Mammoth 36th Montreal jazz round-up with Lovano, Cullum, Mammal Hands, Abdullah Ibrahim among the highlights

Abdullah-Ibrahim-0406-4x6

Each visit there are switcheroos at the goliath Montreal Jazz Festival, this year in its 36th incarnation. I wasn’t sorry to see Théâtre Jean-Duceppe de-prioritised as an indoor venue in deference to the revamped Monument National but it was a drag the jam at the Hyatt was axed; leaving a late night DJ set to reign at L’Astral and lure the twenty something set. Club Soda’s midnight sets were also curtailed, cutting back options for nightcrawlers comme moi.

Mind you circumstances forced a midweek visit on this occasion, Monday to Thursday, and I was hardly rolling thumbs short of music to check. The Place Des Festivals or, as it is better dubbed in French, ‘quartier des spectacles’ has come into its own in the past few years, the giant TD stage attracting tens of thousands to sandwich between rue Balmoral and rue Jeanne-Mance. The Maisonneuve end of the quartier incidentally used to be red light district in Montreal which boomed in the 1920s and 30s thanks to US Prohibition. However, short of a performance by the Orchestre National De Jazz de Montreal on 1 July and some early evening sets, not much primetime jazz occurred here. As usual Salle de Gesù provided the haven-from-the masses listening room, although a promising new outdoor venue, Club Jazz Casino, just opened below Gesù on Bleury St.

Joe-Lovano-8353-4x6

A personal panic ensued on hitting town as Sco(field) and Lo(vano) shifted slots from Wednesday at Théâtre Maisonneuve to Monday and that now clashed with Circuit Rider Ron Miles, Bill Frisell and Brian Blade – at the Monument plus Erykah Badu at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier. The toss-up was a no brainer though since Sco’s quartet in the 1980s introduced me to Lovano (above) and I’ve always dug the special pocket with Bill Stewart and Larry Grenadier. Scofield has divided listeners, some love, some loathe but what’s not to like? He conjures a mass of detail, texture, ingenuity, stylistic variation and feel plus coins countless snappy tunes yet some tin-eared detractors (rarely guitar nerds) find his style masturbatory. Scofield’s alliance with Lovano is surely one of the great pas de deux in jazz, the glorious simpatico of characterful tonalities that always hit with nervy energy and edgy rhythm. This was Sco and Lo’s first quartet gig since their European reunion tour of 2008 and they came on hot with ‘Symbolism’, a cut from the forthcoming autumn release Past Present (Impulse!), Scofield’s tribute to his son Evan, who died in 2013. The grey beards (Sco’s somewhat Merlin-like, Lovano’s almost Bismarckian) proved they’ve lost naught of their freewheeling, elliptical time sense and urgent groove.

Melanie-De-Biasio-8266-4x6

My first set at Montreal had resonated with more langueur. I knew nothing of Melanie De Biasio (above) until she appeared on the smoky, low-lit Club Soda stage flanked by her dangle-haired twin Pascals (pianist Pascal Mohy and clavinet and analogue synth man Pascal Paulus) but she clutched the room in the outstretched palm of her hand for a full fifty minutes before the audience felt confident to interrupt with applause. Not since Norwegians Beady Belle debuted at Soda, with the possible exception of Benjamin Clementine last year, was an act unknown to me quite so atmospheric. The elfin Belgian singer and former ballet dancer twisted arms Marceau-like as she expounded such bittersweetness as ‘Sweet Darling Pain’ at moments using her flute as a prop as she knelt in shadow deferring to skeletal contributions from her group, sounding deeper than on 2013’s No Deal (PIAS) with the addition of spartan acoustic bass. There’s little range to Biasio’s voice or much harmony to the diaphanous music but the vibe, for which her reined in band deserves credit, is effective and original.

During a showcase for about-to-break British jazz compèred by Jamie Cullum on 1 July at L’Astral and underwritten by the BBC and PRS for Music Foundation, two trios followed the soulful and promising Corinne Bailey Rae styled singer Malaika, namely the Peter Edwards Trio and adroitly named Mammal Hands. Edwards came across as the real deal, though perhaps points of reference are more ostensible to a straight jazz audience – McCoy Tyner-ish intensity fused with flashes of Ahmad Jamal/ Wynton Kelly urbanity. The drummer was too loud too, but what a drummer in Moses Boyd, a star in his own right. Suspended, repeated passages and scripted basslines feature in Edwards’ tunes, (check his self produced Safe and Sound) destined to hook inattentive listeners but there is more jazzy thrust and integrity to this trio than others with more notoriety.

Pianist Nick Smart, brother Jordan on tenor sax and Jesse Barrett on drums and tablas, collectively known as Mammal Hands, headed the Beeb’s bill and proved quite the revelation. Dispensing with bass naturally leads Nick to anchor left hand vamps and hold down the steadfast chimes that are more cliché in other au courant UK trios. He is a solid and pretty player and alongside versatile drummer Barrett legitimises the group but his brother is something else. With a gruff, blunt tone, reminiscent of Sade saxist Stuart Matthewman attempting to stretch out – a more flattering reference might be Ethiopian saxist Getatchew Mekuria – Jordan has unmistakeable soul as a performer, especially when gathering a head of steam, eschewing attempts at acceptable jazz lines in service to emotion and roughhewn timbre. ‘Spinning the Wheel’ is a feature for Smart’s prettier soprano and the tune titles reinforce the Mammal’s beguiling hippy ethos: ‘Intuit Party’, ‘Street Sweeper’ and ‘Tiny Crumb’. Mammal Hands really roused the house at L’Astral but not quite as spectacularly as Cullum did himself earlier in the new-yet-already-hallowed environ of Maison Symphonique.

