Chelsea music venue, Under the Bridge, will play host to several essential dates as part of next month's 10-day Innervisions festival. These include hyperactive Japanese jazz crew Soil & 'Pimp' Sessions who unleash there high-intensity take on post-bop (5 July), followed closely by the revamped US trio The Bad Plus (above right) who appear with newly recruited pianist Orrin Evans alongside original bass and drum dynamos Reid Anderson and Dave King (6 July). And former James Brown trombonist Fred Wesley and his hard-grooving band, The New J.B.'s, also appears (7 July).

There's also a chance to hear hugely acclaimed bassist/singer songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello (top left) perform songs from her sublime new covers album, Ventriloquism, which features spellbinding downtempo takes on songs by Prince, TLC, George Clinton, Janet Jackson and Sade (11 July).

Further Innervisions dates include Incognito (Roundhouse, 7 July); Moonchild/Alpha Mist/Eris Lau (KOKO, 6 July); Lalah Hathaway (KOKO, 8 July); Bugge Wesseltoft/Henrik Schwarz/Dan Burglund (Union Chapel, 5 July); Christian McBride's New Jawn (Union Chapel, 12 July); Janet Key & Carroll Thompson (Under The Bridge, 14 July) and Werkha + Richard Spaven Trio (100 Club, 10 July).

Mike Flynn

For full details visit www.innervisionsfestival.com

hyg2014-07-12lowres17 page image

Connoisseurs of craft ales and well-crafted extemporisation, rejoice!

Another series of South London's premier beer shop blowouts have been scheduled. That's right, BRÅK's monthly improvised music nights run by Cath Roberts, Colin Webster and Tom Ward, continue into the second half of 2018 with a stellar new season of shows taking place at Brockley's booze emporium, waterintobeer. Line-ups are still being finalised, but guests already confirmed include contrabass clarinet specialist Heather Roche, saxophone behemoth Alan Wilkinson, formidable double-bass diablo Dominic Lash (pictured) and live action painter Gina Southgate.

Performances take place on 28 July, 8 September, 3 November and 15 December.

Spencer Grady

For more details visit www.brakbrakbrak.co.uk

The line-up for this year's EFG London Jazz Festival, which runs from 16 to 25 November, is taking shape with some major names and specially curated shows added to the programme. Chief among these is an appearance by revered sax firebrand Archie Shepp who performs his emotive Art Songs and Spirituals show (Barbican, 19 Nov). This features key contributions from Hammond organist Amina Claudine Myers and celebrated US singer Carleen Anderson who leads a choir alongside Shepp's top-notch band including highly-respected drummer Hamid Drake. Another show announced for the Barbican is Anthony Joseph & Friends present 'Windrush: A Celebration' (17 Nov). This sees the poet, novelist and musician lead a multi-faceted tribute to mark the 70th anniversary of the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush in Essex, which arguably kick-started multiculturalism in Britain. The concert is a culmination of a series of events throughout the programme exploring the impact and success of Caribbean culture in the UK, with saxophonist and composer Jason Yarde premiering his 'Windrush Suite', to be performed by a pan-Caribbean ensemble featuring guests including legendary 78-year-old Calypsonian singer-songwriter, Calypso Rose.

There's also a major celebration of the life and music of late great South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela, who died on 23 January this year aged 78, and who had a longstanding relationship with the UK and the London Jazz Festival. Monikered 'The Boy's Doin' It', the concert brings together musicians who Masekela worked with, including vocalist Sibongile Khumalo, great Zimbabwean singer Oliver Mtukudzi, plus Tsepo Tshola and his seminal band Sankomota (Royal Festival Hall, 18 Nov).
Elsewhere, US singer Kandace Springs returns to the capital following her well-received Blue Note album, Soul Eyes, with a concert at the newly opened Queen Elizabeth Hall (17 Nov), while guitar icon Bill Frisell is set to play Cadogan Hall (18 Nov). Acid jazz Hammond hero James Taylor leads his Quartet plus Orchestra for a large-scale take on the movie score Electric Black (Cadogan Hall, 21 Nov) and virtuoso accordionist Richard Galliano explores Astor Piazzolla's 'New Tango' works (Wigmore Hall, 23 Nov). Jazz Cubano is the banner heading for a wide-ranging concert featuring renowned pianist Arturo O'Farrill (son of Chico), and his two sons, trumpeter Adam O'Farrill and drummer Zack O'Farrill; the polyrhythmic fireworks of pianist Omar Sosa and violinist Yilian Cañizares, plus an appearance by inspirational piano prodigy Alfredo Rodriguez (Barbican, 23 Nov).

