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.

Acoustic Triangle - Grand Designs

A rave in the nave could hardly be further from the idea behind Acoustic Triangle, that most cerebral of chamber jazz trios comprised of bassist Malcolm Creese, pianist Gwilym Simcock and saxophonist Tim Garland. Touring in sacred spaces, often the largest cathedrals and churches in the land, surprising audiences with sound coming from different angles around the historic spaces, has introduced an element often taken for granted in jazz performance: the nature and impact of space and environment. Acoustic Triangle talks to Stuart Nicholson about the sacred and the secular, working with a string quartet, the evolution of the group and how, above all, size matters, as the trio sets off for another extensive tour.

McCoy Tyner - Reaching Fourth

A walking spirit, a talking spirit, to adapt the title of the opening track on new album Quartet, McCoy Tyner, the only surviving member of the great John Coltrane Quartet, a legend in jazz since the 1960s, who has contributed to the art and practice of jazz music in an incalculable way. Blessed with one of the most distinctive, original, widely copied and most rhythmical piano sounds in jazz, a veritable thunderstorm of rhythm, fire and passion, he’s back with a live album and UK concert dates.

Jason Moran - Sphere of influence

Misunderstood in his own lifetime, but in time elevated to the pantheon of composers that make him as relevant today as he was in the heyday of bebop, the totemic presence and music of Thelonious Monk forms the bedrock of a new monumental work by Jason Moran. The pianist, who tours the UK this month, with an Anglo-US band, has taken Monk’s At Town Hall and reimagined it for the jazz of today. Kevin Le Gendre talks to Moran about how he got inside the mind of the one and only Monk.

Christine Tobin and Phil Robson - Coming of age

Daring to be different, singer Christine Tobin is set to delve still deeper into the consciousness of her fans and newcomers alike if the arrival of her brand new album Secret Life of a Girl is anything to go by. An emotional and personal stirring, one step beyond her previous album, the dark Romance and Revolution, Tobin on Secret Life inhabits the world of the young characters in the songs, representing different stages of an untold story, an incipient self awareness and maturity. The album is released at a time when her partner and regular musical colleague, guitarist Phil Robson, releases Six Strings and The Beat, a Bartók-infused strings album flavoured by post-modern jazz and African music alike. Stuart Nicholson talks to the pair about the story behind their albums and their quest to follow the road less travelled while long time fan, Lionel Shriver, author of We Need To Talk About Kevin, describes her reactions to that voice.

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