Mike Westbrook – All The World’s A Stage

Pianist, composer and orchestrator Mike Westbrook celebrates his 80th birthday this year by making a much-anticipated return to big band music with his latest album A Bigger Show. Andy Robson finds out why it took him so long to get back into the swing and why he regards the work of his latest extended ensemble, The Uncommon Orchestra, as among his finest ever

This is an extract from Jazzwise Issue #205 – to read the full article click here to Subscribe, save money and receive a fantastic FREE CD

GoGo Penguin – Letting Go

FEB2016coverManchester’s boundary pushing have come a piano trio GoGo Penguin have come a long way since their formation in 2012, nominated for a Mercury Prize for their second album v2.0 in 2014, and their third, Man Made Object, is released on Blue Note Records this February. Yet while they’re recruiting a youthful demographic of new jazz fans they continue to provoke questions from purists about the authenticity of their sound. Nick Hasted spoke to the band about this, how electronica icon Aphex Twin has influenced them and how embracing freedom is the only way to make music on today’s sonic battlefield

This is an extract from Jazzwise Issue #204 – to read the full article click here to Subscribe, save money and receive a fantastic FREE CD

Cleveland Watkiss – Simply Said

FEB2016coverSinger Cleveland Watkiss has been a powerful presence on the British jazz scene for the last two decades – an original member of the Jazz Warriors and renowned for his versatility and vocal range, his career has spanned work with drum’n’bass icon Goldie, opera with Julian Joseph and session work with Stevie Wonder, Björk and Bob Dylan among many others. After an extended hiatus away from the studio, he’s finally back with a new album, Song Diasporas, a personal selection of jazz, rock and soul classics stripped back to just voice, bass and piano. Kevin LeGendre spoke to the singer about the album, the influence of improvisation and the inherent power of language

This is an extract from Jazzwise Issue #204 – to read the full article click here to Subscribe, save money and receive a fantastic FREE CD

Gerard Presencer – Sound Travels

FEB2016coverIn 1993 the sound of Gerard Presencer’s trumpet was everywhere thanks to the huge international success of Us3’s hit single ‘Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)’: he helped bring the Blue Note sound to a new mass audience and jump-started his career in a big way. Yet, in spite of subsequently working with BBC and Ronnie Scott’s Big Bands, and as the head of jazz at the Royal Academy of Music, it wasn’t until he upped sticks to Denmark five years ago that his career picked up again. Now a full time member of the revered Danish Radio Big Band, Stuart Nicholson met with him to discuss the opportunities afforded by Groove Travels, the name of his fourth and most recent album, and the impact his move has had on both his playing and composing chops

This is an extract from Jazzwise Issue #204 – to read the full article click here to Subscribe, save money and receive a fantastic FREE CD

Bill Laurance – Swamp Fever

Hackney-born keyboardist Bill Laurance is a founding member, and only Brit, in genre-smashing fusioneers Snarky Puppy, who’ve risen from obscurity by playing over 1,000 gigs around the world and have just been nominated for another Grammy. The group’s success has helped launch his burgeoning solo career, which now sees him release a third album, Aftersun; a heavy bayou beat-fest of deep African, latin and jazz-rock rhythms recorded in New Orleans. Laurance spoke to Mike Flynn about how Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue inadvertently saved the album from almost never happening

This is an extract from Jazzwise Issue #204 – to read the full article click here to Subscribe, save money and receive a fantastic FREE CD

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