Cullum hired a crack local jazz orchestra, including such Montreal ringers as tenorist André Leroux and trombonist Muhammad Abdul Al-Khabyyr to join his core team of fine saxist, arranger, conductor Tom Richards, drummer Brad Webb and bassist Loz Garratt. Festival director André Menard later remarked in droll disbelief “non of [the veteran local draftees] looked at their watch the whole show, they were enthusiastic about this gig”. Like Ray Charles used to do, Cullum treated his one-off orchestra like the living organism it was supposed to be, chivvying with wild gesticulations and demanding a response from the audience, not permitting staid passivity on or off the bandstand. Having ripped it up at the Proms and beyond, Cullum was determined to eradicate any stuffiness in the festival’s most cloistered hall, shamelessly flirting with such customized comments as ‘Montreal girls never kiss and tell’ and adapting lyrics from his ironic ‘When I Get Famous’ provoking fans to jump from seats.

Jamie-Cullum-0104-4x6

Cullum was a showman out the gate, with a singular trick-bag but he’s doubtless accrued tips touring with Billy Joel and, bashing on a snare drum centre stage when not at the keys, more than likely Coldplay’s Chris Martin. Aside from employing stellar Montreal musicians, he invited Émilie Bernard, a local music teacher who’d posted a video about losing weight running to ‘Everything You Didn’t Do’ from Momentum (Island, 2013) to sing backup, which really charmed. The canny coup de grâce that topped this was a moving interpolation of ‘Amazing Grace’ (elevated in public consciousness, lest we need remind, after Obama’s vocal tribute to those murdered in a Charleston church) amidst his signature rendition of Radiohead’s ‘High and Dry’. This seemed entirely spontaneous, as Cullum asked the big band to “turn on your inner Hans Zimmer” and give him an Eb drone to get things started. After requisite shenanigans exhorting everybody to shimmy front of stage and himself semi-crowd surfing, his encore gambit included a final flirtation, which appeared anything but artificial, in which he implored “Montreal, I’ve given you my all”, which he surely had.

Perhaps the most diametrically opposed piano performance to that of Cullum, (who slapped and kicked his Yamaha while beat-boxing but still spared himself trenchant solo space at sporadic moments) was the solo set by statesmanlike South African Abdullah Ibrahim (pictured top of page) at Gesù. Ibrahim takes his time, like raising water from an ancient well, to quote one of his well-trodden themes and he presides, somewhat like Cuban maestro Omar Sosa, as if you are casual guests in his sitting room while he tickles the ivories for his own amusement. His measured left hand operates like a paddle in a calm lake, progressively ascending gently anthemic diatonic chords that seem to float forever. The eponymous cut from his gorgeous 2011 Sunnyside album with Ekaya Sotho Blues - the Sotho are a Bantu ethnic group who trace lineage in the South African nation of Lesotho back to the fifth century - acted as a leitmotif during Ibrahim’s albeit hour long initial soliloquy which bypassed his best known songs including ‘The Mountain’ and ‘The Wedding,’ taking in fragments of Monk’s ‘I Mean You’, Randy Weston’s ‘Hi-fly,’ Debussy-esque wholetone flecked impressionism and inevitably, essences of Ellington, en route. Those lucky enough to catch all of Ibrahim’s performances during the Invitation Series, which embraced his Mukashi Trio with flute and cello and ultimately the Ekaya Septet, were set to enjoy a meditative oasis from the bustle of the rest of the fest.

Joyce-Moreno-8950-4x6

Another set close to rivalling Ibrahim’s knowing centre came from delectable Brazilian singer/songwriter/guitarist Joyce Moreno (above) who appeared with her husband/drummer/producer Tutti and nifty pianist Helio Alves. The storied carioca commanded a regal air with bobbed hair and a striking amulet around her neck as she mixed Jobim classics - such as ‘Aguas de Março’ (the most relaxed version ever) and ‘Desafinado’ (avec ‘shout’ section and Eartha Kitt growl) - with her own songs, including ‘Le Chant des Anciens’ inspired by Afro-Brazilian mythologies. Though celebrated as an MPB (Brazilian popular music) icon (she prefers the term MCB or Creative Music of Brazil), Moreno was initially inspired by Miles and Billie Holiday and there is a steely equilibrium to her graceful stagecraft.

Somi-0548

A different singer, at the other end of her career, made her return visit to Montreal having subsequently broadened her life experience with a sabbatical in Nigeria. Somi’s (above) latest album Lagos Music Salon (Okeh) reflects this life changing trip, and is a finely poised, accessible release, sexily laid-back but with an Afrobeat seam, including a take on Fela’s ‘Lady,’ first introduced to these ears by Somi’s mentor Hugh Masekela. Her rendition of ‘Two Dollar Day’ at L’Astral reflected a fresh consciousness and her brave revision of ‘Four (African) Women,’ though an entirely different kettle of fish to Nina Simone’s powerful statement still tingled the spine when Somi called out with sudden clamour. Here she conjures Björk, and there the rangy refinement of Dianne Reeves.

L’Astral hosted many of the hipper gigs apu, including Thomas Carbou’s trio with David Binney and Dave Douglas’ High Risk quartet. The latter which wears environmental concerns on its conceptual sleeve is a heady sound brew that benefits enormously from the creativity and physical energy of Michigan born beatmaker/laptop dude Shigeto and the breakbeats of drummer Marc Guiliana - they hardly need Douglas’ brassy, curiously unaffecting trumpet volleys scything through.

