Maria Schneider – Diamonds and Rust

Jazzwise-cover-nov15-350A multi-Grammy Award winner, Maria Schneider is rightly regarded as one of the preeminent figures in contemporary jazz with a 23-year recording career that’s seen her work with both Gil Evans and Bob Brookmeyer. The evolution of her Orchestra, formed in 1992, has been a central element of her success as she’s refined her highly nuanced musical vision and shaped its sound over eight albums. It’s the latest of these, The Thompson Fields, which The Maria Schneider Orchestra will be performing as part of this month’s EFG London Jazz Festival and at two dates in Birmingham. The composer, conductor and arranger spoke to Stuart Nicholson about how this defining work was born out of her deep love for the landscape of her Minnesota homeland

This is an extract from Jazzwise Issue #202 – to read the full article click here to Subscribe, save money and receive a fantastic FREE CD

Brad Mehldau – Bittersweet Symphony

Jazzwise-cover-nov15-350In the last 20 years Brad Mehldau has steadily re-shaped the piano’s modus operandi in jazz by absorbing folk, pop, alt-rock and electronic music, and melding improvisation into classical forms. While he’s done this most notably with his Trio, and his electronica Mehliana duo with Mark Guiliana, the release of a huge eight-LP vinyl set of a decade’s worth of live performances underscores how he’s masterfully done this as a solo pianist as well. Deconstructing and connecting the music of Radiohead, Jeff Buckley, Nirvana and The Kinks with Coltrane, Monk, Brahms, The Beatles and Beach Boys is – as Alyn Shipton discovers – all part of Mehldau’s voyage of musical discovery

This is an extract from Jazzwise Issue #202 – to read the full article click here to Subscribe, save money and receive a fantastic FREE CD

Let Spin – Tumbling Together

Jazzwise-cover-nov15-350The members of Let Spin may well connect four cutting edge ensembles – in the form of Melt Yourself Down, Moss Project, Led Bib and Beats & Pieces – and yet they are fast forming their own cohesive identity. Comprised of bassist Ruth Goller, guitarist Moss Freed, saxophonist Chris Williams and drummer Finlay Panter, they are back with their second album, Let Go, which, as Selwyn Harris discovers, is a swirling, progressively punky soundworld

This is an extract from Jazzwise Issue #202 – to read the full article click here to Subscribe, save money and receive a fantastic FREE CD

Christian McBride – Talking Your Language

With his awe-inspiring technique and omniverous musical tastes, it should be no surprise that bassist supreme Christian McBride tackles symphonies as easily as he does funk, fusion and swing. Yet such catholic tastes haven’t always gone down well with the jazz police, who also hold prejudiced perceptions of McBride’s friend and mentor, the late great keyboardist George Duke. He discusses all this and more with Kevin Le Gendre as the Philadelphian releases two contrasting albums – one with his trio and one with California’s Symphonic Jazz Orchestra – both inspired by McBride’s all-embracing musical world

This is an extract from Jazzwise Issue #202 – to read the full article click here to Subscribe, save money and receive a fantastic FREE CD

John McLaughlin – Lighting The Way

Jazzwise-Oct2015-Cover380Since his first explosive 1969 solo album, Extrapolation, John McLaughlin has shape-shifted, chameleon-like, through the decades of jazz-rock, acoustic fusion, Indian music and gritty Hammond-driven blues. Now at the age of 73, his passion for pushing his guitar playing beyond the limits remains undimmed, this in part thanks to his supercharged 4th Dimension band of Gary Husband, Étienne M’Bappé and Ranjit Barot. With the release of the group’s latest album, BlackLight, McLaughlin talks to Stuart Nicholson about the origins of the band, his music and how Miles Davis taught him the greatest lesson of all is to be yourself

This is an extract from Jazzwise Issue #201 – to read the full article click here to Subscribe, save money and receive a fantastic FREE CD

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