Zara McFarlane – Backyard Tales

When a research expedition for a developing theatre production took vocalist Zara McFarlane to Jamaica, the country of her ancestral origins, that island's native music took on ever greater significance in her soundworld. Kevin Le Gendre spoke to McFarlane about the importance of her West Indian heritage, the driving force behind the singer's latest collection, Arise, and her ongoing attempts to meld Jamaican and jazz cultures into a new, personalised, vision

This is an extract from Jazzwise Issue #222 – to read the full article click here to Subscribe, save money and get a fantastic jazz CD FREE

Arun Ghosh – Transnational Overground

Award-winning clarinettist and composer Arun Ghosh arrived with a bang on the UK scene nearly a decade ago, with his boundary smashing mix of his Anglo-Asian heritage, huge personality and a distinctly direct approach to his live performances. Back with a new album and extensive tour he's broken away from the world folk fusions of his previous album, A South Asian Suite, to draw on a wider sonic palette encompassing a diverse range of Indo-jazz shot through with ambient introspection, psych-rock swirls and dancefloor-friendly dub designs. Stuart Nicholson spoke to the Manchester-born musician about the journey into his highly ambitious new work, but where are you really from?

This is an extract from Jazzwise Issue #222 – to read the full article click here to Subscribe, save money and get a fantastic jazz CD FREE

Mike Gibbs – Orchestral Instincts

Legendary British composer, arranger and conductor Mike Gibbs celebrates his 80th birthday this year with a UK tour featuring a big band boasting some of the UK's premier musicians. Alyn Shipton spoke to the former 1960s jazz-rock pioneer about how his illustrious past informs and inspires the music of his present, as former collaborations with Kenny Wheeler and Bill Frisell merge into current ones with Michael Janisch and Hans Koller

This is an extract from Jazzwise Issue #222 – to read the full article click here to Subscribe, save money and get a fantastic jazz CD FREE

Ahmad Jamal – Heart Of The City

Ahmad Jamal has always walked his own path, from precocious beginnings as a piano-playing three-year-old to his mastery of a bluesy minimalism, which indelibly influenced Miles Davis' 1950s modal period and also saw him release a string of classic trio recordings. Now, at the grand old age of 87, Jamal returns with his latest album, Marseille, a mesmerising and meditative songbook dedicated to the vibrant southern French port city. Alyn Shipton spoke to the legendary pianist about his highly influential career and discovers how the French multicultural hub inspired the veteran to compose this most lyrical of tribut

This is an extract from Jazzwise Issue #221 – to read the full article click here to Subscribe, save money and get a fantastic jazz CD FREE

Alexander Hawkins – Dance Architecture

Through extensive engagements playing alongside jazz legends such as Mulatu Astatke and Louis Moholo, British pianist Alexander Hawkins has emerged as one of the most exciting and original young musicians on the current European scene. His astonishing stylistic span encompasses jazz and improvisation, as well as classical minimalism, contemporary dance and opera, with effortless ease. Kevin Le Gendre spoke to Hawkins about his forthcoming retrospective double-album, Unit[e], as well as his exciting new vocal-led quartet project

This is an extract from Jazzwise Issue #221 – to read the full article click here to Subscribe, save money and get a fantastic jazz CD FREE

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