Jean Toussaint gets arty with Blakey

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Renowned expat US saxophonist Jean Toussaint makes an emphatic return with his eleventh album, Brother Raymond, which is set for release on 18 May on Lyte Records. The album is inspired and pays tribute to Toussaint's mentor and former boss Art Blakey, and marks the 25th anniversary of the great drummer's death.

Toussaint first came to prominence as a member of Blakey's Jazz Messengers in 1982, subsequently moving to the UK in 1987 and going on to become a respected jazz educator and a highly regarded solo artist. Brother Raymond also features an extensive cast of young lions and experienced UK players including trumpeters Byron Wallen and Mark Kavuma; trombonists Dennis Rollins and Tom Dunnett; saxophonist Tom Harrison; pianists Jason Rebello, Andrew McCormack and Ashley Henry; bassists Daniel Casimir and Alec Dankworth; drummers Shane Forbes, Troy Miller and Mark Mondesir and percussionist Williams Cumberbatch Perez.

The album is launched at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club, London on 4 June, with an extensive tour on the following dates: Cambridge Jazz (27 Sept); Hermon Chapel Arts Centre, Shrewsbury (28 Sept); Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea (6 Oct); Herts Jazz Festival (7 Oct); Crucible Theatre, Sheffield (12 Oct); Norwich Jazz Club (16 Oct); RWCMD, Cardiff (masterclass/concert, 19 Oct); Trinity Laban Masterclass (1 Nov); SevenArts, Leeds (15 Nov); London College of Music (masterclass, 16 Nov); Hull Jazz Festival(16 Nov); The Blue Room, Lincoln (17 Nov); NCEM, York (18 Nov) and Calstock Arts Centre (1 Dec).

– Mike Flynn

For more info visit www.jeantoussaint.com