Tomorrow is the question: who to look out for in 2008

As Jazzwise once again dons its Mystic Meg outfit and peers into the brave new dawn of 2008 the eyes of the world are tightly focused on 4 November when the good people of the United States go to the polls in the 55th US Presidential Election to hopefully bring about the kind of regime change the planet is begging for – hanging chads permitting that is. But hey, that’s almost a year away so dear reader we divert your attention away from the oncoming media frenzy and invite the movers and shakers of the UK jazz community to predict the up and coming new names they would elect as potential winners in 2008... Tomorrow is the question: who to look out for in 2008
2008 Look Ahead

Helen Mayhew, theJazz DAB radio
“First to look out for is pianist Kit Downes, who is working in all kinds of contexts including Empirical and Troyka... and according to some of his teachers at the Royal Academy, including Tom Cawley, his musical future is very bright indeed. The other is Dave O’Brien, who leads and plays keyboards with the band Porpoise Corpus, which won last year’s Peter Whittingham Jazz Award. He’s equally adept on the bass, and is also writing good original music.”

Kevin Le Gendre, Jazzwise and Echoes
“Watch out for the young lady with the horn, Chicago-born saxophonist Matana Roberts. She’s a member of the renowned AACM, has worked with Burnt Sugar and has just recorded a superb debut produced by none other than VJ Iyer and Tortoise’s John McEntire.”

Jon Newey, Jazzwise
“Fast this time. There’s an intense rush of energy and enthusiasm swirling about the new UK jazz scene that hasn’t been witnessed for years. Leading the pack for 2008 are LOOP Collective alumni Outhouse whose edgy Downtown-influenced two-horn attack is twisted in wild new directions by their deep interest in the Wolof drumming traditions of west Africa. And we need to hear more from the astonishing Berlin-based Wollny/Kruse/Schaefer trio [em]. Much more!”

John Cumming, director Serious/London Jazz Festival
“Composer, leading light of Leeds Improved Music Association, talented and committed teacher, and a devastatingly good bassist – Dave Kane is the man to watch. The other name to watch is New York beatboxer Napoleon Maddox – they sparked together at this year’s London Jazz Festival.”

Nod Knowles, chief executive Bath Festivals and president, Europe Jazz Network
“I’m a restless old grump when it comes to trios and not easily impressed. But hearing John Law’s Trio with Sam Burgess and Asaf Sirkis a few months back had me paying rapt attention to every bar, every nuance in a way that I don’t remember since listening to Gordon Beck’s trios 30 years ago.”

Jez Nelson, BBC Radio 3’s Jazz On 3
“Two of my favourite albums of 2007 came from Rudresh Mahanthappa: the New York alto player who often plays alongside pianist Vijay Iyer. Jazz On 3 recorded his debut UK quartet date in October – a storming gig that proved he’s emerging as a major new voice in the music.”

Joe Paice, Jazz Services
“Portico Quartet and Empirical will continue their exciting rise in 2008. The Blessing played a storming gig at Pizza Express and could be set for a great year starting with their Jazz Services tour in the Spring.”

Keith Shadwick, Jazzwise
“I’d like to put in a word for someone who has proved to be a tireless proponent of uncompromising, dazzling music, live and on record, for very little return, for a very long time. Billy Jenkins. Watch out for him. Listen out for him. He’s not new on the scene, but boy he deserves more widespread recognition.”

Polly Eldridge, Sound UK
“Verneri Pohjola – the trumpeter from young Finnish band Ilmiliekki. A mesmerising live performer and a truly talented lyrical writer. Hailed as one of the most exciting young players in his homeland he’s definitely a name that we’re going to be hearing a lot more of.”

Mike Flynn, Jazzwise and Time Out
“Portico Quartet – busking and gigging for hundreds of hours last year, selling 8, 000 CDs in the process, this young, unusual band’s gently persuasive mellow mania really grows on you, and they could just be the credible crossover jazz act we’ve all been waiting for.”

Tom Barlow, Jazzwise
“Keyboardist Dave O’Brien’s Porpoise Corpus is a young, wildly inventive jazz outfit mixing in a heady cocktail of influences (think Headhunters meats Squarepusher and Stravinsky). As lyrical as it is explosive, O’Brien’s group includes savvy improvisers such as guitarist Jonathan Bratoeff.”

Stephen Graham, Jazzwise
“This year could be the year Anna Maria Jopek breaks in the UK. The Polish folk jazz singer made an international impact singing the songs of Pat Metheny for the album Upojenie in 2002 only released in her native land. Her latest disc ID (with a whole host of big name musicians including Branford Marsalis, Christian McBride and Manu Katché guesting) has not been released here yet but recently she has toured in Poland with another guest on the album, Dhafer Youssef.”

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