Some of the most exciting names from London and Chicago's resurgent jazz scenes are set to come together for two nights under the banner CHICAGOXLONDON on 18-19 October at the Total Refreshment Centre in North London. The Windy City's native scene has been given a boost by the aptly named International Anthem label, whose activities in the last couple of years have raised the profiles of newcomers such as sonically adventurous drummer Makaya McCraven and artfully-edgy trumpeter Jaimie Branch, while also shining new light on the prolific solo career of Tortoise guitarist Jeff Parker. Its distinct approach accentuating the rawness and experimentation that's been a hallmark of jazz from Chicago for the last century. This boldness is also mirrored in the current crop of UK-based artists who've been winning over a new generation of listeners with a refreshing mix of spiritual jazz, experimental electronica and hard-hitting grooves.

Things kick off on 18 October with McCraven lining up with a number of yet to be announced UK artists in an exclusive ensemble. Tuba player Theon Cross co-headlines with his trio featuring drummer Moses Boyd and saxophonist Nubya Garcia, while trumpeter Jaimie Branch presents a rare London showing from her Fly Or Die Ensemble with Tomeka Reid (cello), Jason Ajemian (bass), and Frank Rosaly (drums). The second instalment of this mini-fest on 19 October promises more fireworks as McCraven presents another exclusive London outfit, co-headlining with rising star pianist Ashley Henry and the RE:Ensemble. They will be previewing material from the band's upcoming release, with a stellar line up of saxophonist Binker Golding and bassist Dan Casimir and more.

– Mike Flynn

Click here for more info and tickets visit

write-stuff-efgljf

This year's Write Stuff music journalism course will return for its milestone 15th edition, with workshops held at the Southbank Centre during the EFG London Jazz Festival's opening and closing weekends, on 11-12 November and 18-19 November. Founded and organised by Jazzwise and festival producers Serious, the Write Stuff, gives new jazz and improv music writers a valuable free opportunity to work with professional journalists to improve their writing skills, develop an understanding of music criticism and the workings of the music press and the blogosphere, as well as getting to see a bunch of great concerts! As the course marks its 15th birthday it will concentrate its focus on bringing on a new generation of younger writers aged 18-25, who will attain an Arts Award qualification following a successful completion of the course.

This year, for the first time, The Write Stuff participants will be gaining a recognised qualification for their work on the programme. By developing their writing skills, attending events and meeting inspirational speakers, they will gain a Bronze Arts Award, Level 1 on the Regulated Qualifications Framework. They will work with an adviser who will support them in creating a portfolio of their own creative work, including reviews of the concerts they attend. The award is great experience for emerging journalists in leading their own written practice, and is a widely recognised qualification to help young writers on their next steps.

The workshops will include sessions on feature writing and live reviews by Jazzwise writer and BBC broadcaster Kevin Le Gendre; an insight into the history and development of the UK jazz and music press with Jazzwise editor in chief Jon Newey; and a workshop on writing and creating content for digital media with Jazzwise editor Mike Flynn with Radio 3's Late Junction presenter Fiona Talkington as the session's special guest interviewee. The course will also feature input from other writers and jazz industry figures.

Several Write Stuff participants have gone on to have pieces published in The Guardian, The Wire and Jazzwise as well as work within the wider jazz and broadcasting industry. This year's participants will have their work posted on both the Jazzwise and festival's websites, and one review considered to be of particular merit will be published in a subsequent issue of Jazzwise.

If you are interested in participating in the Write Stuff, please submit by email a 300-word review of a gig/concert that you have seen recently, together with a CV and full contact details to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 10 October 2017 with 'The Write Stuff 2017' in the subject line.

Applicants must be aged 18 to 25 and be available in London on the following dates: Friday 10 November (evening); Saturday 11 – Sunday 12 November and Saturday 18 – Sunday 19 November.

Fast emerging US progressive jazz seven-piece Holophonor are set to release their second album, Light Magnet, on the World Galaxy label on 8 October. The band formed in 2012 following their selection for the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance, where they met and studied under the guidance of jazz legends including Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter. It was the latter former Miles Davis collaborator and Weather Report founder, who was recommended by none other than Blue Note boss Don Was to produce the band's interstellar sophomore album that combines free-flowing modal grooves, tough solos and long-form compositions with compelling results.

All this was directed by Shorter who had the group record some of the music in 45-minute intervals to find the perfect takes within, the resulting music primed with energy and invention usually captured in concert not in the studio. Holophonor features Eric Miller (trombone), Mike Cottone (trumpet), Josh Johnson (alto sax), Diego Urbano (vibraphone), Miro Sprague (piano), Dave Robaire (bass), and Jonathan Pinson (drums) all of whom appear on the album, Light Magic.

Mike Flynn

– Photo by Theo Jemison

Jazzwise is pleased to present a first listen to the second single from the album 'I Miss You'

 

The nominees for the 2017 Parliamentary Jazz Awards have been announced and recognise a wide range of British jazz talent. Taking place on 10 October the awards ceremony will be held at Pizza Express Live's swish new Holborn venue, the first time the awards have taken place away from the House of Commons' Terrace Pavilion, with the selection of nominees voted for by the public and the final short list selected by a panel of jazz industry experts, musicians and members of the All-Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG).

