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.

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.


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