The Comet Is Coming nominated for Mercury Prize alongside Bowie, Radiohead and Laura Mvula

Electro-jazz trio The Comet Is Coming, who feature saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings, keyboardist Dan Leavers and drummer Maxwell Hallett, have been nominated for the Hyundai Mercury Music Prize for their album Channel The Spirits, on a strong and eclectic list. The trio’s nomination isn’t the only jazz-centric release to make the shortlist of 12 albums with David Bowie’s stunning yet poignant swansong, Blackstar, also being nominated and featuring several leading New York jazz musicians including saxophonist Donny McCaslin, drummer Mark Guiliana, guitarist Ben Monder and keyboardist Jason Linder. Singer Laura Mvula also receives a nomination for her second album The Dreaming Room that was produced by leading UK jazz drummer Troy Miller and features a guest appearance by former Miles Davis guitarist John Scofield. The other notable nominees are Radiohead who are back on top form with their widely acclaimed new album A Moon Shaped Pool, although it’s Bowie who is the bookies favourite to scoop the prize posthumously.

Among the other nominees all-female alt.rockers Savages receive a second Mercury nomination for their album Adore Life, as does jazz-soul singer songwriter Michael Kiawnuka for his album Love & Hate, while Bat For Lashes, aka Natasha Khan, notches up her third appearance on the shortlist for her album The Bride. Highly respected electronic soul artist Jamie Woon is nominated for Making Time and is among fellow first time Mercury nominees Anohni for Hopelessness,
Kano for Made in the Manor, Skepta ­for Konnichiwa, and The 1975 for I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it.

This year’s prize features an online vote which is now open and will enable music fans to select the first of six 2016 finalists from the 12 ‘Albums of the Year’- see link below. The shortlist, five remaining finalists and overall winner will be chosen by the judging panel, based solely on artistic merit. The six finalists and the overall winner will be announced as part of the 2016 Awards Show, which will take place on Thursday 15th September at the Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith.

See the September issue of Jazzwise – on sale on 18 August – for an exclusive in-depth interview with Donny McCaslin talking about his time working with David Bowie on Blackstar

– Mike Flynn


For more info and to vote visit www.mercuryprize.com

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