Shows I part audited or jumpcut from, either out of necessity or desire included Booker T Jones - whose most un-Hendrixian guitar feature ‘Hey Joe’ didn’t connect in an era when wife-shooting has become unfashionable - and the promising, bashfully be-titled ‘Heads of State’ with Gary Bartz, Buster Williams, Larry Willis and Al Foster. The Heads gig began somewhat inauspiciously as Bartz hadn’t quite tuned in his curly soprano for ‘I Wish I Knew’. Bartz tends to generate momentum over the long haul however and by the time I’d returned from an intimate green room photo call with Erykah Badu, who was presented with the Festival’s Ella Fitzgerald award (pictured below), the Heads had garnered a standing O at Gesù.

Be-bangled and big time be-capped Badu ruffled some feathers by being late to perform but was demure and accommodating as she hoisted the hefty Ella mic-shaped gong backstage. She insisted that since Fitzgerald had perfect pitch any direct comparisons with her rap-style were preposterous but she shared with Ella the perception of the voice as a drum. With bells rattling at her ankles Badu also name checked Joni Mitchell as an influence, someone who treated ‘laughing and crying as the same thing,’ and confessed that her own lean output resulted from the quest to actually live more before creating art that is supposed to reflect life. Wise words.

Another such art-is-life icon was Edith Piaf and as he did in 2011 alongside Cuban pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba, French accordionist Richard Galliano customarily disavowed the unwieldiness of his wheezy instrument with an absolutely stunning tribute to ‘the sparrow’ in duo with brilliant guitarist Sylvain Luc at Gesù. Other discoveries this year included the dynamic Mexican flamenco-jazz-metal guitar duo of Rodrigo Y Gabriela, the ludicrously talented eleven year old pianist Joey Alexander, who opened for the Wayne Shorter and finally, as I broke away from a hugely popular set by Austin’s The Mavericks on the TD stage, wracked by jazz guilt - Lorraine Desmarais (pictured below with Oliver Jones). Fifty something Montreal pianist Desmarais’ career was launched by the festival in 1984 and she subsequently bagged the coveted Oscar Peterson Award. A protean player with classical chops as demonstrated by parsings of Chopin and Bach at Gesù, there seemed no end to Desmarais’ inventiveness, reminding somewhat of Monty Alexander in her breadth, timing and sense of drama.

A highlight was the nimble tango of ‘Alberto’, which Desmarais describes thusly in notes to her 2012 CD Couleurs de Lune (Analekta): “This song asks of the milonga that which it can’t fully accomplish. The jazz dialogue is too strong and relentless, with impossible flourishes of tango. More than ever, the improvisations try to impress each other with their elegance and delicacy…” This gives an idea how her two fisted imagination took hold, concluding several encores with Oliver Jones’ bluesy romp ‘Something for Chuck.’ Eighty-year-old fellow Montreal piano ace Jones, who is knight (or chevalier) in Canada thanks to his considerable contributions to music, was in attendance and joined Desmarais in the lobby for a collegial embrace after the show. A cute kiss off to end another edifying visit to this fabulous fest.

– Michael Jackson (report and photos)

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website

If you do not change browser settings, you consent to continue. Learn more

I understand

Live Music Reviews

 Soft Machine fly loud and free at the Elgar Room

Soft Machine fly loud and free at the E…

“He’s not just a roaring, swinging jazz saxophonist, he’s actually...

Read More.....
Robert Glasper and Christian McBride spell quality at Sofia’s A to JazZ Festival

Robert Glasper and Christian McBride spe…

Now in its seventh year, Sofia's A to JazZ Festival...

Read More.....
Wild Card beat the heat at Ronnie’s Bar

Wild Card beat the heat at Ronnie’s Bar

It was fitting, perhaps, that Clement Regert's (above) groove jazz...

Read More.....
SEN3 Square Circle At The Oval

SEN3 Square Circle At The Oval

The Oval Tavern in Croydon might not be the first...

Read More.....
Simon Spillett Quartet swing hard in homage to Harry South

Simon Spillett Quartet swing hard in hom…

Harry South has been an overlooked figure in British jazz...

Read More.....
Shobaleader One take drum’n’bass to the dark side

Shobaleader One take drum’n’bass to the …

Four figures take to the stage of The Concorde in...

Read More.....
Frank Williams' African Jazz Quartet bring South African sunshine to Oxford's St Aldates

Frank Williams' African Jazz Quartet bri…

  After Frank Williams left South Africa in 1978 he made...

Read More.....
Burning Bright: The Westbrooks Take On Blake At Kings Place

Burning Bright: The Westbrooks Take On B…

The music of Kate and Mike Westbrook defies categorisation. This...

Read More.....
Baker's Boys Spit Out The Bone At Leam Jazz

Baker's Boys Spit Out The Bone At Leam J…

There's a feeling that, in the past, British trombonists have...

Read More.....
Verity Lane journeys the Japanese sublime in North London

Verity Lane journeys the Japanese sublim…

  This multi-media production has a breadth of ambition that is...

Read More.....
Damon Brown International Quartet With Ed Jones Deliver Hard Bop Judgements At The Verdict

Damon Brown International Quartet With E…

It's a complex web of internationalism that binds this band...

Read More.....
Clare Teal, Seamus Blake and Alan Barnes take Southport Jazz Festival by storm

Clare Teal, Seamus Blake and Alan Barnes…

Plus ça change, plus c'ést la même chose. That's just...

