Gareth Williams - Feel the Force

Gareth Williams has always been recognised on the British jazz scene as an improviser with a subtle but effective touch, whether he finds himself accompanying singers like Claire Martin or playing acid jazz with Us3. His new record, however, signals a change of course, moving him in the direction of the beefed-up power trio, which you might think suits his retro-inclined 70s fashion sense and mod leanings. But as Selwyn Harris finds out, there’s more to Williams than meets the eye – a musician keen to explore his own identity and one not afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve.

Tim Garland's Lighthouse Trio - Balancing Act

Tim Garland in the space of 20 years has carved out a career as a highly distinctive saxophonist and composer with a sense of his own English identity as a player and at the same time establishing his own place within the jazz tradition. As well as founding his own groups, Garland has played extensively with both Bill Bruford and Chick Corea and has been commissioned by the London Symphony Orchestra to write a concerto. This month his Lighthouse Trio, with GWILYM SIMCOCK and ASAF SIRKIS , releases a striking new album which also features the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the latest chapter in a fascinating journey for Garland. Interview:: Stuart Nicholson.

Courtney Pine - Bechet & Beyond

After putting together a new version of the Jazz Warriors last year Courtney Pine changes tack for his new project, an album made in homage to the early saxophone pioneer Sidney Bechet. Pine takes time in the album to also examine what traditions in jazz mean to him and makes the connection beyond Bechet to Joe Harriott in the 1960s. Selwyn Harris talks to Courtney, recently awarded with a CBE in the New Year’s Honours List, about the impact of Bechet’s playing on him and how we can all learn a thing of two from the master Courtney Pine and I are getting the bad news out of the way first.

Joshua Redman - New Bearings

There are a few surprises in store for long term fans of Joshua Redman. A looser, freer feel, a “double trio” and the sense that, as the title Compasssuggests, Redman has found a new direction. Andy Robson catches up with Redman in the wake of Barack Obama’s election victory and a period of change in Redman’s own life with the birth of his son.

Miles Davis - Forever Blue

2009 marks the 50th anniversary of the recording of an album frequently cited as the greatest jazz album of all time, Kind of Blue. To mark the anniversary a special anniversary box set has been released and in keeping with the importance of the album in this special feature Stuart Nicholson tells the story of the album, detailing a tale of surprising confusion along the way which affected the titling of two of the songs on the album ‘All Blues’ and ‘Flamenco Sketches’ and curiously involving the doctoring of pianist Bill Evans’ liner notes and the issuing of a version of the recording at a faulty higher pitch which was later corrected. Kind of Blue was an album that no one forgets listening to for the first time and Charlie Watts, Guy Barker, Miles’ nephew Vince Wilburn and Courtney Pine, along with many others, describe their reactions to hearing the great album for the first time and the impact it had on them

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