Partisans and Norma Winstone shine at Limerick Jazz Festival

Founded five years ago, Limerick JF always comes up with interesting and/or unexpected players or presentations. The opening big-band concert this year saw the Dublin City Jazz Orchestra celebrating aspects of Gerry Mulligan and Stan Kenton, with America's Claire Daly (on her first visit to Ireland, pictured top) playing the baritone parts in Mulligan's distinctive charts for his Concert Jazz Band and at least one originally done for Kenton. More surprisingly, the second half had Norma Winstone lapping up her unaccustomed role as a 1940s/1950s band vocalist on tunes debuted by Kentonites Anita O'Day, June Christy and Chris Connor, while a later set by the LIMK educational project was enlivened by singer Linda Galvin.

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Much programming featured different aspects of the guitar, initially via UK band Partisans, fronted by Phil Robson and Julian Siegel (formerly separate visitors to Limerick JF), their multi-faceted and quirky compositions alternately anchored and driven by the no-holds-barred Gene Calderazzo and bassist Thaddeus Kelly. Artist-in-residence for the weekend David O'Rourke, the NYC-based Dublin-born guitarist-arranger, did two notable sets, one with Cork trombonist Paul Dunlea and one with three other Celtic pluckers, namely Hugh Buckley, Tommy Halferty and Joe O'Callaghan (above). What threatened to be just a chops-fest was in fact well organised, reflecting four very different personalities and inevitably becoming a tribute to the late Louis Stewart.

The hit of the festival was undoubtedly Tenerife-based jazz-salsa band Atcheré, who did a workshop, a late-night pub date and an afternoon concert. Led by vibist Jordi Arocha, the eight-piece has a dynamite rhythm-section, strong jazz solos from tenorman Fernando Barrios and pianist Samuel Labrador, and inventive arrangements by trumpeter Manuel Lorenzo. His tight originals and extended versions of standards like 'My Little Suede Shoes' and 'Guarachi Guaro' led to outbreaks of dancing and smiles all round.

– Brian Priestley
– Photos by Salvatore Conte - Instagram - Facebook

Gareth Lockrane's Grooveyard Get To Grips At The Verdict

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Gareth Lockrane is in town tonight with a bag full of new tunes and a cohort of old friends to play them with. To set the scene, he opens with 'Put The Cat Out' from the original Grooveyard album - a skittish, blues-y waltz that Lalo Schifrin might definitely have enjoyed, embodying the type of hard-driving accessible soul-jazz that inspired the project. Lockrane is such a powerful player that he has no trouble occupying the space that might usually have been filled by trumpet or alto sax, as he demonstrates during his first solo – fluent, warm-toned, urgent and architecturally well-structured. Next comes the first of the new material, as yet untitled; a piece of Steps Ahead-style acoustic fusion, with Lockrane pulling out an inexhaustible supply of in-the-pocket phrases and Tristan Maillot on drums keeping a fierce but flexible groove – despite the frowns of concentration over the printed page the piece takes off.

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Maillot was part of the original, organ-led line-up; perhaps reflecting shifting tastes there's also an Acoustic Grooveyard, and Lockrane has brought a mix-and-match rhythm team including Dave Whitford on bass from the latter line-up, and Rob Barron standing in heroically on keys – together they're as supple and solid as you could wish for. The constant factor since the band's inception has been the presence of Alex Garnett on tenor, and the next new offering, labelled 'Slow Burner' for obvious reasons, pairs him with the low seductive tones of Lockrane's bass flute to hypnotic effect, as he mixes slippery post-bop elisions with some righteous preaching. They are a perfectly-matched foil for each other – Lockrane's clean cut persona, exuding wholesome energy like an inspirational youth club leader, contrasting with Garnett's dapper style and mordant wit, bearing with it the unmistakeable scent of the Soho night-club. They're both such powerful practitioners on their instruments – Garnett's darker chromatic shadings contrast with Lockrane's no less complex but somehow sunnier feel for melody. They simply fly over the high-energy 'Dark Swinger' (the titles still need working on) – Lockrane seems invincible, pouring out a torrent of perfectly-executed ideas over a rock-solid but free swing.