Read More.....
Julia Biel Trio make moves at the Minerva Theatre

Julia Biel Trio make moves at the Minerv…

The performance area at the Minerva Theatre in Chichester is...

Read More.....
Pianist Dave Drake Finds Common Ground At The Meeting House, Sussex University

Pianist Dave Drake Finds Common Ground A…

Manhattan's New School Of Jazz was set up to nurture...

Read More.....
WorldService Project mash it up with mince pies at the Vortex

WorldService Project mash it up with min…

Dave Morecroft patrolled the Vortex in a military tunic and...

Read More.....
Maria Chiara Argirò Weaves The Vortex A Seductive Dance

Maria Chiara Argirò Weaves The Vortex A …

  "It's the end of a long, emotional journey," pianist and...

Read More.....
Nigel Kennedy hits a high with Brighton Hendrix hoedown

Nigel Kennedy hits a high with Brighton …

The last time a Brighton friend of mine saw Jimi...

Read More.....
John Scofield and David Holland's Aziza Among The Balkan Fest Feast In Belgrade and Pancevo

John Scofield and David Holland's Aziza …

  This year's autumn jazz festivals in Belgrade and Pancevo (just...

Read More.....
Oz Noy Trio's Funk Blues Flux Triumphs At Ronnie Scott's

Oz Noy Trio's Funk Blues Flux Triumphs A…

  For the first five minutes at least, there must have...

Read More.....
Maxi Jazz's E-Type Boys Get Into The Groove At Ronnie Scott's

Maxi Jazz's E-Type Boys Get Into The Gro…

  With the E-Type Boys, south Londoner Maxi Jazz is exploring...

Read More.....
Beady Belle and Farvel inaugurate Wesseltoft's Kings Place residency

Beady Belle and Farvel inaugurate Wessel…

Bugge Wesseltoft's Kings Place residency began with a night celebrating...

Read More.....
Mingus Underground Octet rock the Ropetackle Centre

Mingus Underground Octet rock the Ropeta…

"Come on, you motherf*****rs!" roars an imposing six-foot clown in...

Read More.....
An Evening For Jack: A Celebration of the Life & Music of Jack Bruce

An Evening For Jack: A Celebration of th…

A thunder of Afro-Jazz drums roared across the stage during...

Read More.....
Andrew Bain's Embodied Hope Quartet deal in wish fulfilment at The Verdict

Andrew Bain's Embodied Hope Quartet deal…

Andrew Bain is a truly transatlantic talent, dividing his time...

Read More.....
Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Mark Dresser suitably masterful at Umea's Swedish summit

Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Mark Dresser suita…

In 1968, the inaugural year of the Umea Jazz Festival...

Read More.....
Composer John Warren digs deep for Algonquin lore

Composer John Warren digs deep for Algon…

On Monday night, the Jazz Nursery journeyed to The Vortex...

Read More.....
Jouné Kréyol brings Black History Month alive in South London

Jouné Kréyol brings Black History Month …

Black History Month rightfully seeks to expand views of Africa...

Read More.....
Saxophonist Josh Kemp cuts a free range groove at Pizza

Saxophonist Josh Kemp cuts a free range …

Jazz is cool again, report the latest editorials. But, launching...

Read More.....
Partisans and Norma Winstone shine at Limerick Jazz Festival

Partisans and Norma Winstone shine at Li…

Founded five years ago, Limerick JF always comes up with...

Read More.....
Gareth Lockrane's Grooveyard Get To Grips At The Verdict

Gareth Lockrane's Grooveyard Get To Grip…

Gareth Lockrane is in town tonight with a bag full...

Read More.....
Atmosphères, Apneseth, Westerhus and Wesseltoft mix it up for  Punkt

Atmosphères, Apneseth, Westerhus and Wes…

If there was an air of self-congratulation about this year’s...

Read More.....
Nightingale Quintet Fly High For Porter At Henley’s Phyllis Court Club

Nightingale Quintet Fly High For Porter …

  Mark Nightingale, easily our premier jazz trombonist (though Alistair White...

Read More.....
Stian Westerhus and Three Trapped Tigers power PUNKT remix festival

Stian Westerhus and Three Trapped Tigers…

If today’s mainstream music is now regurgitating ever shortening cycles...

Read More.....
Thomas de Pourquery’s Supersonic Honour Sun Ra At Saalfelden Jazz Fest 2016

Thomas de Pourquery’s Supersonic Honour …

This year’s Saalfelden Jazz Festival boasted an excellent mix of...

Read More.....
Clarinet maestros Peplowski and Stringle pepper-up Pizza Express with collaborative masterclass

Clarinet maestros Peplowski and Stringle…

This brilliant Anglo-American pairing has form: they toured together a...

Read More.....
Marvellous Masekela hits amid the kicks at Ystad Sweden International Jazz Festival

Marvellous Masekela hits amid the kicks …

Best known as the location for TV series Wallander, Ystad...

Read More.....
Rubin-Atzmon team-up brimful of vim at The Verdict

Rubin-Atzmon team-up brimful of vim at T…

  Saul ‘Zeb’ Rubin epitomises an aspect of the Manhattan jazz...

Read More.....
Swingles mingle with McLaughlin and Garbarek at this year’s Edinburgh Jazz & Blues

Swingles mingle with McLaughlin and Garb…

In the appropriately named Palais du Variété The Swingle Singers...

Read More.....
Dave Weckl joins Barker-led big band for Buddy Rich tribute at London’s Royal College of Music

Dave Weckl joins Barker-led big band for…

Dave Weckl was a devoted Buddy Rich disciple long before...

