Dennis Rollins and Courtney Pine crown glorious Glasgow Jazz Fest

Last year’s Glasgow Jazz Festival finished with a desolately sad Bobby Wellins filling the Sunday slot he was meant to headline with Stan Tracey, who had cancelled that morning, the cancer which would kill him, we now know, just beginning to bite. This year by contrast felt like a celebration of jazz’s bright variety, from Courtney Pine to Evan Parker.

The Neil Cowley Trio showcased their Touch and Flee album months in advance of their UK tour to a large crowd, amidst the Victorian ironwork of City Halls’ atmospheric Old Fruitmarket. Though Touch and Flee tunes allowed moments of reflection, the Trio remain a mighty rhythm section, with complexities left simmering on the edges of regular, nimbly thunderous riffs. Berserker-bearded bassist Rex Horan wrung his hands more than once, as Cowley drove his ring-rusty men to their limit. ‘She Flies’ Indian-style drumming began an especially slow build, settling into faint splashes of sound, before Cowley’s jarringly unbalanced solo, like someone limping awkwardly on one gammy leg, levitated him from his seat with its blistering energy, Evan Jenkins responding with a silvery blur of drums.

A frustratingly packed Thursday bill required running from Cowley to catch Sons of Kemet’s finish in the underground, pop-up Rio club, where Shabaka Hutchings’ clarinet and Theon Cross’ tuba conducted a softly intimate dialogue. The night’s late-night Rio jam saw straight hard bop of increasing quality from pianist Steve Hamilton, trumpeter Tom MacNiven and trombonists Phil O’Malley and Kevin Garrity, which Kemet drummer Seb Rochford sat in on with surprising pleasure. Never breaking the straight-ahead mould, he added whiplash force and facility. The wry smile, which often seems about to cross his sombrely introspective face, did so broadly, on this busman’s holiday from the cutting edge.

Thursday also saw Christine Tobin’s take on Leonard Cohen songbook, catching ‘Take This Waltz’’s Old European sadness and rapture, though the mood was handicapped by the Scottish sun surprisingly blazing through the windows. Friday also saw Glaswegian Leo Condie’s thrilling embodiment of the songs of (mostly) Brel and Brecht, his voice vaulting from a body clenched in hapless fury at extravagant injustice. Jacqui Dankworth and Todd Gordon were meanwhile singing Sinatra and Fitzgerald tunes in The Frank and Ella Show, in City Halls’ Grand Hall. Scotland’s National Swing Orchestra were equally adept at a small-group Sinatra medley as at ‘New York, New York’, while Dankworth nailed Ella’s famous scat on ‘How High the Moon’. The pensionable crowd’s deep satisfaction and the songs’ timeless verity justified the nostalgic concept.

Saturday night’s theme was Jamaica’s influence on jazz. The Dennis Rollins Velocity Trio, perhaps taken for granted on the London circuit, connected hard with a Mod-minded crowd at the Rio. ‘Symbiosis’, from their next album, was blaring soul-jazz, building excitement from an exploration of the band’s working parts, while a cover of ‘Money’ introduced Pink Floyd to the notion of the groove. Rollins’ personable style was multiplied by Courtney Pine, who noted that he’d “never been asked to represent the country of my parents’ birth before.” He played a cricketer’s forward-defensive stroke with his soprano sax, but there was no blocking here. His regular ‘Smile/Take Five’ solo exploded into steaming reggae-jazz fusion, and if shape and detail were sometimes lost in his band’s speeding streams of notes, Pine’s equally ceaseless energy and massive heart conquered the crowd. Zara McFarlane was meanwhile triumphing back at the Rio, her voice’s charismatic high cresting and low purr riding a great band. Sweaty, shaven-headed tenor sax Binker Golding’s impetuously intense, bulleting modal bursts ramped up the energy. As McFarlane was roared back for an encore, Golding had already switched gigs to Jazz Jamaica, who got a disappointingly small post-Pine, late-night crowd dancing hard.

The Tom MacNiven/Phil O’Malley Quintet, a new hard bop line-up partly glimpsed jamming earlier, were a warmly comforting way to ease into Sunday at the Tron Theatre’s dark-wooded back bar. The packed tables told of Glasgow’s taste for familiar jazz pleasures, which the festival fully caters for. But in a city poised for profound change in September, Evan Parker’s enduring radicalism also drew a crowd. In an interview preceding a solo gig and one with the Glasgow Improvisers’ Orchestra in his 70th year, he suggested Scotland had been independent since the Poll Tax riots. “People are more politically aware,” he said of Glaswegians in comparison to England, “and have resisted the stupidities of the current regime.” Free jazz’s values stood in stark contrast: “Mutual respect. Egalitarianism. A desire to be a social being.” There would, he wryly noted, “be an opportunity to vote for me later”.

