Hiromi250Japanese piano star Hiromi Uehara hits London’s Cadogan Hall from 13-15 April for a rare three-night stand along with US bass guitar legend Anthony Jackson and revered jazz-rock drummer Simon Phillips. Dubbed The Trio Project the dazzling pianist’s technically brilliant but equally high spirited and passionate style is powered along by these two rhythm section veterans – Jackson’s CV including iconic recordings with the likes of Paul Simon, The O’Jays (providing the classic bassline to their hit ‘Money, Money, Money’), Steely Dan and Chick Corea among many others – while drummer Phillips has recently worked with Toto, Ray Russell and Jack Bruce but shows off his virtuoso jazz skills with Hiromi.

The group’s two albums Voice and Move add to Hiromi’s varied output since her frenetic 2003 debut Another Mind, which also featured Jackson on bass. She toured with her regular trio of bassist Tony Grey and drummer Martin Valihora for six years, expanding the band to include David ‘Fuze’ Fiuczynski for her Sonic Bloom group, while she has also recorded a duo piano album with Chick Corea, Duet, and a 2009 solo album Place To Be. These three nights will showcase her dynamic, highly virtuosic material that takes in everything from electro-jazz funk through to post bop, classical and burning jazz-fusion.

– Mike Flynn

For more info go to www.cadoganhall.com/event/hiromi-the-trio-project

 

sonny-rollinsLegendary jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins is set to release the latest installment of his compelling live album series, Road Shows Vol.3, on 5 May on his Doxy Records imprint through a new distribution deal recently signed with OKeh Records and its parent company Sony Master Works. The 83 year old is in ebullient form on these recordings backed by his band that features longstanding bassist Bob Cranshaw, trombonist Clifton Anderson and other band members from the 11-year span of the music on offer including pianist Stephen Scott, drummer Perry Wilson, guitarist Bobby Broom and percussionists Kimati Dinizulu and Sammy Figueroa.

The album features six live cuts including ‘Biji’, ‘Someday I’ll Find You’, ‘Why Was I Born’, ‘Solo Sonny’, ‘Don’t Stop the Carnival’ and a new Rollins composition ‘Patanjali’ (whose title refers to the author of the Yoga Sutra) – with guitarist Peter Bernstein providing spirited backing for some spectacular sax fireworks. All of these performances were captured at various concerts between 2001 and 2012 from Saitama, Japan; Toulous, Marseille and Marciac in France; and St. Louis, Missouri.

For more info go to www.okeh-records.com and www.sonnyrollins.com

– Mike Flynn

 

RichardBono MG 9691wAfter its successful inaugural run last year the Thump Festival is back from 26 March to 29 March 2014 with another diverse programme of up and coming and international rhythm section talent at Pizza Express Jazz Club, Soho. Foremost of these is Cameroonian bass/singing sensation Richard Bona (pictured) with his Quartet, of Etienne Stadwijk (keyboards), Ludwig Alfonso (drums) and Tatum Greenblatt (trumpet), who will closing be out the event with two shows on two nights (28-29 Mar) with support from the Jungle Drummer and fusioneers Mind The Baby on each night respectively.

Slamming Manchester piano trio GoGo Penguin headline on 27 March, bringing their intense post-EST beat-laden sound to this cool Soho basement. Playing music from their firecracker of a new album, v2.0, which is the perfect showcase for the hip drum 'n' bass grooves of drummer Rob Turner and bassist Nick Blacka who power the piano riffs of Chris Illingworth.

Sophie-AllowayThings kick off on 26 March with a showcase double bill opened by brilliant young drummer Sophie Alloway (pictured left) – a London-based session and jazz player who's toured internationally with rap star Roots Manuva and plays with many of the capital's leading jazz musicians. She appears with the talented all-female group, Quintette, which also includes rising star trumpeter Yazz Ahmed, saxophonist Josephine Davies, pianist Naadia Sheriff and bassist/singer Charlie Pyne. Drummer and percussionist Chris Draper headlines the evening in a genre-hopping duo, Zetta, with hugely versatile UK-based Autralian keyboardist Grant Windsor, known for his work with singers Gregory Porter and Clare Teal, here on keyboards and synths.

