Blue Note turns 70

The Blue Note record label turns 70 in 2009 and as well as a batch of new reissues and some 20 RVGs, a deluxe box-set is expected, plus a two volume best of which will accompany a new history of the label by noted US writer Ashley Kahn. A new group, the Blue Note 7 (featuring Nicolas Payton, Steve Wilson, Ravi Coltrane, Peter Bernstein, Bill Charlap, Peter Washington and Lewis Nash) will also tour extensively during the year, also paying tribute to the label with a debut album.

Keith Tippett To Team Up With Nostalgia 77

Tru Thoughts records have revealed details of an unusual collaboration between retro producer Ben Lamdin, better known as Nostalgia 77, with Brit free jazz pioneer pianist Keith Tippett and his wife singer Julie Tipetts. The project also features bassist Riaan Vosloo. The album Nostalgia 77 Sessions featuring Keith and Julie Tippetts will be released in February 2009, with a 7” single released on 1 December. Tippett’s monumental 70s big band Centipede is one of the most influential collectives from the period and Tippett since then has followed an idiosyncratic direction with smaller groups and projects.

Miriam Makeba dies

South African singing legend Miriam Makeba, known to her fans around the world as Mama Africa, has died aged 76, after being taken ill in Italy after she had performed in the southern Italian town of Caserta at an anti-mafia concert. Makeba was a leading anti-apartheid figure in South Africa and continued the struggle when she lived abroad and toured the world. She first came to prominence in the US in the late-1950s with the Manhattan Brothers and then formed her own group, The Skylarks.

On the edge

Fringe festival Edge08 – running parallel to the London Jazz Festival which begins next week – includes a run of gigs, exhibitions and jam sessions focusing on new currents and music lapping around the edges of jazz. Based in Shoreditch, and curated by Paul Bradshaw, Orphy Robinson and Jason Jules, Edge includes an exhibition of photography by Peter Williams, Futurizm, Horacio ‘El Negro’ Hernandez, Robert Glasper Trio and Steve Williamson.

Children’s Laureate To Link With Jazz Musicians For London Jazz Festival Show

Michael Rosen and The Homemade Orchestra will be teaming up to premiere their new work ‘Nonsense’ at the London Jazz Festival. Led by jazz musician Tim Whitehead and contemporary classical composer Colin Riley, The Homemade Orchestra has been a growing force in new music, gaining critical acclaim and winning the Peter Whittingham Award for Jazz Innovation. Michael Rosen was appointed Children’s Laureate in 2007 and is best known for his collections of humorous verse. ‘Nonsense’ combines new jazz, classical and electronica compositions by the Orchestra’s key writers (Whitehead, Riley and pianist Liam Noble) with Rosen’s idiosyncratic poetry and is aimed at a family audience.

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