Jef Neve - Soul power

Tipped as one of the new rising stars on the European jazz circuit Belgian pianist Jef Neve returns this month with a follow-up to his critically acclaimed trio outing from last year. On the new record, Soul in a Picture, he manages to mould jazz, rock and classical influences into a flexible improvising vehicle along with drummer Teun Verbruggen and bassist Piet Verbist. Stuart Nicholson talks to Neve about his inspirations, his classical and jazz influences, and how he manages to develop his own identity.

Dave Douglas - The Silver Silence

Trumpeter Dave Douglas has taken the film legacy of silent movie star Fatty Arbuckle whose career was ruined when he was accused, then later acquitted, of the rape of an aspiring actress at a party he threw at a San Francisco hotel in 1921, as the inspiration for his new live album Moonshine. The native New Yorker talks to Stuart Nicholson about the search for Fatty, the process of gaining inspiration to write for film and how he’s pushing recording industry boundaries by recording at a club and then releasing the music for download the next day.

Saxophone Summit - Into The Light

Joe Lovano and Dave Liebman are joined by Ravi Coltrane in the new line-up of Saxophone Summit. Following the death of Michael Brecker, Ravi stepped into the breach with his tenor-playing colleagues to find a way to remember both Brecker and Ravi’s father John Coltrane on the  breathtaking new album Seraphic Light. Recorded with the intent of reflecting both the integrity and spirituality of both Brecker and Coltrane, dwelling particularly on the late underappreciated period of Trane’s career, Stuart Nicholson talks to the three tenors about a brave venture which meant so much to all concerned.

Django Bates - The Loneliness Of Being Right

There’s no one quite like Django Bates. Once the enfant terrible of the 1980s jazz scene, the focal point of Loose Tubes, the ramshackle and influential big band that became a launching pad for a host of significant jazz musicians, Django’s solo career as a keyboardist and composer has developed in fits and starts since. He has gained devotion, bafflement and international recognition in equal measure, as his inexorable retreat from the surburbia of his youth towards a global hybrid of jazz, influenced by Frank Zappa, Monty Python, Joe Zawinul and English pastoralism, rockets into its own, slightly elliptical, orbit.

Cassandra Wilson - Southern Comfort

There was a dazzling period in the mid-1990s when Cassandra Wilson could do no wrong. Her bluesiness, innate feel and definitive touch with both her own original songs and blues or rock material, made her that rare jazz singer who could achieve critical and popular acclaim with jazz fans but who also was able to reach out to rock audiences.

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