The nominees in the nine categories are:

Jazz Vocalist of the Year: Georgia Mancio; Cleveland Watkiss and Alice Zawadzki.

Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year: Shabaka Hutchings; Jim Mullen and Tori Freestone.

Jazz Venue of the Year: Watermill Jazz Club; Jazz Re:Freshed; PizzaExpress Live and Scarborough Jazz Festival.

Jazz Media Award: Jazzwise Magazine; Kevin Le Gendre and Chris Phillips.

Jazz Education Award: Tomorrows Warriors; Jean Toussaint and Andrea Vicari.

Jazz Album of the Year: Dinosaur – Together, As One; Shabaka HutchingsWisdom Of The Elders and Tim GarlandOne.

Jazz Ensemble of the Year: Partikel; Phronesis and Binker & Moses.

Jazz Newcomer of the Year: Jacob Collier; Corrie Dick; Ezra Collective and Nérija.

Services to Jazz Award: Sue Edwards; Henry Lowther; Gary Crosby and Tony Dudley Evans.

The awards are organised by the APPJAG, co-chaired by Kelvin Hopkins MP and Lord Colwyn, and supported by Pizza Express Live in conjunction with Peroni.

For more info visit www.pizzaexpresslive.com/parliamentary-jazz-awards-2017

John Jack was one of those figures who seem to have always been on the London jazz scene, and it's hard to imagine it without him. Right up to his death he was a regular, with long-standing partner, Shirley (pictured above left with John, middle, and Jack Docherty, right), at the Vortex, where a tribute was recently given to him. Many of his close friends and colleagues attended to celebrate his life and contribution to the music, and John's friend of many years, Mike Westbrook, gave a solo piano performance dedicated to him. In response, John addressed the gathering, showing he had not lost any of his wit and sharpness, but also his warmth towards the people and the music in which he had spent his life.

Born on 25 May 1933 in Barnes, his interest in music came from his mother, an occasional singer in nightclub bands, and he bought his first 78s around 1947/8 from Shepherds Bush Market – Jelly Roll Morton's 'Dr.Jazz' and Pinetop Smith's 'Jumpsteady Blues' on Brunswick. John did National Service in the Army before embarking upon what might be described as a 'bohemian' existence in the 1950s. He painted, wrote, played in a skiffle group, trombone in a trad band (his regard for Bunk Johnson extended throughout his life), and travelled, at one point living in Paris and mixing with Beats such as Allen Ginsberg.

He worked as a salesman for several jazz labels in the late 1950s/early 60s: Colin Pomeroy's Jazz Collector, Emil Shallit's Melodisc, Doug Dobell's 77 Records and Carlo Krahmer's Esquire, and at Dobells Jazz Shop in London. Then came a turning point in British jazz when Ronnie Scott opened his new club in Frith Street, and John was asked by Pete King to run the Old Place in Gerrard Street, putting on the new generation of improvisers.

"It was a stroke of great fortune," he later recalled. "Pete said: 'Here John, you've got a club. You look after it. You get on with it. Here are the keys. Do what you want with it'. And they paid the rent and we got on with it. Not many people get that kind of luck."

He had it for its last 18 months, often assisted by his brother Roger, and it saw some of the most exciting players to come out of the jazz scene, including the South Africans who were based in London and with whom he forged a strong and lasting relationship, especially Dudu Pukwana, Harry Miller and his wife, Hazel. From that emerged the Jazz Centre Society, with a committee which initially included John, Charles Fox, Brian Blain and John Fordham. At first based at the 100 Club, it expanded to the Country Club and other venues. He also wrote a regular jazz column for Sounds.

Soon after, John formed Cadillac Music, starting with a Mike Westbrook release in 1973, on, as he described it, "the day VAT broke out" and it soon expanded to include the distribution of numerous independent labels. In the mid 1970s he worked from the basement of Collets Jazz Shop (later Ray's) in Shaftesbury Avenue, and Cadillac releases included those by George Lewis, Bruce Turner, Stan Tracey, the Christie Brothers Stompers, Bobby Wellins, Dudu Pukwana, Mike Osborne, Joe Harriott, Trevor Watts' Moiré Music, Ken Colyer & the Crane River Jazz Band, The Jazz Doctors (Billy Bang & Frank Lowe) and David Murray; it reflected John's wide appreciation of jazz styles, the constant factors for John being "improvisation, honest expression of emotion and creativity". Visitors to the basement ranged from Willem Breuker to Prince Buster, and although he was known for his explosive outbursts, it disguised John's generous and hospitable nature.

He finally wound down the distribution side in 2009 but kept Cadillac going. In his final few moments he was with Hazel Miller and friend/associate Mike Gavin listening to, appropriately, Bunk Johnson's 'A Closer Walk With Thee'. John joined Bunk on Thursday 7 September.

– Matthew Wright

Photo courtesy Mike Gavin

Page 5 of 205

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