Electronica jazz trio Szun Waves release their second album, New Hymn To Freedom (Leaf Label), on 31 August. They support the LP with a series of live dates and a new single (below), entitled 'Temple'.

Featuring Portico Quartet/Circle Traps saxophonist Jack Wyllie, Australian drummer Laurence Pike and Norfolk synth man Luke Abbott, the band create immersive freeform soundscapes and spacious dance-inflected grooves to hypnotic effect.

Catch them live on the following dates: Space Gallery, London (30 Aug); PLX Tjärö Festival, Kalrshamn, Sweden (31 Aug); The Exchange, Bristol (23 Nov); Soup Kitchen, Manchester (24 Nov) and Headrow House, Leeds (25 Nov).

For more info visit szunwaves.bandcamp.com

US saxophonist Donny McCaslin follows the breakthrough success of 2016's Beyond Now, with a new art-rock influenced long-player, Blow, which is set for release on 5 October on the Motéma label. McCaslin's key role in David Bowie's final, and widely-acclaimed Blackstar album, which featured his high-impact New York band of bassist Tim Lefebvre, drummer Mark Guiliana and keyboardist Jason Lindner, helped bring cutting-edge jazz to a mass audience (in a parallel rock-edged move to Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly).

Building on Beyond Now's hook-driven synth-heavy sound, the new set features guest vocalists on nearly all of its nine songs, with the politicised first single, 'What about the Body', showcasing the lyrics and keening voice of Ryan Dahle. McCaslin and his band hit the road in support of the album and will play their biggest UK gig to date at Scala, London on 7 October, with two further appearances at the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, Ireland (28 Oct) and Band on the Wall, Manchester (30 Oct).

Mike Flynn

For more info visit www.donnymccaslin.com and the October issue of Jazzwise for an exclusive interview with McCaslin about the album

The PRS Foundation's Momentum Music Fund has helped the likes of Moses Boyd, Tom Misch, Zara McFarlane, The Comet Is Coming and Nubiyan Twist at key points in their development – and is now open for the second wave of applications this year. With funds of between £5,000-£15,000 available for solo artists and bands alike, the deadline for applications is Monday 13 August 2018.

The video below features rising stars Ezra Collective (pictured), who the Momentum Music Fund helped support their UK tour and EP marketing activities. In the last five years the fund has helped the creation of over 160 albums (including Mercury nominated albums and dozens of Top 20 chart placements); supported over 180 UK tours and over 1,000 live dates and helped generate £13 million for the British music industry. Out of 3,896 applications received, there's a 7% success rate of funds being granted and over £2.5 million awarded.

Mike Flynn

Click here to submit an application to the Momentum Music Fund

Manchester's mighty Beats & Pieces Big Band continue their yearlong 10th anniversary celebrations with the release of their aptly-titled new album, Ten, out on 20 July on Efpi Records. Recorded live at the Royal Northern College of Music, ten years to the day of their first rehearsal, the album features three songs from each of their two previous albums, Big Ideas and All In. Also included are three new tunes plus the first ever track bandleader Ben Cottrell wrote for the band, entitled 'Loan', which first appeared on their long-deleted 2009 debut EP. 

The band continue their touring with live dates at: Bonington Theatre, Nottingham (11 Oct); Marsden Jazz Festival (13 Oct); Blue Arrow, Glasgow (18 Oct) and Town Hall, Middlesbrough (19 Oct).

Mike Flynn

For more info visit beatsnpieces.net

Jazzwise is proud to be able to share the video for 'Time' which is taken from the album:

The history of collectives in jazz are nearly as old as the music itself. Formed by a kinship and unique bond, collectives often united players by their sound, style or approach. The Jazz Messengers, arguably the archetype for modern jazz collectives, served as a breeding ground, rites of passage for the then burgeoning voices, now architects, of this music—from Lee Morgan to Terence Blanchard— for nearly four decades, dating back to the early 1950s. These collectives not only identified for the larger listening audience who these distinctive and individual players were, but simultaneously, they were allies at the height of racism and politically challenging times, who ultimately shaped and challenged the artistic direction of modern jazz.

In the case of the newest collective R+R=NOW, their kinship lies in the fact that almost every member has been deemed as an "outlier" by jazz at large. As recognised players and bandleaders in their own right, their approach to jazz has always been regarded (and panned, by certain critics) as highly conceptual and individualistic. Fusing jazz with elements of electronic, trap, hip-hop and rock, R+R=NOW gathers the next crop of young players, taking a firm position on the validity of jazz's evolution into the new millennium.

As their full name suggests, 'Reflect+Respond=Now' creates music that speaks to the current and highly charged socio-political climate. With celebrated pianist Robert Glasper at the helm, he's gathered an arsenal of emerging and renowned players and composers, all of whom are keeping in the tradition of their jazz forefathers by broadening the scope of what this music can sound like and how it can enthral a new generation of listeners. "If you reflect what is happening and you respond to it, you have no choice but to be of now, of today," remarked Glasper prior to their two-hour-long set.

RR CelebrateBrooklyn 75

R+R=NOW also enlists the talents of Terrace Martin, renowned producer for Kendrick Lamar and Snoop Dogg; Grammy-nominated trumpeter and bandleader Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah (pictured above); Derrick Hodge, highly-respected bassist and longtime producer for Maxwell; drummer on the rise Justin Tyson; and DJ/producer/beatboxer Taylor McFerrin.

Making their debut at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn on Friday, 22 June, the evening could have been halted only by the threat of torrential rain showers, as the overcast of clouds hovered over the bandshell and the large droves of folks sprinkled all over Prospect Park.

The night got kicked off by a stirring pre-concert set from Haitian-American singer and multi-instrumentalist Paul Beaubrun, son of Theodore 'Lòlò' and Mimerose 'Manzè' Beaubrun of the Grammy-nominated, legendary Haitian band Boukman Eksperyans.

As the members of R&R=NOW walked onto the stage, their intensity and focus was palpable. Given the current state of affairs, most recently with families being separated at the border under the Trump administration, no time could be wasted in delivering their potent message, one that would resonate and be heard by all. Opening with 'Afro-Centric', from Joe Henderson's 1969 classic album Power to the People (Milestone), was not only an apropos choice, but also featured a prominent solo, originally delivered by Mike Lawrence on the recording, for trumpeter Scott to tackle. Initially impacted by technical feedback, eventually, Scott's signature ferociousness came through as he pushed harder during his solo, while backed by the rhythm section powerhouse of Hodge, Tyson and Glasper. This rhythmic thread was consistent and steadfast throughout much of the set, allowing for Scott, and Martin on alto saxophone, to fly above the night's overcast atmosphere.

The evening also marked the premiere of 'The Liberation Suite', a new work commissioned by BRIC. This highlights Glasper's penchant for arrangement and collaboration, allowing each player ample breathing room to fully demonstrate exactly what they're known for in this music. He understands that only when an artist is unencumbered, that is when they are truly "liberated" and can best express themselves. This allowed for Scott's melodic lines, which he undoubtedly offered his compositional input, to fully compel and resonate in ways that perhaps he hasn't been allowed to on recent solo efforts.

In fact, much of the set demonstrated that when given the appropriate "wings," so to speak, each musician can soar.

– Shannon J. Effinger

– Photos by David Andrako

R+R=NOW play Shepheard's Bush Empire, London tonight, 16 July.

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