an early peak five years ago with the prodigious flow of his debut record The Electric Dr M for the Sound label. It’s year zero, however, for Bourne as he now unveils the debut of his trio Bourne/Davis/Kane.

Lizz Wright - Garden Of Earthly Delights

When Lizz Wright debuted with Salt five years ago it was clear even then that the jazz world had found a new unique talent even if the album was ostensibly a strongly gospel-rooted affair. By the time of her second album Dreaming Wide Awake, when she was on the cover of Jazzwise for the first time, awash with arresting bottleneck backgrounds and intuitive acoustic and jazz-into-folk settings it was clear that new musical directions were being pursued and that she was becoming a significant jazz singer.

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