Beats & Pieces – Let’s Dance

Celebrating a decade together this year, Mancunian big band Beats & Pieces continue to refine the parameters of expanded ensemble playing, that's as likely to include deconstructed David Bowie and Björk songs to their own heavy-riffing originals. With the band appearing at this year's Jazzahead! conference in Bremen and a forthcoming third album set to feature more rock-out experimentation, Selwyn Harris spoke to the group's leader Ben Cottrell and drummer Finlay Panter about the collective's evolution through Manchester's DIY scene and their contemporary twist on the big-band tradition

This is an extract from Jazzwise Issue #228 – to read the full article click here to Subscribe, save money and get a fantastic jazz CD FREE

Kurt Elling – Questioning Times

Continuing his recent series of collaborations with Branford Marsalis, superlative US singer Kurt Elling's latest album, The Questions, sees him recast tunes originally by everyone from Carla Bley to Bob Dylan as a response to our current troubled times. Peter Quinn spoke to the vocalist about his repositioning of past classics as a reaction to our contemporary malaise

This is an extract from Jazzwise Issue #228 – to read the full article click here to Subscribe, save money and get a fantastic jazz CD FREE

Pablo Held Trio – Watching The Detectives

One of German jazz's emerging stars, Cologne-based pianist Pablo Held has made waves with his Trio's headline-grabbing collaborations with US heavyweights John Scofield and Chris Potter, while amassing their own substantial back catalogue. Yet, it's the release of Investigations, their 12th recording and debut for the UK's Edition Records, which looks set to see them reach a wider global audience. Stuart Nicholson spoke to the pianist about what this momentous move means for the group after 12 years of working together

This is an extract from Jazzwise Issue #228 – to read the full article click here to Subscribe, save money and get a fantastic jazz CD FREE

Sons Of Kemet – Karma Chameleons

Saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings is poised at the vanguard of the recent renaissance in British jazz as the driving force behind disparate ensembles such as The Comet Is Coming, Shabaka & The Ancestors and Sons Of Kemet. With the hugely encouraging news that the latter group have now signed to the legendary Impulse! imprint and with the band among a youthful swathe of British artists taking the recent New York Winter Jazzfest by storm, Kevin Le Gendre took the opportunity to uncover the socio-political message behind their latest long-player, the provocatively titled Your Queen Is A Reptile

This is an extract from Jazzwise Issue #227 – to read the full article click here to Subscribe, save money and get a fantastic jazz CD FREE

David Murray – Blues For Babylon

Fiery saxophonist David Murray has previously drawn on the bewitching and poignant prose of authors such as Ishmael Reed and Amiri Baraka in his music, but on his latest album, Blues For Memo, he's collaborated with hip-priest rapper-cum-poet Saul Williams. The project has taken on another dimension by way of Murray's connection to renowned Istanbul-based music venue Babylon, with the record dedicated to its late great impresario, Mehmet 'Memo' Uluğ. Daniel Spicer spoke with Murray about how all these disparate influences intersect on his impassioned, politically pertinent, new album

This is an extract from Jazzwise Issue #227 – to read the full article click here to Subscribe, save money and get a fantastic jazz CD FREE

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