The second set brings further hot-off-the-press delights; 'New Tasty Swinger' features alto flute in some airy mid-tempo bop that gives Baron a chance to shine. "New Ballad Waltz" is a real highlight, with a melody hinting at Mingus' immortal 'Goodbye Pork Pie Hat' and lovely low-end statements from Whitford and Lockrane on bass flute. 'Frizz' sounds like an updated Horace Silver, though the piercing tones of the piccolo are perhaps an acquired taste, and 'Method In The Madness" is a great feature for Garnett's virtuosity and Lockrane's tight, logical writing. It's a real pleasure to see such outstanding players in a relaxed, informal setting, working through the challenges of new material and coming up trumps every time; a mix of discipline and spontaneity that's surely the essence of jazz.

– Eddie Myer
– Photos by Lisa Wormsley

 

Atmosphères, Apneseth, Westerhus and Wesseltoft mix it up for Punkt

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If there was an air of self-congratulation about this year’s Punkt festival then it was entirely justified: now in its 12th year, this ‘small, but perfectly formed’ niche festival in the Norwegian city of Kristiansand looms impressively large on the international scene. Its reputation largely rests on the quality of the programming and the festival’s unique founding principle that each ‘live’ act is immediately followed by a ‘live’ remix of the music, with anything from a solo producer to another band emerging at the back of the stage. 

This process is deliberately very open-ended, as festival co-curator Jan Bang explained to Fiona Talkington in an interview on the opening night, and indeed would prove so over the next two days. It also lends itself to an eclectic programme, since each act is both a performance and a source of stimulation for the remixers. Thus the 2016 line-up included elements of Norwegian traditional music, hard-hitting jazz, post-rock, ambient soundscapes, pure improvisation and even a pop act straight from the Norwegian charts. Both Ingfrid Breie Nyhus’ piano and Hardanger fiddle virtuoso Erland Apneseth root their music in the distinctive phrasing and rhythms of Norwegian folk music, but where Nyhus’ compelling solo exploration had a careful unravelling of repetitive phrasing and a studied harmonic discipline that was almost academic, Apneseth’s trio with drums and acoustic guitar built similar elements into something altogether more rowdy and rocking, with incessant guitar and rolling drums more than justifying the flashing light show and smoke machine embellishing it. 

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Nyhus was the opening performer in the highly formal setting of the Klubben gentleman’s club on Thursday, followed by the playful improvisation duo Streifenjunko, who used trumpet, tenor sax and electronics to create an endlessly inventive soundworld. Rarely using their instruments conventionally, they wove a bewildering range of vocalisations and percussive effects around a steady rhythmic evolution that provided remixer Erik Honoré (the other co-curator of the festival) with the basis for a thick electronic restaging of their piece, taking the ideas into a bleaker industrial place and allowing them to flourish into something compelling and affirmative. It was a much more satisfying pairing than that offered to Ingfrid Breie Nyhus, whose piece was followed by what seemed to be an entirely autonomous electronic performance from Jon S Lunde and Morton Liene, onto which they had awkwardly grafted a closing coda sampled from her performance.

Saturday’s proceedings moved to the much less formal nightclub venue Kick Scene, allowing for a two-tier stage setting with the remixers set up behind the live band: a particularly dynamic arrangement for Erland Apseneth’s set with a trio of Stian Westerhus, Arve Henriksen and oud-player Rolf Lislevand assembled in waiting. Accompanied by vivid projections and moody lighting, they did a great job of adding deeper resonances to the Norwegian themes, Henriksen’s trademark siren-call trumpet nicely bridging the gap between Scandinavian fiddle and Arabic oud. It was a distinct contrast with what followed: to judge by the response of the people sitting next to me Band of Gold are a bona fide pop sensation in their home country, and their demeanour suggested they belonged on much bigger stages. The music was brash and direct, too, mostly four-to-the-floor rockers with an oddly retro feel of early 1970s Fleetwood Mac, all driven by the ferociously busy bass of Elephant9’s Nikolai Haengsle Eilertsen and fronted by Nina Elisabeth Mortvedt’s assured rock-chick delivery. The brilliant remix, by ‘cosmic Balearics’ Mungolian Jetset was a proper dancefloor number, vocal samples given sub-bass resonances, lyrics slowed down and the beats weighted against chattering live drumming to build a powerful contemporary groove. 