The solo set included moments of slowed suspense, developing into car-horn attack. Sitting on the floor, something shifted in my ears as the sound-waves hit harder, while the folk feeling behind much classical music was hinted at by these rapidly improvised, sometimes indistinct solo symphonies. Parker was still going when I ran for the train. The sun was still out, and I was sated.    

– Nick Hasted

 

Matthew Halsall Gondwana Orchestra raise spirits at The House of St. Barnabas

GondwanaOrchestra11
The House of St. Barnabas
is one of Soho’s secret corners: a Georgian townhouse with a Victorian chapel whose turrets look far older, and more suited to the neighbourhood’s French heritage, it has been devoted to the poor since Victorian times. Ex-Straight No Chaser editor Paul Bradshaw, introducing the first of three summer jazz gigs in the chapel, remembers it as a halfway house for the homeless. It says something for changing times that the homeless are helped more indirectly now, with St. Barnabas no longer a literal house for them in increasingly exclusive Soho, but a non-profit members’ club, which funds education for the homeless. The chapel’s partly candlelit, marble-walled, beautiful intimacy is still an ideal home for Matthew Halsall & The Gondwana Orchestra’s spiritual jazz.

Tonight’s set is almost wholly drawn from Halsall’s just-released fourth album, When The World Was One. The exception is opener ‘Music For A Dancing Mind’, led off by keyboardist Taz Modi’s rippling gospel-blues riffs, which settle into a hushed, swaying, two-note rhythm alongside Gavin Barras’ bass, as drummer Matt Davies (standing in for the album’s Luke Flowers) rattles the sides of his kit, echoing in the church. Halsall, in T-shirt and military-style cap, is too bashful to truly take centre-stage, but his Miles-recalling mournfulness on trumpet does end with a clarion cry.

The general Gondwana sound is, though, restfully contemplative, meant for the slowing, not racing, pulse. Just as Halsall’s previous album, Fletcher Moss Park, was inspired by the titular place of meditative sanctuary in his native Manchester, so When The World Was One began with his travels in Japan. Keiko Kitamura’s presence on koto (a high-strung, long wooden instrument) adds an element of authenticity to ‘Kiyozimu-Dera’, named after one of Japan’s oldest Buddhist temples. More importantly, the dry, almost clacking, entwined vibrations of the koto’s strings are a sound of surprise as they hang in the air. Kitamura’s solo to end the first set transfixes the crowd.

GondwanaOrchestra02Before that, a touch of funk bass from the early ‘70s – the Gondwana Orchestra’s touchstone era – begins ‘Falling Water’. Then Jordan Smart’s sinuously circular soprano sax phrases and a comforting Halsall solo characteristically fall away in favour the slow ripple and rustle of brushed drums, bass and Rachael Gladwin’s harp (pictured).

The harp’s presence is one nod to a major Halsall heroine, name-checked on ‘A Tribute to Alice Coltrane’, in which the band’s pacific waves lap at a languid spiritual jazz centre. They occasionally remember to kick things up, too. Smart abandons his hypnotic sax sway to blaze through a blur of notes on ‘Sagano Bamboo Forest’, where Halsall’s mute gives a dirty, wah-wah rasp, and Kitamura plucks a torrent of bent notes one-handed. ‘Patterns’ is another tune where Halsall finds fire to contrast with the liquid flow, before sinking and shrinking into a hunch-shouldered finish. His fingers flicker over the valves on ‘Jura’. Then he finds a lonesome, soulful tone for the hip, almost Brubeckian urban bustle of ‘When The World Was One’, where Smart briefly blows at his hottest.

Humility, beauty and melodic clarity are the goals of all this virtuosity, letting the mind float free while the head gently nods. With a crucified Christ suspended directly above the band as they play these Buddhist-inflected, black American-indebted sounds, we’ve been taken to a very broad church.