Read More.....
Pharoah Sanders and Binker & Moses walk on water at North Sea Jazz Fest

Pharoah Sanders and Binker & Moses w…

With all the recent Brexit shenanigans it must have been...

Read More.....
Michael Wollny Trio breeches the wall at Montpellier

Michael Wollny Trio breeches the wall at…

How lucky to be in Montpellier at the same time...

Read More.....
Wooten wows Komedia despite brotherly detour

Wooten wows Komedia despite brotherly de…

A queue stretching down the street outside Brighton’s Komedia showed...

Read More.....
Mathisen and Espen Berg Trio triumph at Trondheim

Mathisen and Espen Berg Trio triumph at …

  There are empty rows in the riverside Dokkhuset during native...

Read More.....
Swiss Big Easy comes alive at Ascona Fest

Swiss Big Easy comes alive at Ascona Fes…

  Revisiting old haunts can be a let-down. Not so for...

Read More.....
Transatlantic triumphs light up Ljublijana fest

Transatlantic triumphs light up Ljublija…

If the much maligned technocrats of the Brexit-bashed EU wanted...

Read More.....
Ernest Ranglin and friends celebrate outstanding musical career at the Barbican

Ernest Ranglin and friends celebrate out…

Generations of musicians and music lovers from across the globe...

Read More.....
Riepler rips at The Vortex

Riepler rips at The Vortex

“Thinking what I will use/to get the cool tone”, sang...

Read More.....
Brecht's The Threepenny Opera swings to New Orleans at the National Theatre, London

Brecht's The Threepenny Opera swings to …

Show tune is a vague term. First and foremost, it...

Read More.....
Randy Weston and Christian Scott get Morocco’s Gnawa Festival grooving

Randy Weston and Christian Scott get Mor…

Randy Weston (above) was there, folding his lanky 90-year-old frame...

Read More.....
Krupa and Waglewski hit the Bluesroads to Krakow fest

Krupa and Waglewski hit the Bluesroads t…

So widespread is the phenomenon of the jazz festival throughout...

Read More.....
Kenny Clayton’s swinging 80th birthday gig at Ronnie Scott’s

Kenny Clayton’s swinging 80th birthday g…

There are certain people who have fallen under the radar...

Read More.....
Johnathan Kreisberg Quartet on a roll at The Spin

Johnathan Kreisberg Quartet on a roll at…

The synergy between ex-prog rock guitarist Johnathan Kreisberg’s quartet and...

Read More.....
Jazz Rep Co splendidly concentrated at Cadogan Hall

Jazz Rep Co splendidly concentrated at C…

The Jazz Repertory Company presents ‘100 Years of Jazz…...

Read More.....
Gwilym Simcock Trio pay joyful tribute to Jaco at Pizza Express Jazz Club

Gwilym Simcock Trio pay joyful tribute t…

Captivating, insightful, lyrical, Gwilym Simcock's 'Jaco Pastorius Project’, featuring the...

Read More.....
John Etheridge, Si Hayden & Interplay salute International Jazz Day

John Etheridge, Si Hayden & Interpla…

It’s a well known fact that guitarists go to hear...

Read More.....
Jazzkaar Festival reveals the richness of Estonian jazz

Jazzkaar Festival reveals the richness o…

With a population of 1.3 million Estonia is one of...

Read More.....
Ant Law Trio executes dazzling Oxford edict

Ant Law Trio executes dazzling Oxford ed…

Guitarist Ant Law has made two very well received albums...

Read More.....
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom shakes some tail at the NT

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom shakes some tai…

With Motown The Musical at the Shaftesbury and Soul: The...

Read More.....
Georgina Jackson, Claire Martin and Pete Long line up for Best of the Big Bands Part II

Georgina Jackson, Claire Martin and Pete…

The concert’s title conceals its inner purpose – put quite...

Read More.....
Christian McBride and Edgar Meyer bring the bass to Brighton

Christian McBride and Edgar Meyer bring …

The double bass made a comparatively late arrival to solo...

Read More.....
The Buck Clayton Legacy Band serve up superior swing at Phyllis Court Club, Henley

The Buck Clayton Legacy Band serve up su…

Buck Clayton’s legacy was a box. Packed, it turns out...

Read More.....
Tim Garland Quartet dive in to folk and fusion at the Dome Pavilion, Brighton

Tim Garland Quartet dive in to folk and …

The relationship between celebrity and credibility is not always straightforward...

Read More.....
Stirring strings meet stern jazz with Hans Koller Quartet with BCMG at CBSO Centre, Birmingham

Stirring strings meet stern jazz with Ha…

Pianist Hans Koller chooses his fellow musicians with care. Percy...

Read More.....
Dakhla Brass go ape at Servant Jazz Quarters

Dakhla Brass go ape at Servant Jazz Quar…

“Upstate Dorset!”, volleying from an audience member towards the stage...

Read More.....
Mike Hobart Quintet evidently soulful at The Vortex

Mike Hobart Quintet evidently soulful at…

Got a definition for soul? No, me neither. But if...

Read More.....
Skelton-Skinner All-Stars Shine Across The Thames

Skelton-Skinner All-Stars Shine Across T…

  The imposing members-only Phyllis Court Club overlooks the Thames and...

Read More.....
Tubby tributes top Southend’s NJA opening

Tubby tributes top Southend’s NJA openin…

Brainchild of trumpeter and bandleader Digby Fairweather, the new National...