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The insistence of the remix paved the way perfectly for the final live act: the UK’s Three Trapped Tigers kicked straight into their trademark hard rock wall of sound, each number a construction of riffs and dynamics launching surprisingly disciplined solos and letting loose cheeky drops – Rage Against The (Soft) Machine? It was properly electric and electrifying, cramming an immense amount of music and energy into 45 minutes, and the remix trio of Jan Bang, Auden Klieve and Band of Gold’s bass man Eilertsen were gifted a groove which they stripped away and rebooted with samples into a Friday night variant that finally slid away in the back seat of Kraftwerk’s tour bus.

If Saturday saw a final triple bill that would eventually culminate in something the uninitiated might recognise as jazz in headliner Bugge Wesseltoft’s newest band it began very much in rock god territory with guitarist Stian Westerhus’ solo set. From the start he looked imposing: raised on a small plinth, surrounded by a complex ring of pedals, underlit to emphasise his deranged hair and shadowed eyes, he launched into songs from this year’s Amputation album, building the dark and forceful music behind his fluting falsetto vocals. It was powerful, visceral stuff, somehow managing the balance between increasingly impassioned singing and storming noise-rock freedom and the technical dexterity needed to control the sounds and structures. At times it was as though his roaring voice was what triggered the guitar, at others the electronics seemed to have a life of their own. Combined with the high-energy lighting and projections it was not for the fainthearted and remixer Eric Honoré wisely chose to distil the music, adding Moroder-style sub-bass and tentative saxophone textures, with snatches of vocals emerging in a more refined version that reduced to a closing choral payout. 

The festival’s one disappointment had been the cancellation of an appearance from ECM’s Manfred Eicher that afternoon, but his presence was clearly felt in the set from the Atmosphères band that followed, Tigran Hamasyan’s all-star quartet with Arve Henriksen, guitarist Eivind Aarset and Jan Bang playing spacious explorations based on traditional Armenian melodies. With four players with nothing to prove, the sense of relaxed economy and reflective interaction was palpable, producing moments of spell-binding beauty as well as sudden shifts in tone and texture. Nothing jarred in their set, yet an ongoing sparring between the electronics and acoustic sounds gave a creative tension that produced the occasional wry smile onstage. The music’s ethereal integrity presented a challenge to remixer Simen Løvgren who felt his way into it from a fairly urban insistence, hinting at piano and muted trumpet, adding a bassline that became a heartbeat around which the sound coalesced. 

Serious stuff, then, but the evening ended on a much more straightforward, joyous note, with the latest incarnation of Bugge Wesseltoft’s New Conception of Jazz band. Twenty years after that group’s album was released, the Jazzland label founder has begun an entirely new ensemble with four young musicians and his own brand of youthful energy to urge them on. This was fun jazz in the Wesseltoft style, combining tight rhythms on drums and table, with intricately written parts for sax and guitar, all held together by the man himself behind his keyboards. Each player got at least one chance to solo, with Marthe Lea’s mature tenor sax especially impressive, while drummer Siv Øyunn Kjenstad did well to stay locked into Wesseltoft’s combination of playful funk and edgy whimsy. There was a quirky Zappa-recalling song about buying stuff to help the economy that nicely combined structure, freedom and a free jazz interlude led by a tabla/sax double solo that gave an idea of how skilled these young players are and how this new band could develop over time. It was a great way to end the festival but, being Punkt, it couldn’t do that because there had to be a remix that almost inevitably felt like a slightly damp squib as some people left before the end.

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Notwithstanding that, however, there was no doubt that this had been a great event overall that showed both the Punkt concept and the Norwegian jazz scene remain vibrant at the centre of European jazz development.

     Tony Benjamin (Story & Photos)

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

 

Mark Nightingale, easily our premier jazz trombonist (though Alistair White is snapping at his heels, in my opinion), had assembled an all-star quintet for this occasion, with that stalwart of British jazz Alan Barnes alongside on alto and baritone, the rarely seen Jim Watson (depping for the absent Graham Harvey) on piano, bassist Simon Woolf and drummer Matt Skelton.