The Southbank plays host to some contrasting concerts, including Kit Downes playing an unmissable lunchtime organ recital at the RFH (23 Nov); Scandi-Anglo super trio Phronesis lining up on a double-bill with Nordic noiseniks Supersilent (QEH, 23 Nov); rising UK sax star Camilla George and emerging piano talent Sarah Tandy line-up for a double bill (Purcell Room, 23 Nov) and acclaimed soul-jazz singer Sarah Jane Morris celebrates the music of troubled folk-jazz genius John Martyn under the banner Sweet Little Mystery (Purcell Room, 24 Nov).

The second Saturday features the live final of the BBC Young Jazz Musician 2018 with the five finalists each playing a set. Trumpeter Alexandra Ridout, 2016's winner, will perform while the judges make their decision, to be announced at the end of the concert (QEH, 24 Nov). These dates join those already announced in Jazzwise, who are festival media partners, including: Jazz Voice (RFH, 16 Nov); Dave Douglas' UPLIFT (QEH, 16 Nov); Amir ElSaffar's Rivers of Sound (Kings Place, 16 Nov); Tord Gustavsen Trio (Cadogan Hall, 16 Nov); Bobby McFerrin (Barbican, 18 Nov); Lea DeLaria (Bridge Theatre, 18 Nov); Elina Duni/Rob Luft (Clapham Omnibus, 18 Nov); Orphy Robinson's Astral Weeks (QEH, 19 Nov); Youn Sun Nah (QEH, 20 Nov); Stanley Clarke Band, plus Headhunters (RFH, 20 Nov); Leyla McCalla and Melissa Laveaux (Cadogan Hall, 20 Nov); Eddie Parker's Mirrored (Purcell Room, 20 Nov); Darius Brubeck Quartet (Kings Place, 21 Nov); Myra Melford's Snowy Egret (Purcell Room, 23 Nov); Richard Pite's Jazz Repertory Company (Cadogan Hall, 24 Nov); Avishai Cohen/Shai Maestro/Mark Guiliana Trio (Barbican, 24 Nov); Madeleine Peyroux (RFH, 24 Nov) and Monty Alexander (Cadogan Hall, 25 Nov).

Mike Flynn
For more info and tickets visit www.efglondonjazzfestival.org.uk

Wynton Marsalis is more forward-thinking than he gets credit for – some of the sense of the trumpeter's traditionalism regarding jazz, and aspects of his 'controversial' image, are surely overplayed to sell tickets. Although recently there was a backlash against certain comments he made attacking some rap music as "more damaging than a statue of Robert E. Lee". Yet, since he emerged in the early 1980s, Marsalis is a valued keeper of the flame for acoustic jazz. And since 1991 much of his energy has been directed into the running of the massive Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Thus a rare quartet show at London's Barbican was a chance to get the measure of him at close quarters and to find out how much his vision included a sense of the new and the now.

The quartet's 80-minute set got off to a pleasingly challenging start with the 15-minute suite-like odyssey 'The Magic Hour'. He haunted the higher registers with an avant-tinged noise and cheeky showmanship. The disarmingly interrupted theme of Ornette Coleman's 'Ramblin'', also took a left-field point of departure but soon the group were settling into their comfort zone. Ornette himself was not afraid to be rude or crude or to shock. Marsalis is just too darned tasteful.

'Ramblin'' is a good example of his split loyalties. Long before Coleman theorised his approach as 'harmolodics', what Marsalis explained was "melodic material, in all keys at one time", Ornette was stretching harmony to breaking point. With Wynton you don't feel the same dramatic surge and danger.

WyntonMarsalisQrtBarbican2018 MG 4124-1

He is nonetheless abundantly creative and playful. He obviously enjoys the playing of Daniel Nimmer on piano and especially the prodigal English 25-year Mark Lawandowski on bass, a creative player who did most to consistently shake the tree, ranging from wide riff-bending to melodic études. But was Marsalis enjoying their lively interpolations on the familiar or just the familiar's reassuring lilt?

Marsalis's dedication to the trumpet is beyond dispute. He shares the same versatility born of an obsession with the intricacies of this coil of brass as any avant-gardist working extended techniques. In Roy Eldridge's 'After You've Gone' his use of the mute gave the theme a distant feel of dusty shellac, addressing and defusing the sentimental feel by foregrounding it a stylistic point.

The brilliance and articulation of his tone was beautifully expressed with a sense of intimacy - which was heightened further when he left the stage and promenaded through the spiralling aisles of the auditorium, shaking hands with appreciative audience members thrilled to be this close to the legend. Such a charming evening didn't shake the abiding sense of Marsalis as a bit of a traditionalist. You left with a gourmand's sense of having fared an enjoyable and tasteful repast. If you had to find fault you could quip that it was too faultless. Because it's at the fault lines where the earthquakes happen...