– Nick Hasted

– Tom Oldham (photos)

The Journey to the One Summer Jazz series continues at The House of St. Barnabas with Sun Ra 100 With the London Art Collective on 7 July

 

Elaine Delmar Commanding and Cool at Crazy Coqs

You just know when a performer and a venue are meant for each other. The vivacious jazz singer Elaine Delmar came into London’s Crazy Coqs on Tuesday and took charge right away, successfully kicking off a return five-night run. It may be a truism, indeed a cliché, but Ms Delmar is a class act and Crazy Coqs is a classy room – see what I mean about the right artist in the right place? And that’s not just my view for this packed audience loved every stylish minute of Elaine’s 90-minute set. Unflagging yet intimate, heartfelt but humorous, every song given its due, theatrical when necessary, subtle or brazen, she held us rapt, a veteran whose stagecraft and sheer vocal fizz are unique and wonderful.

Her ‘songs gathered along the way’, 21 in all, many time-honoured, came together in a deftly constructed programme, balancing drama with playful innocence. Elaine’s jazz feel came good on ‘Sunny Side of the Street’, taken at pace, her variations on the melody starting softly like a tenor saxophone solo, the vocal tone billowing and building to a storming finish before she signed off with a whisper. Later, it was a version of ‘Summertime’, with just Simon Thorpe’s bass for company, each note like a gem ahead of Thorpe’s impressive solo, that stayed in the mind. And that’s another facet of this lady’s talent, the ability to move seamlessly, say, from an understated, delicate version of ‘Killing Me Softly’ into a roaring ‘Mad Dogs and Englishman’, Coward’s tricky lyrics carried off with aplomb, as pianist-MD Brian Dee cut and pasted a nifty accompaniment.  

Never knowingly monochrome, Elaine’s interpretations have an almost painterly quality, deep chrome notes followed by piercingly bright flourishes, and sudden Sarah Vaughan-like swoops into that honeyed, low cello register. Yes, Elaine Delmar has it all, her peerless vocal quality matched by carefully-honed interpretative skills. To use an overworked phrase yet again, she’s a national treasure and deserves to be heard. Get down to the Crazy Coqs and prepare for a feast of vocal pleasure.

– Peter Vacher

An evening with Elaine Delmar continues nightly at the Crazy Coqs until Saturday 21 June

 

Simon Spillett setting the Standard at Lauderdale House


You can’t fault tenor-saxophonist Simon Spillett for his dedication to the music. He creates bands, employs the finest musicians and regularly turns in performances that stand comparison with the best of British modern jazz. What’s more, he’s an able historian with a biography of Tubby Hayes in the offing. He also took the late Tubby as his musical exemplar ages ago, absorbed the best of Hank Mobley and Sonny Stitt along the way, and now pours his apparently unquenchable energies into a new quintet, known as Standard Miles.

With Highgate’s congenial Lauderdale House as their backdrop and with an audience avid for it all, Spillett’s fellow luminaries included trumpeter Henry Lowther, pianist John Critchinson, bassist Dave Green and drummer Trevor Tomkins, every man in commanding form. Their intention was to take a celebratory canter through pieces associated with Davis, concentrating on, as the band name implies, show songs and familiar originals with a Davis association, re-casting each in their own distinctive fashion and my, how well they succeeded.  

The opening trumpet exposition on ‘Stella by Starlight’ set the tone, every note a gem, their placements punctuated by sudden flurries and quicksilver darts, this emphasising just how valuable a player Lowther is, before Spillett’s tenor burst in, bleary-eyed yet urgent, Tomkins’ cymbal beat as springy as could be as Critch turned the harmonies around. Then came ‘If I Were A Bell’, HL Harmon-muted and anchored tight in to the mike, Spillett pillaging the harmonies as the rhythm section grooved. Lowther then took Harry Warren’s seldom-heard ‘Summer Night’ for an ambulatory jaunt, solo with the trio, those characteristically plaintive long notes again earning a collective sigh of appreciation. ‘Seven Steps to Heaven’ always works, Green handling the bass ostinato and Tomkins soloing at length, without bombast or meaningless clatter, before the first-half highlight, ‘No Blues’ which roared and soared like the proverbial runaway train, Tomkins varying accents to suit every situation. Marvellous.

How better to start the second half than with ‘Green Dolphin Street’, with Critch wrenching new meaning from those familiar chords, as Spillett and Lowther shared the solo space. Critch’s trio version of ‘Baby Won’t You Please Come Home’ used Victor Feldman’s voicings, a feat that he seemed to imply might be akin to climbing Mount Everest in plimsolls but which nonetheless, he turned into a triumph. Naturally enough, ‘My Funny Valentine’ had to come before ‘Bye Bye Blackbird’, signalled the concert’s end, the audience rapturous and rightly so.  