In what may be imagined as a gesture to the age profile of the audience, Nightingale had subtitled his concert as ‘Totally Cole Porter’ and presented exactly that. If the audience (or the reader) might have expected a sing-along, or even a vocal or two, then look away now for this was largely a stern examination of the improvisatory potential of Porter’s timeless pieces, long known for their harmonic interest. If I say that it took a while for the group to cohere and swing, that’s no reflection on their individual efforts just the way it was. When it came, it was Jay and Kai’s classic version of ‘It’s Alright With Me’ (suitably adapted by Nightingale) that did the trick, unlocking the rewarding surge that had been missing earlier.    

On this Barnes played baritone, building well, his gutsy fluency a foil for Nightingale’s busy, almost forensic foray in the harmonies. The trombonist is an extemporiser who, having found a note, likes to add a good few more before moving on. Always intricate, sometimes startling, even ribald at times in his playing, and good-natured in his bandstand communication, Nightingale never takes the easy way out.

Other highlights included ‘I Concentrate On You’ in an intriguing stop-start arrangement by Woolf, whose basslines always compelled attention even if his arco solos were something of an acquired taste, and ‘Every Time We Say Goodbye’ in a solo version by Barnes on baritone, that was unhurried, heart-felt and touching, with Watson’s piano commentary similarly outstanding. In fact, Watson’s playing throughout was intriguing, creative, frequently dazzling, all of which suggests that he should be heard far more often in this kind of out-and-out jazz context. ‘I Get A Kick Out of You’ came out just fine, the ideal closer, all five at one, pleasingly exultant, with swing uppermost.  Good news all round.

– Peter Vacher

Stian Westerhus and Three Trapped Tigers power PUNKT remix festival

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If today’s mainstream music is now regurgitating ever shortening cycles within cycles of half-remembered cover versions of last week’s latest covered Youtube wonder, the PUNKT remix festival is like some kind of organic sonic food spa for the ears – with only freshly performed, reassuringly real sounds created and recycled in state-of-the-art remakes – right before you in real time. Now celebrating its 12th edition this year’s event presented two slyly contrasting main evenings; the first with a triple bill of folk-tronica, warm 1970s harmony-laden prog rock and biting electro-thrash that got the jazziest remixes, while the second night pooled together more overtly jazz artists undergoing remixes that plumbed the darker recesses of electronica.

fiddle

Opening proceedings was Hardanger fiddle player Erlend Apneseth (above), who first emerged as a heralded new star of his country’s traditional instrument, yet who’s Trio have forged a new path exploring drones, glitchy trilling effects and reverb-soaked spaces. This was perfect fodder for their remix partners Stian Westerhus, Arve Henriksen and Rolf Lislevand to stretch and spin into a brilliant if all-too-brief remixed response. Band of Gold (below), a group that includes members of In The Country and Elephant9 and won the Nordic music prize last year for their beautifully burnished eponymous debut that while nodding to the luxuriant harmonies of Fleetwood Mac, boasted horn arrangements by Jaga Jazzist’s Lars Hornveth. It was soulfully affecting stuff and was given a sympathetic reworking by Mungolian JetSet. But better was still to come.

band-of-gold

British trio Three Trapped Tigers (below) formed several yeas ago to create their own take on the music of Aphex Twin and Squarepusher but have since forged their own heavyweight maelstrom of industrial strength beats, blazing guitars and face-slapping synths. Their jazz-trained drummer Adam Betts is actually part of Squarepusher’s live band, Shobaleader One, and as for TTT their head-banging, floor-shaking sound more than matches their inspiration’s menacing assaults. Reshaping this set immediately after, festival founder Jan Bang, drummer Audun Kleive and Elephant9/Band of Gold bassist Nikolai Hængsle Eilertsen brought some artfully funky moves to bear on TTT’s titanium-coated chaos. The whole evening wound up in suitably twisted beat-laden style.

TTT

Saturday’s line-up was almost in reverse with opener Stian Westerhus (top of page), with his vast array of pedals and four huge amps, creating a cathedral of sound that’s as crushingly powerful as any five-piece band. Westerhus’ past includes stints with Jaga Jazzist and his own bands Monolithic and Pale Horses, but it’s his newly unbound vocals that created the biggest stir among those present – his phenomenal guitar work is already a known quantity – but his startling, rasping yet eminently soulful voice is something of a revelation. Creating intense loops of surging guitar, it’s the otherworldly sounds extracted from his archtop that send the coldest chills, as when he breaths like Nosferatu across the pickups to produce wraith-like veils of sound or when he unleashes a magnetic storm of thudding, shuddering sonic waves that crash over the speakers, before bringing back his anguished vocals that rise like voices from the other side. It sounds like a personal exorcism of thunderous proportions, wailing in the void, poems from purgatory, one never sure if we're heading to heaven or hell. There's something dark and devilish about it all, that, along with the macabre lighting and Westerhus' haunted features makes for the most transfixing spectacle. Remarkably he even bows the guitar to create a fiddle like sound akin to those of Norway's rich folk roots. He may be impossible to categorise but Westrhus is some of the most astonishing music today.