Read More.....
 Steve Fishwick Sextet reach righteous outcome at The Verdict

Steve Fishwick Sextet reach righteous o…

There’s a palpable buzz as Steve Fishwick’s Anglo-American crew take...

Read More.....
Blicher Hemmer Gadd bring the Hammond boogie to Pizza Express Jazz Club

Blicher Hemmer Gadd bring the Hammond bo…

On the band's website, beside big ups from Gilles Peterson...

Read More.....
Asaf Sirkis Trio and Tori Freestone take flight at The Verdict

Asaf Sirkis Trio and Tori Freestone take…

Music may be the healing force of the universe but...

Read More.....
Riley Stone Lonergan/Dave Drake Band free-bopping in Brighton

Riley Stone Lonergan/Dave Drake Band fre…

For such a bijou venue, the Verdict has attracted it’s...

Read More.....
To Be or Not to Bebop – Derek Nash & Alan Barnes keep the flame alight in Shakespeare land

To Be or Not to Bebop – Derek Nash &…

Alan Barnes appeared at Stratford Jazz Club (at No.1 Shakespeare...

Read More.....
Jasper Høiby unveils Qualia at The Vortex

Jasper Høiby unveils Qualia at The Vorte…

  Bassist and bandleader Jasper Høiby wears a well-earned smile. It’s...

Read More.....
Young jazz talents shine at Jazztopad Festival

Young jazz talents shine at Jazztopad Fe…

What defines the festive in festival is not hard to...

Read More.....
Daymé Arocena showcases soulful talents at The Forge

Daymé Arocena showcases soulful talents …

At just 22 years of age, Cuban singer Daymé Arocena...

Read More.....
Chris Mapp’s Gonimoblast and Arve Henriksen burst out of the sonic darkness at The Crossing

Chris Mapp’s Gonimoblast and Arve Henrik…

Chris Mapp was one of three ‘Fellows’ (the other two...

Read More.....
Rising sax star Melissa Aldana gets cooking at Pizza Express Jazz Club

Rising sax star Melissa Aldana gets cook…

It isn’t unusual at events such as the London Jazz...

Read More.....
Filomena Campus’ spellbinding Monk homage at Theatralia Jazz Fest

Filomena Campus’ spellbinding Monk homag…

Curated by the award winning jazz vocalist, lyricist, lecturer and...

Read More.....
Richard Pite’s Jazz Repertory Company and Alex Garnett’s Bunch of Five & NYSQ swing London Jazz Fest out in style

Richard Pite’s Jazz Repertory Company an…

The EFG London Jazz Festival’s final day allowed the fleet...

Read More.....
Kurt Elling, Get the Blessing and Ralph Towner ensure Pančevo punches above its weight

Kurt Elling, Get the Blessing and Ralph …

Hosted in the city’s Cultural Centre and featuring a line-up...

Read More.....
 Cuban Mela fires up at Camden Forge

Cuban Mela fires up at Camden Forge

The Cuban Mela was inarguably the LJF’s most vibrant closing...

Read More.....
Terri Lyne Carrington and Charenee Wade hit celebratory soulful groove down at Ronnie Scott’s

Terri Lyne Carrington and Charenee Wade …

If there is such a thing as the short straw...

Read More.....
Liane Carroll Trio wraps up LJF in fine style at 606

Liane Carroll Trio wraps up LJF in fine …

  Consummate performer and every singer’s vocal idol, Liane Carroll, sidles...

Read More.....
James Pearson and WordTheatre presents ‘And All That Jazz’

James Pearson and WordTheatre presents ‘…

WordTheatre, a company specialising in live readings of stories by...

Read More.....
Sam Braysher, Nick Costley-White, The Dixie Ticklers with Johnny Mars set sail at Jazz Nursery

Sam Braysher, Nick Costley-White, The Di…

The Jazz Nursery, set aboard a magnificent replica of Sir...

Read More.....
Simon Spillett plays up a storm for Foyles launch of Tubby Hayes – A Man in a Hurry

Simon Spillett plays up a storm for Foyl…

Last Thursday saw the launch of the Tubby Hayes documentary...

Read More.....
Legends gather in somber tribute to Kenny Wheeler at Cadogan Hall

Legends gather in somber tribute to Kenn…

We were promised a smorgasbord of jazz royalty at this...

Read More.....
Cécile McLorin Salvant draws on the past to captivate at Cadogan Hall

Cécile McLorin Salvant draws on the past…

After a lovely low-key opening set from Femi Temowo, featuring...

Read More.....
Alto Sax Reigns Supreme At Belgrade Jazz Fest

Alto Sax Reigns Supreme At Belgrade Jazz…

The theme at this year’s Belgrade Jazz Festival was ‘The...

Read More.....
Hiatus Kaiyote bring cutting edge future-soul to The Concorde

Hiatus Kaiyote bring cutting edge future…

There’s a crush of boho twentysomethings up against Brighton’s Concorde...

Read More.....
Steve Smith grooves hard with Vital Information NYC at Ronnie Scott’s

Steve Smith grooves hard with Vital Info…

It was the early 1990s when this writer first discovered...

Read More.....
Knoel Scott takes on tradition at the 100 Club

Knoel Scott takes on tradition at the 10…

If walls could talk then the 100 Club, squeezed between...

Read More.....
Hypnotised by Hindi Zahra at London's Elgar Room

Hypnotised by Hindi Zahra at London's El…

Given the limitless ocean of music in which the world...

Read More.....
Turning up the heat at the Tampere Jazz Happening

Turning up the heat at the Tampere Jazz …

Festival directors often have to unhitch hitches right in the...

