EST - The Sound of Surprise

Out of the blue, with little fanfare and no advance warning, the Esbjörn Svensson Trio has just released a double CD Live In Hamburg recorded a year ago during the tour for the group’s last studio recording, Tuesday Wonderland. While live albums only occasionally work in their own right as a fair or satisfying representation of the full picture of what a musician has to offer, the Hamburg album makes an immediate impact by the group and displays a remarkable level of virtuosity given that little post production work was done to “improve” any of the imperfections a live performance almost invariably contains. The album, in the years to come, could stand as a landmark within the band’s discography in the way that the live Köln Concert album marks a special place within Keith Jarrett’s work. Selwyn Harris talks to Esbjörn Svensson about that remarkable day in Hamburg.

Steve Reid - Surreal Rhythm And Blues

The gulf between the world of Martha Reeves and the Vandellas and the house band of James Brown at the Apollo to working recently with local musicians in Senegal is as big historically as it is musically yet musical chameleon Steve Reid sits as happily these days at his kit whether it’s a loft jazz, R&B, pop or world music situation as he did back in the day. With the loose feel of Reid’s latest record Daxaar echoing in his ears Kevin Le Gendre talks to Reid about the journey he has made through styles and musical setting, from a distant time jamming with Ornette Coleman in the unlikely setting of Macy’s department store, to showing up in Senegal with a few local musicians’ phone numbers, ready to record.

Guy Barker - Dark End of the Street

Trumpeter Guy Barker has just released his most ambitious album to date, a 2-CD set, inspired by Mozart. Titled The Amadeus Project it grew out of two separate commissions, one instrumental, the other with an actor narrating. Mozart’s most mysterious opera, die Zauberflöte, has in the process become ‘dZf’, with a Chandler-esque noir and the cool of the night about it. Stuart Nicholson tells the story behind the album and as the trumpeter prepares to turn 50 later in December, looks back on over 30 years of music making from teenage youth jazz orchestra days to gigging with Sinatra and playing on stage with Ornette Coleman’s Prime Time.

Jazzwise Magazine Albums Of The Year 2007

Jazzwise, the UK’s biggest selling jazz magazine, is delighted to announce that Empirical by Empirical has been voted the Album of the Year for 2007 by Jazzwise writers.
 
Who could have foretold that when Empirical bagged their first ever press as a freshly minted band in the Jazzwise Taking Off section exactly 12 months ago their eponymously-titled debut album, produced by Courtney Pine and released in July on the Destin-e label, would amass the most votes from Jazzwise writers barely a year later.

Stacey Kent - Ringing The Changes

Singer Stacey Kent makes her major label debut this month with a new album that marks a change from her traditional reliance on the Great American Songbook and features a songwriting collaboration with Booker prize winning writer Kazuo Ishiguro. Peter Quinn talks to Stacey.

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