– Mike Flynn

For full listings go to www.pizzaexpresslive.co.uk

 

The 10th edition of the Gateshead International Jazz Festival, which runs from Friday 4 to Sunday 6 April, has confirmed its full programme that now includes exciting double bills from cutting edge tyros Polar Bear and Chris Sharkey’s Shiver (6 Apr), plus the hard-blowing post-bop of the Jean Toussaint Quartet (JT4), with support from the Jason Yarde/Andrew McCormack MY Duo with the Elysian String Quartet (5 Apr). The festival, which runs across various stages at Sage Gateshead, also includes big name headliners Robert Glasper Experiment Band, The Spring Quartet – featuring Joe Lovano, Jack DeJohnette, Esperanza Spalding and Leo Genovese – and Django Bates featuring saxophonist Joakim Milder and the Norrbotten Big Band playing the music of Prefab Sprout and Charlie Parker (4 Apr).

Also featured are rising stars GoGo Penguin (5 Apr, pictured), Brazilian jazz-funk singer/instrumentalist Ed Motta (4 Apr) and soca, ska and reggae jazz from Courtney Pine’s House Of Legends band (5 Apr). Guitar guru Bill Frisell’s Beautiful Dreamers trio (6 Apr), and the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra with guest vocals from Jacqui Dankworth complete the headliners. There will be a live presentation of Jazz Record Requests with Alyn Shipton (11am, 5 Apr), family-friendly music workshops, Jazz Lounge multi-media space and Way In To The Way Out music seminars.

– Mike Flynn

For full details go to www.sagegateshead.com

 

 

Exciting Motéma-signed Washington DC-based keyboardist Marc Cary (pictured below) and legendary Headhunters multi-reedist Bennie Maupin will lead celebrations of the second annual International Jazz Day alongside a stellar band of UK players appearing under the banner of Ode To The Human Spirit, at Hall One, Kings Place on 30 April. Cary joins the Human Revolution Orchestra that has been put together on by trumpeter Sean Corby and percussionist Neville Murray and features the likes of trumpeters Noel Langley and Yazz Ahmed, saxophonists Martin Speake, Tony Kofi, Christian Brewer and Jason Yarde, trombonists Harry Brown and Richard Edwards, drummers Rod Youngs and Cosimo Keita Cadore plus singers Liane Carroll and Randolph Matthews among many others.

Special guest Bennie Maupin has just been confirmed to also make an appearance at the concert. He's is a pioneer of the Soka Gakkai Buddhist movement in the USA and will perform and direct his own compositions for big band and strings being premiered here in the UK for the first time.

marccaryportrait-220This will be the second annual UNESCO world jazz day UK concert following last last year’s inaugural event at the Brixton-based SGI Buddhist centre. The concert, organised by Corby on behalf of SGI, steps up in scale to Hall One at Kings Place, under the banner "Music is an extension of the heart,” personally given to the event by jazz icon and well-known Buddhist Herbie Hancock.

Hancock also leads a star-studded band at the official International Jazz Day concert in Osaka, Japan also on 30 April. It’s also just been confirmed that top UK saxophonist Courtney Pine will be joining the likes of fellow saxophonists Kenny Garrett, Wayne Shorter, Troy Roberts, Lew Tabackin along with Hancock, Marcus Miller, Esperanza Spalding, Gregory Porter, Dee Dee Bridgewater and many others at the Osaka All-Star Global Concert.

Marc Cary precedes his Kings Place appearance with a rare UK gig at award-winning south London venue Hideaway on 29 April with his superb Focus Trio of bassist Rashaan Carter and drummer Sameer Gupta, for what’s sure to be a high-energy performance. The gig is the first in a series curated under the banner of Chris Philips Presents… in association with Jazz FM and Hideaway.

– Mike Flynn

– Poster Artwork by Graeme Mortimer Evelyn - Copyright © 2014 · All Rights Reserved · www.graemeevelyn.com

For more info go to www.kingsplace.co.uk and www.hideawaylive.co.uk

 

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