Rest assured, dear reader, this was music of considerable worth performed with evident enthusiasm by all, the collective cap doffed to the late Prince of Darkness quickly discarded as the quintet found suitable headgear of their own. Final thought: why does music of this quality, hard-swinging and intensely creative, utilising players who combine exceptional experience with a well-spring of rewarding ideas never make it onto the short list for the APPJAG Awards?

– Peter Vacher

Michael Wollny Trio cast a spell at Watermill Jazz


Having been described on his label's website as a "consummate piano maestro", whose approach to making music is invariably geared around a "quest for the never-before-heard", there was a lot riding on tonight's show to keep Michael Wollny's lofty reputation intact.

Fortunately for all in this hall, such qualities were confirmed the moment the he sat down to play - at once immersed in the sweet-to-solemn swing of Berg's 'Nacht', his every emotive chord, or impulsive, violent sweep across the keys complimented by his just-as-skilled sidemen, Christian Weber on double bass, and drummer Eric Schaefer.

Here on the second stop of a short European tour that would hear them perform much of their latest record, Weltentraum, this German-born band abandoned the traits of the traditional trio for a set that bridged swing, classical-informed ballads, ambient rock, hip-hop and frenetic, free-for-all fusion.

A sample of the latter was Schaefer's 'Phlegma Phighter', a riotous mess of scribbly themes pressed into difficult time signatures that not only stressed the drummer's tireless creativity behind a stripped-down kit, but his flair for generating creaky and clattery atmospheric noise with some tiny gongs, a bicycle chain and bits of battered percussion.

To the relief of those singed by the sparks on the front row, tensions eventually cooled for a reading of the Flaming Lips' 'Be Free, A Way'. Motored at first by just a faint, off-beat bass drum thump and Weber tied to a single-note drone, before a crack of snare cued up a more robust rock beat to endure Wollny's clunky, gospel-style chords hammering out the melody on top.

A similarly-slick feel from Schaefer spilt over into Wollny's own 'When the Sleeper Wakes', a pretty ballad that allowed the pianist to both stretch out rhythmically, and find weight in long notes, cushioned by a warm, soulful finger-style line from Weber.

Elsewhere, and whereas a strident re-working of Schubert's 'Ihr Bild' stressed both Wollny's classical credentials, and Schaefer's clear love of hip-hop, the band's most legit 'jazz' entry of the evening was a cover of Joachim Kühn's 'More Tuna'. Bright with a bop-fast, muscular melody that soared across the audience, and then back again, as if wired to Schaefer's equally emphatic cymbal playing.

Wollny's band duly delivered a set that proved a masterclass in light and shade. But while all admired the top-tempo thrills, high-note twiddles and long, spotlit solos that would also dominate (and detonate) the likes of Schaefer's 'Gorilla Biscuits' and nod-to-Neu! Kraut-rocker, 'Gravite' - it was the jaw-dropping interplay between these players throughout, and in particular Wollny's use of space to place rich lyricism - most notably over the almost cinematic-sized closer 'Little Person' - that left this the entire hall sedated. In harmony with all the hype.

Mark Youll
– Jon Frost (photo)
          

 

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Tubby tributes top Southend’s NJA opening

Tubby tributes top Southend’s NJA openin…

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

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 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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Young jazz talents shine at Jazztopad Festival

Young jazz talents shine at Jazztopad Fe…

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

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Daymé Arocena showcases soulful talents at The Forge

Daymé Arocena showcases soulful talents …

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

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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...

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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...

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Filomena Campus’ spellbinding Monk homage at Theatralia Jazz Fest

Filomena Campus’ spellbinding Monk homag…

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

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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...

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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...

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 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...

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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...

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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...

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James Pearson and WordTheatre presents ‘And All That Jazz’

James Pearson and WordTheatre presents ‘…

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

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Salzburg swings to Jazz & The City

Salzburg swings to Jazz & The City

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

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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...

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Sheryl Bailey Quartet get Swinging at 606

Sheryl Bailey Quartet get Swinging at 60…

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

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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...

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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...

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Huw V Williams’ Hon storms The Vortex

Huw V Williams’ Hon storms The Vortex

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

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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