Rising star US pianist Bobby Avey sets out on a five date tour of the UK this week with a stellar all-American line up that includes renowned saxophonist Miguel Zenón, in support of his latest album Authority Melts From Me, which was released on Whirlwind Recordings earlier this year.

The highly atmospheric album is inspired by Avey’s visit to the small Haitian village of Soukri, where he recorded a traditional Vodou Ceremony, which he used for the rhythmic base for this hour-long suite of music that pays homage to those involved in the Haitian Revolution. The band that’s featured on the album mostly appear with Avey on the tour and includes virtuoso Puerto Rican saxophonist Zenón, guitarist Ben Monder and drummer Jordan Perlson plus UK-based US bassist and Whirlwind label boss Michael Janisch.

The tour also includes three masterclasses from the band, which will take place at Birmingham Conservatoire (5 Dec), Trinity Laban Conservatoire (8 Dec) and Leeds College of Music (10 Dec). Tour dates are: Pizza Express Jazz Club, Soho, London (4 Dec); CBSO Centre, Birmingham (5 Dec); The Albert, Bristol (7 Dec); Band On The Wall, Manchester (9 Dec); and Leeds College Of Music, Leeds (10 Dec).

– Mike Flynn

For more info go to www.whirlwindrecordings.com

Piano trios, don’t cha just love ’em! Reports that the past decade’s deep infatuation with the format was beginning to fade would appear to be somewhat premature given the results of the Jazzwise Albums of the Year Critics Poll 2014, where three piano trios are placed firmly in the top five positions.

At number two, Phronesis’ highly kinetic live album of new material, Life To Everything, cements them as today’s preeminent Scandi-Brit piano trio as they continue to expand their horizons in Europe, America and beyond. But it was the Michael Wollny Trio’s dark, subconscious journey through dreamworlds, Weltentraum, that took pianist and composer Wollny’s increasingly inspired vision to a new level of performance and imagination, and grabbed a well deserved Album of the Year accolade in our annual poll, where 10 points are awarded to first place down to one point for 10th place.

Congratulations also to Christine Tobin and her superb interpretations of Leonard Cohen’s songs, A Thousand Kisses Deep, which nailed the number three spot. And for the second year running, Miles Davis tops the Reissues/Archive chart – but when Columbia turn out archive projects as magnificent as this Fillmore set, who’s to argue?

TOP 20 NEW RELEASES 2014

1 Michael Wollny Trio Weltentraum ACT

2 Phronesis Life to Everything Edition Records

3 Christine Tobin A Thousand Kisses Deep Trail Belle


TOP 20 REISUES AND ARCHIVE 2014

1 Miles Davis Miles at the Fillmore – Miles Davis 1970: The Bootleg Series Vol 3 Columbia Legacy

2 Herbie Hancock The Warner Bros Years 1969-72 Warner Rhino

3 Sun Ra and His Arkestra In the Orbit of Ra Strut

To see all the results and the full New Release and Reissues/Archive Top 20s click here to subscribe, save money and get a great EST CD Free

The line up has been announced for the 11th edition of the Gateshead International Jazz Festival that takes place at the Sage Gateshead from 10-12 April 2015, and includes an impressively diverse bill topped revered UK big band Loose Tubes and US stars David Sanborn, John Scofield and Joshua Redman. The programme features a wide range of artists from the cutting edge to the likes of popular acid jazz Hammond crew James Taylor Quartet, soul-jazz singer Ruby Turner and rising star US singer/keyboardist Jarrod Lawson.

Anarchic 21-piece band Loose Tubes (above) made an emphatic return this year with a series of triumphant performances including dazzling headline concerts at Cheltenham and Brecon jazz festivals and a much-talked about week at Ronnie Scott’s. Their appearance at Gateshead goes some way to dispelling rumours that Brecon was going to be their last ever gig, and with the line up still featuring many founding members including Django Bates, Iain Ballamy, Ashley Slater, Chris Batchelor and Eddie Parker, and sounding better than ever, let’s hope 2015 sees more from them. The group headlines the closing night’s programme with support from Andy Sheppard and Rita Marcotulli.

Celebrated US saxophonist David Sanborn appears as part a double bill with American guitar guru John Scofield who is joined by British-born, New Orleans-based pianist Jon Cleary on a set of blues, gospel and jazz. Stellar sax man Joshua Redman also appears with his trio of Reuben Rogers and Greg Hutchinson, and superb hard-driving bebop septet The Cookers are another welcome addition to the programme.

alice zawadzkThere are plenty of top British names on the bill too with a performance of the late great Stan Tracey’s timeless take on Under Milk Wood led by his son Clark Tracey on drums and saxophonist Bobby Wellins, while virtuoso pianist Gwilym Simcock performs his ‘Move!’ suite with the Royal Northern Sinfonia. A new generation of leading female jazz artists also appear throughout the festival including rising star singer/violinist Alice Zawadzki (pictured), Northeast singer Zoe Gilby, a trio of saxophonists
Cath Roberts, Rachel Musson, Julie Kjaer and cellist Hannah Marshall.

There are experimental sounds too from cult Australian trio The Necks, compelling Norwegian saxophonist turned operatic tenor Håkon Kornstad and his new project, the brilliantly irreverent Dutch trio Tin Men and the Telephone and edgy powerhouse UK big band Beats & Pieces play music from their hotly anticipated new album.  

