Diana Krall - Little Girl Blue

Diana Krall hates labels as she detests the feeling of being boxed in. Embarrassed at being thought of as a new Ella Fitzgerald, she tells Jane Cornwell how she has moved on from the last, deeply felt album of songs many of which were co-written with husband Elvis Costello. It’s time instead to embrace again her roots, to explore richly satisfying jazz standards such as ‘Day in, Day Out’, ‘Exactly Like You’ and ‘From This Moment On’, the title track of the new album out this month, co-produced with Tommy LiPuma.

John McLaughlin - To the power of zen

John McLaughlin draws on the energy of the music he created with the Mahavishnu Orchestra to weld it on to everything that has gone since for his eagerly awaited “zen” project. With its hard driving, abrasive edge at times, it is hardly a fluffy product of some dreamy new age.

While there are respectful nods to esteemed colleagues such as Wayne Shorter and Michael Brecker, the spiritual strength of the Dali Lama informs McLaughlin’s concept as the guitarist hits new improvisational peaks and challenges the growth of conservatism in jazz. Exclusive interview: Stuart Nicholson

Jack DeJohnette - Once in a lifetime

The latest project for drummer Jack DeJohnette is a live album Trio Beyond: Saudades based on a tribute project to fellow drummer Tony Williams’ Lifetime, a group that was at the forefront of the jazz-rock revolution in the late 1960s. DeJohnette teams up with organist Larry Goldings and guitarist John Scofield for the album. Stuart Nicholson talks to Jack about Tony Williams and recalls Jack’s tenure with Miles Davis especially the sessions in Washington DC recorded at the Cellar Door club and describes how De Johnette’s own group Special Edition in the 1980s provided a jumping off point for a new generation of jazz leaders

Bennie Maupin - Dark side of the sun

Penumbra is the long awaited new album by Bennie Maupin, best known for his work on Head Hunters and Bitches Brew. The saxophonist and bass clarinettist talks to Tom Barlow about why his new album has taken so long, his Nichiren Daishonin Buddhist beliefs, recollections of Eric Dolphy and mentor Yusef Lateef

Tomasz Stanko - Far Off

Blues-drenched, free jazz legend Tomasz Stanko knows Ornette’s Coleman’s tune ‘Lonely Woman’ like some people know Lennon and McCartney’s’ ‘Let It Be’. For him it’s the kind of music that is key to his interior musical soundtrack. Over the years he has led his own bands in Poland, influenced initially heavily by the man from Fort Worth. But Stanko importantly became a member of pianist/composer Krzysztof Komeda’s group and later in his career worked extensively with the distinguished Finnish drummer Edward Vesala, as well as working as a sideman with Cecil Taylor, Gary Peacock and most recently Manu Katché. Stanko’s own groups have varied in their complexion, sometimes very austere, sometimes accessible with bossa nova and modal flavours. Next month his current quartet releases its third album. Ahead of its release, Stanko talks to Stephen Graham



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