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

Kenny Garrett - Chinese Whispers

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.

Dennis Rollins

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.”

Miles Davis

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.

Martin Speake

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

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