Young drummer Moses Boyd (pictured above) and veteran bassist Dave Green have been announced as the winners of this year’s Worshipful Company of Musicians’ Jazz Awards following a ceremony and performance at the Pizza Express Jazz Club in London’s Soho on Sunday 21 September. Green became the first bassist to win the company's Medal for Lifetime Achievement, while Boyd scooped the coveted 2014 Young Jazz Musician Award. The drummer performed two sets of music alongside five other finalists; alto saxophonist Phil Meadows, trombonist Tom Green, tenor player Nadim Teimoori (who also made it to the finals in 2013), pianist Sam James and bassist Misha Mullov-Abbado, and was awarded the prize following a vote by the journalists, educators and paying members of the public who made up the audience.

The repertoire comprised classic standards, selected before the concert by the performers, along with arrangements and original compositions. The shortlist for this year’s final was drawn up by a panel of 12 judges, including musicians Tina May, Mark Armstrong and Tim Garland (winners of the Young Jazz Musician Award in 1992, 1996 and 1997 respectively), broadcaster Julian Joseph, educators Martin Hathaway, Nick Smart, Scott Stroman and Simon Purcell, and former Jazzwise columnist the late Jack Massarik. Boyd joins an exclusive list of former winners, among them pianist John Escreet, vibes player Jim Hart, bassist Mike Janisch and trumpeter Laura Jurd; while Dave Green follows in the footsteps of greats such as Kenny Wheeler, John Taylor, Sir John Dankworth, Stan Tracey and last year’s winner Digby Fairweather.

One of the livery companies of the City of London, the Worshipful Company of Musicians supports and encourages professional musical performance by working with musical trades and funding the education and promotion of young players.

– Thomas Rees

For more information on the WCOM and its annual jazz awards www.wcom.org.uk

The Neil Cowley Trio continue their autumn tour tonight at Bristol’s Colston Hall in support their latest album Touch and Flee, which was released on 9 June on Naim Jazz Records. The critically acclaimed album was described by Selwyn Harris in the June edition of Jazzwise as “a recording of hidden depths and on-the-pulse sonic values that signals a bright new chapter in the Neil Cowley Trio story…” and indeed reflects a more mature, expansive side to the band’s often riff-driven sound. The trio, which also features bassist Rex Horan and drummer Evan Jenkins, has just released a new video for one the album’s highlights, ‘Sparkling’, which can be seen below.

While the tour began at The Atkinson in Southport, this Friday 3 October sees the trio perform at London’s prestigious Barbican Hall in what is a huge achievement for any UK piano trio – further tour dates are: The Gate Arts Centre, Cardiff (8 Oct); SJE Arts at St John The Evangelist Church, Oxford (10 Oct); CBSO Centre, Gateshead (11 Oct); RNCM, Manchester (18 Oct) and Derry International Choral Festival, Derry (23 Oct).

– Mike Flynn

For more info go to www.neilcowleytrio.com

Jazz on Film Records has announced the release of a new box set, Jazz in Polish Cinema (Out of the Underground 1958-67), a collection of classic soundtracks by celebrated Polish film composers such as Krzysztof Komeda and Andrzej Trzasokowski, which will be available from November. Its release will be accompanied by a launch at the Barbican Cinema as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival on Saturday 15 November which will feature a screening of Roman Polanski’s Knife in the Water (pictured above) and a live set from young Polish pianist Marcin Masecki who will offer his interpretation of the film’s soundtrack, another Komeda classic.

The box set, which also contains previously unreleased material and rare recordings by musicians such as Michał Urbaniak and trumpeters Tomasz Stańko, Don Cherry, comes with an 80-page illustrated booklet with annotations by Jazzwise writer Selwyn Harris and an introduction by Polish jazz writer and composer Adam Sławiński. It was supported by the Polish Cultural Institute in London and follows the release of a critically acclaimed collection of French New Wave soundtracks that peaked at number five in Mojo Magazine’s best soundtrack CDs chart for 2013.

