Dhafer Youssef – The Bittersweetness of Being

Jazzwise-cover-cover-Sept16-300Tunisian Dhafer Youssef’s cultural cross-pollinating music and career rise up like models for harmonious living in an increasingly fraught and fractured world. With a rich, genre-straddling body of work behind him, Youssef’s latest and intriguingly-titled album, Diwan Of Beauty And Odd, is a meter-manipulating collection spanning Western and Islamic tropes and features some of New York’s fi nest jazz men in Aaron Parks, Ben Williams, Mark Guiliana and Ambrose Akinmusire. Kevin Le Gendre spoke to the oud player and vocalist about the daily duality of joy and pain and how they, along with seismic personal circumstances, have provided the underlying narrative for this powerful new work

This is an extract from Jazzwise Issue #211 – to read the full article click here to Subscribe, save money and get a fantsatic jazz CD FREE

Branford Marsalis and Kurt Elling – Melody in Motion

JAZZWISE-COVER-AUGUST350Saxophonist Branford Marsalis’ Quartet has an illustrious 20-year history spanning a series of 15 powerful albums that have tackled everything from John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme in its entirety, to 2012’s scorching Four MFs Playin’ Tunes – always giving acoustic modern jazz a hefty kick up the behind. Yet working with a singer had never been on the Quartet’s cards – until now. Multi-Grammy Award winner Kurt Elling stepped up to the plate for what could be his fi nest vocal album to date, Upward Spiral, taming his velvety virtuosity to work within Marsalis’ fiercely intelligent vision of contemporary swing, ballads and blues. In a forthright interview Stuart Nicholson speaks to the album’s two principal protagonists about how they forged their musical partnership

This is an extract from Jazzwise Issue #210 – to read the full article click here to Subscribe, save money

Zoe Rahman - Fascinating Rhythms

JAZZWISE-COVER-AUGUST350Multi-award winning pianist and composer Zoe Rahman has taken the solo route on her latest album, Dreamland, a personal journey of covers and rhythmically-charged originals. Marking a new creative chapter in a career that’s seen her work closely with Courtney Pine and her own Mercury Prize-nominated trio, Rahman spoke to Peter Quinn about the process of going it alone

This is an extract from Jazzwise Issue #210 – to read the full article click here to Subscribe, save money

Elliot Galvin - Puppet Masters

JAZZWISE-COVER-AUGUST350One of the exciting new generation of jazz musicians to emerge from Trinity Laban musical conservatory, Londoner Elliot Galvin has delivered a right-hook to the guts of jazz purists with his latest macabre offering, Punch. Selwyn Harris took a couple to the midriff while discovering this precocious young pianist’s appetite for the dark side of theatre, jazz and twisted analogue sounds

This is an extract from Jazzwise Issue #210 – to read the full article click here to Subscribe, save money

Omar Puente – Fiddler On The Hoof

Dazzling Cuban expat violinist Omar Puente takes sizeably progressive steps on his latest eclectic longplayer, Best Foot Forward, an album dedicated to the memory of his late wife, Debbie Purdy, who continues to inspire and influence his work. Puente spoke with Kevin Le Gendre about spanning the distance between populism and abstraction while maintaining his identity amid a collision of global cultures

This is an extract from Jazzwise Issue #210 – to read the full article click here to Subscribe, save money

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John Etheridge interview: “We never got paid for Soft Machine. God knows what happened to the money”

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Life-changing jazz albums: 'Charlie Parker with Strings'

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Keyboard-player Lonnie Liston Smith talks about the album that changed his life, Charlie Parker With Strings, by Charlie Parker. Interview by Brian Glasser I know the one straight away – it...

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Life-changing jazz albums: 'Sunday at the Village Vanguard' by the Bill Evans Trio

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Bassist Miroslav Vitous talks about the album that changed his life, Sunday at the Village Vanguard, by the Bill Evans Trio. Interview by Brian Glasser The one album for me goes...

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Life-changing jazz albums: 'Spiritual Unity' by the Albert Ayler Trio

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The debut long-player, Dem Ones, from young-gun sax and drums duo Binker & Moses, garnered the prodigious pair some serious critical heat. Their forthright improv-heavy, beat-fuelled approach has also resonated...

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Christian Scott interview: “Not everyone in America enjoys the same type of freedom”

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New Orleans-born trumpeter Christian Scott has emerged over the last decade as a leading figure in the vanguard of younger musicians bringing jazz to a wider audience. Drawing on his...

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Such Sweet Thunder: inside Duke Ellington's literary world

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A crucial but frequently overlooked aspect of Duke Ellington's creative life was his engagement with literature. From Shakespeare to Steinbeck, Ellington's love of the written word inspired much of his...

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