tigran

If Stian represented the devil, then the Atmosphères band is certainly as angelic as you would wish them to be. Tigran Hamasyan (above) has long brought the Armenian music of his culture to the mainstream, with a finely wrought precision, and he's found the perfect partners in Arve Henriksen, Jan Bang (below) and Eivind Aarset to take this music and into the realm of the ambient and the ethereal. Creeping like mist over some spectral plane the music slowly built to a nebulous cloud of notes, Henriksen making the first advance with some melodic ideas soon followed by Tigran, yet it was Bang’s extraordinarily flexible live sampling that jerked this out of its torpor, sending electric shocks across the layers of sound. The quartet finally dug into something deeper with Tigran piling up up the bass notes and Henriksen finding purchase with some diminished runs – out of which emerged another Armenian piece that was doubled by his voice and Heniksen’s trumpet. Far from being me are ambient wallpaper or flotation tank music, this is a deep cultural dialogue between four extremely compatible friends, yet its a soundworld that needs to be pushed into more challenging sonic areas. The ensuing electronically charged remix by Simen Løvgren hinted at the deeper, more threatening textures the group could explore, with powerful bass notes and twitching rhythms lurching out of the sonic fog.

Jan-Bang

A beaming Bugge Wesseltoft fired up his latest incarnation of his New Conception of Jazz band – notably an all female one featuring tenorist Marthe Lea, guitarist Oddrun Lilja, tabla player Sanskriti Shresta and drummer Siv Oyunn Kjenstad (below) – on what he said was the second date of their tour that would visit Japan, the US, Europe and UK. It probably wasn’t meant as a caveat but, while this group is another that’s taking its first steps, it also sounds like its still finding its feet. Lengthy guitar and sax intros added suitable amounts of tension and the opening song’s multi-layered groove-while-soloing approach revealed much empathy between Bugge and the band, yet it was often his keyboard wizardry that upped the ante. Things peaked with Bugge foraging for filthy synth bass line which underpinned a striking sax melody and some shimming chords from Lilja, the band cranking up to a higher gear with all signs pointing to lift off. And yet this funky storm soon blew over and things settled back down into a lower simmering groove, which still held the attention but didn’t pack the same pulse-quickening punch. If they can build a set around these electro-funk foundations, then they’re on to a winner – the talent is in no doubt – it’s direction they need now. The ensuing remix from guitar/electronics/drums trio of Jens Kola, Johannes Vaage and Stian Balducci once again brought out a heavier darker side to the music, providing a darker reality to the lighter one before.

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The wonderful thing with PUNKT is that it provides a state-of-the-art space for some of the world’s most restlessly creative musicians to experiment on a grand scale – fearlessly diving into the unknown – while giving the audience the chance to hear some extraordinary music for the first time ever. Twelve years and counting and this great sound experiment continues to cook up sumptuous sonic surprises.

– Mike Flynn 
– Photos by Petter Sandell 

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Ant Law Trio executes dazzling Oxford edict

Ant Law Trio executes dazzling Oxford ed…

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

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Mike Hobart Quintet evidently soulful at The Vortex

Mike Hobart Quintet evidently soulful at…

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

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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...

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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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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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The Duplicates bring the Hammond boogie to Bodean’s

The Duplicates bring the Hammond boogie …

The excellent Hideaway in Streatham may be South London’s best-known...

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Anthony Strong and Dirty Dozen Brass Band make 10th Borneo Jazz Festival go with a bang

Anthony Strong and Dirty Dozen Brass Ban…

This year the Borneo Jazz Festival celebrated its 10th anniversary...

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Pat Martino Trio fast and furious at Ronnie Scott’s

Pat Martino Trio fast and furious at Ron…

‘The Great Stream’ is the title of one of Pat...

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