Fans of Polish jazz will also be interested in the festival programme at Jazz Café POSK in Hammersmith, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Among the highlights is a live set from revered violinist Urbaniak on Saturday 22 November and a tribute to the great guitarist and composer Jarek Smietana on 15 November featuring John Etheridge (click here for more info on both of these gigs). Celebrated Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stańko will also be appearing during the festival with a performance with his New York Quartet that features pianist David Virelles, bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Gerald Cleaverat the Barbican on 20 November.

– Thomas Rees

For more info go to www.efglondonjazzfestival.org.uk

How can an unrecorded young big band that came together just three years ago sell out two main act shows at Ronnie Scott’s Club over a week before their performance in September? The word had got around from their monthly bookings at the Spice Of Life in Soho that this is a tight, talented band of students and graduates from London’s jazz colleges that plays imaginative arrangements of music from the likes of Count Basie and Thad Jones and that is about as professional as you can get.

For their debut at Ronnie’s they had nationally acclaimed trombonist Mark Nightingale guesting and it was difficult to know quite who inspired who. Much of the credit for this set up is down to musical director and trumpeter Barney Lowe, not that long out of the Guildhall School himself. A visiting trumpeter from Seattle sitting beside me commented that “…he is a really good leader, he has the ability to make everyone around him look good.”

Add in the talents of so many UK young bloods and it is a great bake off – saxophonists Tommy Andrews, Alec Harper, Sam Braysher and Nadim Teimoori excelled and the band and the audience did not allow Andrew Linham to end his baritone sax solo on Thad Jones’ ‘Three In One’ until his breathe finally ran out.

Mention should be made of trumpeter Miguel Gorodi’s extended solo on another Thad Jones number, ‘Low Down’, and of course Mark Nightingale whose solos were as good as you’d expect. The band benefits from having along two charismatic college graduate singers, Billy Boothroyd and Harriet Syndercombe-Court who know how to swing and had the audience and the band well onside with numbers from the ‘Sinatra At The Sands’ album and the Diane Schuur songbook. Only Mark Nightingale took a solo on one of the vocal numbers, the ballad ‘Deedles Is My Name’, and I should have liked to hear some of the other musicians let loose to solo on songs like ‘Please Be Kind’ and ‘A Lot Of Living To Do’. If, like others, you couldn’t get a ticket for Ronnie’s, catch the band at one of their Spice Of Life gigs.

­– Ian Maund

For more info go to www.londoncitybigband.co.uk

Match&Fuse Festival, a celebration of contemporary music designed to showcase new work and to bring together acts from all over Europe, returns to the capital from 2-4 October, with dates at east London venues The Vortex, Rich Mix and Café Oto. The festival will kick off at The Vortex at 8pm on Thursday 2 October with sets from Norwegian extreme jazz ensemble SynKoke, Swiss improv rock group Schellertollermeier and young British pianist Elliot Galvin, who leads his trio in a collaboration with saxophonist Harald Lassen and Norwegian band Pixel.

On Friday 3 October the event moves to Rich Mix for performances from hip hop troop Lazy Habits; a vocal ensemble led by Ben See, featuring female beatboxing champions Bellatrix and Grace Savage, and sets from Sun Ra and Frank Zappa inspired The Comet is Coming with reeds player Shabaka Hutchings. Saxophonist James Allsopp will also be appearing, alongside Nohaybandatrio, with jazz-core ensemble Doffs Poi completing the line-up for the second day.

On Saturday 4 October the music is split between two venues. Doom jazz band Free Nelson Mandoomjazz, Norwegian group Monkey Plot and the improvising Lana Trio with saxophonist John Butcher will appear at Café Oto from 8pm, with parallel sets from Lunch Money, Twinscapes, Snorkel and Physics House Band, along with a free performance from the Wolfram Trio, at The Vortex. The festival culminates with a procession led by The Eirik Tofte Match&Fuse Orchestra who will make their way from Café Oto, where they are headlining the last night of the event, to the Vortex for a second set.

– Thomas Rees

Tickets for events at this year’s festival cost between £7 and £14, with full festival passes available for £24

For more info and tickets go towww.matchandfuse.co.uk

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