Read More.....
Elephant9 turn up the voltage at Electric Brixton

Elephant9 turn up the voltage at Electri…

While Elephant9’s recent studio sets might’ve inaugurated amassing embroideries of...

Read More.....
Marcos Valle Makes Do At The Brooklyn Bowl

Marcos Valle Makes Do At The Brooklyn Bo…

When taking an evening to see a true legend of...

Read More.....
Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express Reunite With Jim Mullen At The Jazz Cafe

Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express Reunite W…

It had been forty years since the legendary Jim Mullen...

Read More.....
Sheryl Bailey gets playful and virtuosic at the Bull’s Head

Sheryl Bailey gets playful and virtuosic…

Sheryl Bailey, one of New York’s foremost guitarists and now...

Read More.....
Salzburg swings to Jazz & The City

Salzburg swings to Jazz & The City

Austria’s place in the jazz firmament has been well established...

Read More.....
Vula Viel Launch Good is Good to a rapturous Rich Mix

Vula Viel Launch Good is Good to a raptu…

Last time Jazzwise took an evening to see Bex Burch’s...

Read More.....
Sheryl Bailey Quartet get Swinging at 606

Sheryl Bailey Quartet get Swinging at 60…

There is a significant coterie of jazz fans that come...

Read More.....
Leroy Jones Quintet get Soho swinging in style

Leroy Jones Quintet get Soho swinging in…

Three nights in to his five-night stay at Pizza Express...

Read More.....
Liane Carroll dazzles with vintage performance at Celebrate Voice Festival

Liane Carroll dazzles with vintage perfo…

Liane Carroll celebrated, life, jazz and the unrestrained joy of...

Read More.....
Huw V Williams’ Hon storms The Vortex

Huw V Williams’ Hon storms The Vortex

On a rainy evening in Dalston, 21 October – ‘Back...

Read More.....
Bill Frisell bewitches with Strings at Ronnie Scott’s

Bill Frisell bewitches with Strings at R…

It’s a great recipe: take a string quartet line-up, dispense...

Read More.....
Mark Guiliana Jazz Quartet digs deep at Ronnie Scott’s

Mark Guiliana Jazz Quartet digs deep at …

For the first time in eleven years, leading US drummer...

Read More.....
Joel Harrison Quartet get cooking at Pizza Express

Joel Harrison Quartet get cooking at Piz…

The advance billing might have suggested a Joel Harrison solo...

Read More.....
Aaron Parks Trio goes Zen at Kings Place

Aaron Parks Trio goes Zen at Kings Place…

I’m writing this with one eye on an article about...

Read More.....
Beat poetry meets backbeats with Barry Wallenstein and Mike Hobart’s Urban Jazz Collective at Vortex

Beat poetry meets backbeats with Barry W…

New York beat poet Barry Wallenstein joined Mike Hobart’s Urban...

Read More.....
Brighton Alternative Jazz Festival blasts off with Birchall, Brand and more

Brighton Alternative Jazz Festival blast…

With its emphasis on adventurous programming and bids to redress...

Read More.....
Dave Drake and Riley Stone-Lonergan offer an enthralling glimpse of the future

Dave Drake and Riley Stone-Lonergan offe…

 Anyone bold or foolhardy enough to essay a career in...

Read More.....
Bobby Wellins brings bright-eyed energy to the Verdict

Bobby Wellins brings bright-eyed energy …

Bobby Wellins is unique; a near contemporary of Rollins, Shorter...

Read More.....
Stan Sulzmann Quartet weaves wonders at The Vortex

Stan Sulzmann Quartet weaves wonders at …

Stan Sulzmann stepped in for an indisposed Bobby Wellins on Saturday...

Read More.....
Phronesis, Tingvall and Marsalis power up at Palatia Jazz Festival

Phronesis, Tingvall and Marsalis power u…

The two evenings that we visited the Palatia Jazz Festival...

Read More.....
Fletch’s Brew whip up an Electric Stew at the Vortex

Fletch’s Brew whip up an Electric Stew a…

As Fletch’s Brew steamed through two sets at the Vortex...

Read More.....
Robert Glasper Trio digs deep at The Hub, Edinburgh

Robert Glasper Trio digs deep at The Hub…

As the audience waits for the Robert Glasper Trio to...

Read More.....
Steve Fishwick Trio Out To Lunch at Cadogan Hall, London

Steve Fishwick Trio Out To Lunch at Cado…

I’m tempted to paraphrase the old musician’s joke about not...

Read More.....
Mark Guiliana, Matt Brewer and John Escreet unlock jazz’s secrets in Siena

Mark Guiliana, Matt Brewer and John Escr…

Such is the quite breathtaking beauty of one of Italy’s...

Read More.....
Bennett and Gaga, Snarky Puppy and The Bad Plus/Joshua Redman top triumphant Umbria Jazz Festival

Bennett and Gaga, Snarky Puppy and The B…

Umbria Jazz is a brand and like all brands it’s...

Read More.....
Avishai Cohen and Marcus Miller burn in the heat of Jazz á Vienne

Avishai Cohen and Marcus Miller burn in …

  One of the biggest French summer Festivals enjoyed the hottest...

Read More.....
Brad Shepik’s Trio explore a Changing Climate

Brad Shepik’s Trio explore a Changing Cl…

Guitarist and educator Brad Shepik’s compositions have attracted sufficient attention...

Read More.....
Zara McFarlane stretches out at Pizza Express Jazz Club, Soho

Zara McFarlane stretches out at Pizza Ex…

Singer and composer Zara McFarlane played to sold-out crowds at...