The full programme is as follows

FRIDAY 10 APRIL

Hall One, 7.30pm

Double Bill: David Sanborn plus John Scofield and Jon Cleary

Hall Two, 7.30pm

Stan Tracey’s Under Milk Wood

Hall Two, 10.30pm

Jarrod Lawson

Northern Rock Foundation Hall, 10.45pm

Tenor Battle: Jazz vs Opera with Hakon Kornstad

SATURDAY 11 APRIL

Hall Two, 2 pm

Gwilym Simcock and Royal Northern Sinfonia

Northern Rock Foundation Hall, 2.30 pm

Tin Men and The Telephone Family Show

Hall One, 7.30pm

Double Bill: Ruby Turner and James Taylor Quartet

Hall Two, 8pm

Joshua Redman Trio

Northern Rock Foundation Hall, 7.45pm

Women Make Music Double Bill: Zoe Gilby and Alice Zawadski

Hall Two, 10.30pm

The Necks

Northern Rock Foundation Hall, 10.45 pm

Beats and Pieces

SUNDAY 12 APRIL

Hall Two, 2pm

The Cookers

Billy Harper, Eddie Henderson, Jaleel Shaw, David Weiss, George Cables, Cecil McBee and Billy Hart Northern Rock Foundation Hall, 2.30pm

Tin Men and The Telephone

Hall One, 7.30pm

Loose Tubes plus Andy Sheppard and Rita Marcotulli

Northern Rock Foundation Hall, 7.45 pm

Women Make Music 2 Sloth Racket & Musson-Kjaer-Marshall


– Mike Flynn

For more info go to www.sagegateshead.com

Armenian piano sensation Tigran Hamasyan is set to make a dramatic debut for the Nonesuch label with his new album Mockroot, which is set for release on 26 January 2015 and sees him join the label’s roster that includes Joshua Redman, Brad Mehldau (and his electronica duo Mehliana) and Pat Metheny. With a growing international fanbase thanks to the success of his pervious album Shadow Theater, which combined Tigran’s strong melodic ideas with a wide range of influences, early listens to Mockroot suggest he’s taken his folkloric roots further into fusion-edged dance and electronic territory.

He’s joined by bassist Sam Minaie and drummer/electronics man Arthur Hnatek on the heavy-grooving set that mashes up thunking Monk-into-fusion jazz-rock riffs with Hamasyan’s vocals floating on top along with vocals from Gayanée Movsisyan on 'The Roads That Bring Me Closer to You' and ‘Song for Melan’ plus Areni Agbabian on ‘Rafik’. His sixth album to date, Mockroot looks set to consolidate his position as one of Europe’s rising piano stars as he continues to tour extensively on the Continent, Russia and the US. T
he new album features a contrasting set of new material by Hamasyan, as well as his arrangements of traditional Armenian songs, ‘Kars 1’ and ‘Kars 2 (Wounds of the Centuries)’. See teaser trailer for the album below.

– Mike Flynn

For more info go to www.tigranhamasyan.com


Birmingham’s Big Bear Music has announced the winners of the 28th British Jazz Awards with the likes of  Soweto Kinch, Alan Barnes and Steve Waterman coming top of some of the 12 solo instrument categories, alongside two band and two trade awards for record labels.

Drawn from a total of 53,738 votes were cast by 3,822 voters, with the most votes for a winning musician in any category going to Mark Nightingale winner of the Best Trombone category with 1,423 votes.


The winners are as follows:


TRUMPET
1. STEVE WATERMAN
2. Enrico Tomasso
3. Bruce Adams
4. Steve Fishwick
5. Freddie Gavita

ALTO SAX
1. SOWETO KINCH
2. Pete King
3. Alan Barnes
4. Derek Nash
5. Sam Mayne

TROMBONE
1. MARK NIGHTINGALE
2. Dennis Rollins
3. Roy Williams
4. Ian Bateman
5. Mark Bassey

TENOR SAX
1. KAREN SHARP
2. Simon Spillett
3. Art Themen
4. Robert Fowler
5. Alex Garnett


GUITAR
1. JIM MULLEN
2. Martin Taylor
3. Nigel Price
4. Dominic Ashworth
5. Remi Harris

MISCELLANEOUS
1. JIM HART [VIBRAPHONE]
2. Alan Barnes [Baritone Sax]
3. Chris Garrick [Violin]
4. Amy Roberts [Flute]
5. Gareth Lockrane [Flute]

BASS
1. ALEC DANKWORTH
2. Dave Green
3. Len Skeat
4. Andrew Cleyndert
5. Al Swainger

VOCALS

1. LIANE CARROLL
2. Tina May
3. Claire Martin
4. Anita Wardell
5. Lauren Kinsella

CLARINET

1. ALAN BARNES
2. Pete Long
3. Julian Stringle
4. Mark Crooks
5. Shabaka Hutchings

PIANO

1. DAVE NEWTON
2. Zoe Rahman
3. Nikki Iles
4. Gareth Williams
5. Reuben James

DRUMS
1. STEVE BROWN
2. Seb Rochford
3. Bobby Worth
4. Ralph Salmins
5. Clark Tracey

RISING STAR
1. REUBEN JAMES
2. Remi Harris
3. Laura Jurd
4. Alan Benzie
5. Ben Holder

BIG BAND
1. BBC BIG BAND
2. NYJO
3. Back To Basie
4. Beats & Pieces
5. SNJO

SMALL GROUP
1. DIGBY FAIRWEATHER'S HALF DOZEN
2. GoGo Penguin
3. Brassjaw
4. Tipitina
5. Polar Bear

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