AJ Dehany

Joe Lovano remarked that "it was the end of an era" as he and the Sound Prints quintet he co-leads with Dave Douglas launched into a week at the Village Vanguard in NYC on 12 June. Days earlier the Vanguard's matriarch Lorraine Gordon had passed away aged 95, hence Lovano's comment. Gordon, who, after divorce from Blue Note records co-founder Alfred Lion, married Village Vanguard owner Max Gordon in 1949 (the club opened in 1935), had been actively involved with management of the Vanguard until late 2012, the year she earned an NEA JazzMasters honour. Just after 9/11 I spoke to her for my then running Jazzwise column 'Stars and Stripes', where she talked about how the New York jazz community were dealing with the fallout from the disaster. She was an acerbic, principled woman and a lifelong, committed jazz fanatic.

Without further fanfare – Gordon was a stickler for sets starting promptly – Lovano and Douglas dramatically commenced their set on the tight stage in the wedge shaped corner of this tiny, hallowed venue, with contrapuntal, antiphonal, unaccompanied horns. The two leaders alternated original compositions with settings of Wayne Shorter classics (a Douglas arrangement of 'Fe-Fi-Fo-Fum' and Lovano's recasting of 'Juju') starting with the trumpeter's 'Dream State' – the lead-off track from their recommended recent release Scandal. Counterweighting the lines of trumpet and straight tenor were a consistent feature of the intensely interwoven music which was stoked with relevance and energy by the redoubtable Joey Baron, one of the most valuable jazz drummers since Billy Higgins. Also superb was the insistent timing, rich tone and concentrated ideas of bassist Linda May Han Oh, who had picked up the gong for bassist of the year at the Jazz Journalists' Awards a couple of hours earlier.

St Louis-born pianist and former Berklee student of Lovano, not to mention a tall drink of water, was Lawrence Fields, whose rangy fingers maintained a dancing pulse and chordal architecture reminiscent, at intervals, of Herbie Hancock. Despite impassioned solos from all, it was the tunes that held the night, more so the originals than the Wayne arrangements, notably Douglas' memorable 'Ups and Downs'. The latter, a lilting ballad, began with an impressionistic descending/ascending line from the tenor with contrary motion harmonization from trumpet, beautifully buoyed by the rhythm section. Other Douglas odes that stood out were the eponymous CD title track, more mournful than scandalous per se, a sad paean to these politically messed up times, which featured bulbous muted trumpet and sighing, controlled cynicism from Lovano. At a similar dirge-like tempo was 'Libra', an arresting theme with episodic changes reminiscent of Shorter's adventurousness, succinctly rendered with a pellucid piano intro. Saliently, and I've noticed this before with the capacious book of John Zorn's Masada, Douglas has all the music memorised before he hits the bandstand.

Sound-Prints 093-2

Lovano's pieces included the cartwheeling 'Full Sun', which also encompassed complementary and asymmetrical horn lines, a tensile bass chorus heralded a burrowing solo from Lovano, holding his ungainly alp horn-like tenor aloft as he dug in. Paired with this in the second set was 'Full Moon' – a more doleful, tidal affair, and a fine feature for the Cleveland saxist's precipitous approach, in which his gorgeous note flurries were held in abeyance, thence released from bluesy reins. More upbeat and permissive of punchy punctuation from Baron were 'High Noon' (which Lovano tackles on G Mezzo Soprano on the CD) and the playful 'Corner Tavern' commemorating a saloon in Milwaukee, which featured a stellar solo from May Han Oh. The bassist wore a stoic expression and meditative mien then occasionally cracked a smile in joyful communication with the more readily grinning Baron. She's been in the band since its debut at the Vanguard in 2012, as have Fields and Baron – the unit grew out of Lovano and Douglas' association with the SFJazz Collective in 2008 and a shared appreciation of Shorter's oeuvre which has expanded to fresh material in that ruminative ilk. Sound Prints, riffing, I'm assuming, on Shorter's 'Footprints' is an intense, compelling unit with a buckled-in agenda, yet the charts, while defined, aren't overly hermetic and work well as a collaborative suite.

In correspondence with longtime club manager Jed Eisenman (who started as a janitor and dishwasher there 37 years ago as a teenager), there's little fear of the Vanguard shuttering anytime soon, since Lorraine's legacy has been handed down to her daughter Deborah. Just in case however, a souvenir band photo was taken for Jazzwise beneath the legendary awning. The upbeat Jed who will remain steadfast as manager, commented about his longtime professional relationship with the late proprietor: "Lorraine Gordon was one of the last of the jazz Mohicans, a Runyonesque character you either loved or hated - for my part I loved her very much."

Story and photos – Michael Jackson

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