John Surman - Spaces and Places

John Surman is one of the totemic figures of British jazz, one of the select number revered and admired in Britain and abroad, both for his technical skills and for his audacious approach to jazz and improvised music. His latest album The Spaces In Between is just one of a raft of new projects that Surman is involved with in the coming year, showing a wide range of Surman’s interests. Interview: Duncan Heining 

Charles Mingus - Triumph of the Underdog

Charles Mingus, had he lived, would have been 85 this year. Despite the fact that he is no longer around, his music has an uncanny longevity and his music is more influential today than it has ever been. In a special feature, Jazzwise this month looks at the life and music of Charles Mingus as the repertory band named after him, the Mingus Big Band, prepares to come to the UK for a major tour and a raft of reissues are released.

Martin Taylor - There and Back

Guitarist Martin Taylor, one of the greatest ever UK jazz guitarists, talks to Jack Massarik about coming to terms with the death of his son Stewart, calling on the help of some of his oldest musical associates to form a new band Freternity which has managed to draw out some of Martin’s most evocative playing in years.

Medeski, Scofield, Martin and Wood - Out of the Tube

Medeski Martin and Wood, the trio that virtually invented the whole notion of the jam band, have teamed up once again with John Scofield for a joyous open ended Meters-inspired jam Out Louder. Is it a reworking of past glories or a fresh new outing together? Andy Robson finds out.

Wynton Marsalis - Plantation Polemics

With his vexed views on the subject of “tradition” Wynton Marsalis has become the epitome of the starchy jazz conservative that many would-be jazz liberals love to hate. Yet is there more to the trumpeter than grandiloquent pronouncements on the need to preserve a particular strand of the music’s history? From The Plantation To The Penitentiary, Marsalis’ new album, reminds us that he is also a fervent political commentator as well as a fine musician. 

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