Read More.....
Nigel Price Organ Trio 25 July 2015, Kings Place

Nigel Price Organ Trio 25 July 2015, Kin…

  In Michael Chabon’s 2012 novel Telegraph Avenue, the fictitious jazz...

Read More.....
A party atmosphere reigns supreme at Jazz à Vienne 2015

A party atmosphere reigns supreme at Jaz…

One of the biggest French summer Festivals enjoyed the hottest...

Read More.....
Soweto Kinch and Kurt Elling hit the heights at the Malta Jazz Festival

Soweto Kinch and Kurt Elling hit the hei…

Soweto Kinch’s gig is nearing its climax when he finds...

Read More.....
The cerebral meets the popular at the Rigas Ritmi Festival in Latvia

The cerebral meets the popular at the Ri…

As Ramon Valle explains, the Ritmi in the title of...

Read More.....
Swanage Jazz Fest swings hard with Jean Tousaint’s Art Blakey Sextet

Swanage Jazz Fest swings hard with Jean …

Swanage’s format is well-established and well-understood. A marquee each for...

Read More.....
Jason Moran, Justin Kauflin and D’Angelo shine at Montreux Jazz Festival

Jason Moran, Justin Kauflin and D’Angelo…

Thomas Rees is swept away by glamour, history and stand...

Read More.....
Ant Law Quintet zero in at The Verdict, Brighton

Ant Law Quintet zero in at The Verdict, …

It’s been a scant 18 months since Ant Law played...

Read More.....
Mammoth 36th Montreal jazz round-up with Lovano, Cullum, Mammal Hands, Abdullah Ibrahim among the highlights

Mammoth 36th Montreal jazz round-up with…

Each visit there are switcheroos at the goliath Montreal Jazz...

Read More.....
Sly & Robbie with Nils Petter Molvaer create blissful ‘Nordub’ at Barbican

Sly & Robbie with Nils Petter Molvae…

A meeting of the world’s greatest rhythm section, two progressive...

Read More.....
Average White Band Jarrod Lawson get the Rio funking at Glasgow Jazz Festival

Average White Band Jarrod Lawson get the…

Although the concert hall experience is a major part of...

Read More.....
Manu Katché and Dado Moroni  get Bari in Jazz bopping

Manu Katché and Dado Moroni get Bari in…

This year’s edition of Bari in Jazz marked a transition...

Read More.....
Black Top funk up Freedom: The Art Of Improvisation Festival

Black Top funk up Freedom: The Art Of Im…

“Yes… central heating.” These words from Cleveland Watkiss, closing Black...

Read More.....
Joe Stilgoe goes Big Band at The Old Vic for album launch

Joe Stilgoe goes Big Band at The Old Vic…

A packed venue, atmospheric lighting, crystal clear sound and the...

Read More.....
Ivo Neame Quintet leap into the Strata at The Verdict, Brighton

Ivo Neame Quintet leap into the Strata a…

His highest profile work so far may have been with...

Read More.....
Grand Bal Swing: The Espirit Jazz Big Band swing the Irish Cultural Centre, Paris

Grand Bal Swing: The Espirit Jazz Big Ba…

On their arrival at the Irish Cultural Centre in Paris...

Read More.....
Tommy Smith and Brian Kellock dynamic duo at The Verdict Brighton

Tommy Smith and Brian Kellock dynamic du…

A happy accident of international flight scheduling has brought Tommy...

Read More.....
Dee Dee Bridgewater and Stacey Kent get down in the docks at Elbjazz Festival

Dee Dee Bridgewater and Stacey Kent get …

Elbjazz is defined by a deep sense of place, enticing...

Read More.....
VEIN and Dave Liebman get serious at the Vortex

VEIN and Dave Liebman get serious at the…

A lemur with a life ring, a mock political campaign...

Read More.....
Get the Blessing, John Taylor and Darius Brubeck headline vibrant Amser Jazz Time Festival

Get the Blessing, John Taylor and Darius…

Now firmly established on the jazz festival calendar the Amser...

Read More.....
The Printmakers leave their mark at Pizza Express Jazz Club

The Printmakers leave their mark at Pizz…

The cellar of Pizza Express Jazz Club, Dean Street was...

Read More.....
Carleen Anderson and Julian Joseph pay tribute to Sarah Vaughan

Carleen Anderson and Julian Joseph pay t…

The faded victoriana of Brighton’s Theatre Royal provides a suitable...

Read More.....
Nigel Thomas Quartet and Paul Booth shine at Brighton Festival

Nigel Thomas Quartet and Paul Booth shin…

Some jazz musicians achieve a place in the limelight; some...

Read More.....


Qobuz-ad

 

Subcribe To Jazzwise

Advertisement

Call 0800 137201 to subscribe or click here to email the subscriptions team

Get in touch

Jazzwise Magazine,
St. Judes Church,
Dulwich Road, 
Herne Hill,
London, SE24 0PD.

0208 677 0012

Latest Tweets

Piano stars, Shorter, Cullum, Collier and more light up Umbria Jazz 2017 https://t.co/sbpQ147T75 https://t.co/2ZQtUNkQit
Follow Us - @Jazzwise
@MxJackMonroe @rwilliams1947 haha, genius
Follow Us - @Jazzwise

Newsletter

Sign up to the Jazzwise monthly E-Newsletter

 

© 2016 MA Business & Leisure Ltd registered in England and Wales number 02923699 Registered office: Jesses Farm, Snow Hill, Dinton, Salisbury, SP3 5HN . Designed By SE24 MEDIA