Kenny Garrett is forever etched on the jazz imagination for his touring and recording with Miles Davis in the last period of the trumpeter’s life. Garrett and Miles made the most unlikely songs work. Long since a leader of distinction with many albums under his belt, Garrett made a creative leap of considerable audacity some years ago when he started to incorporate Chinese music into his vision of jazz, moving away from Coltrane tributes and a funkier direction. Andy Robson talks to the alto saxophonist about his new "Great Wall of China" project, dedicated to McCoy Tyner, tracks the erhu down to its lair and discovers what really happened when Kenny-met-Pharoah.
Trombonist Dennis Rollins likes to party. With his trademark funky licks, his charismatic stage presence and energetic populist manner he has become a major draw on the UK jazz circuit. But there’s more to Rollins than that, as he tirelessly devotes a lot of time to education in the process promoting the merits of his beloved trombone. On the eve of the release of his latest album Big Night Out Kevin Le Gendre talks to Dennis about his motivation, inspirations and why he thinks “jazz is the original urban music.”
Interest in Miles Davis has never been greater and seems to increase as the years go by. This month, had he lived, would have seen his 80th year. Miles biographer George Cole investigates the possible directions Miles’ music would have taken him by talking to Jo Gelbard, Miles’ companion in the last years of his life, as well as a wide range of musicians who played with him over his final years including George Duke, Adam Holzman, Darryl Jones, Easy Mo Bee and Foley.
With the ECM release of his new album, Change of Heart, altoist Martin Speake jumps categories from “man most likely” to “ascending star”. It’s one of those records that has the capacity to define a career. With a dream band of Paul Motian on drums, Bobo Stenson on piano and Mick Hutton on bass, it’s also the fruition of a long-term dream that began 14 years ago. Interview: Duncan Heining
Charles Lloyd, one of the key 1960s jazz musicians who reached out to a new young generation immersed in rock and turned them on to jazz, has teamed up with master tabla player Zakir Hussain for a new album which managed to tap the essence of the blues while drawing on the great improvisational resources of Indian music. Lloyd and Hussain talk to Duncan Heining about their collaboration.