Jazz breaking news: Courtney Pine, Jazz Jamaica and Brass Jaw hit the Hideaway
Thursday, 22 November 2012 16:21
The Hideaway club in Streatham, south-west London rounds out the year in vibrant style with a special Courtney Pine weekend in the pre-Xmas run-up, a return show by club favourites Jazz Jamaica, and a second appearance by Glasgow horn heroes Brass Jaw. The club, which was awarded Venue Of The Year at the 2011 Parliamentary Jazz Awards, has rapidly become a favourite among both musicians and audiences and expanded in size earlier this year.
Fresh from coming top in the JazzwiseAlbum of the Year critic’s poll for his ska and reggae-fuelled House Of Legends record, and a barnstorming performance on Jools Holland’s Later… TV show (see video below), Courtney Pine (pictured above) plays his debut at the club on 22-23 December. His band features guitarist Cameron Pierre, steel pan player Samuel Dubois, bassist Vidal Montgomery and drummer Robert Fordjour, and will be playing material from his acclaimed new album.
A new monthly night, Scene and Herd, starts on 13 December focusing on double bills of rising new young jazz talent with tickets priced at just £5 in advance. Forthcoming dates are: Barnaby Dickinson’s London Horns (1 Dec); Jam Session and Jazz Workshop (Back Room, 3,10, 17 Dec); Cuban Hideaway with DJ Rich (Main Room, 3,10,17 Dec); Kai’s cats (1pm 2 Dec); Speakeasy Sunday: Derriere (2 Dec); Jazz Ambassadors with Andrea Vicari (6 Dec); Jo Harman and Company (7 Dec); Brass Jaw (8 Dec); The Jive Aces (9 Dec); Voice (13 Dec); Dan Casimir Trio plus Josh Cleaver and Patrick Johnson Duo (Back Room 13 Dec) Si Cranstoun (14 Dec); Dirty Martinis Xmas Show with Lea DeLaria (15 Dec and 16 Dec lunch); Speakeasy Sunday: Jeremiah Marques and the Blue Aces (16 Dec); Nicola Emmanuelle Xmas Show (20 Dec); Jazz Jamaica (21 Dec); Courtney Pine (22-23 Dec); Janette Mason’s Soul Street NYE Party (31 Dec).
Jazz breaking news: Courtney Pine wins Jazzwise Album of the Year
Wednesday, 21 November 2012 16:43
Leading British saxophonist Courtney Pine (pictured left), has won Jazzwise magazine’s Album Of The Year for his triumphant ska, soca and reggae-fuelled record, House Of Legends. Voted for by Jazzwise's team of esteemed writers, each one submitting their Top Ten New and Top Ten Reissue/Archive charts for albums released in 2012 – where ten points are awarded for first place, and one for tenth place – the final scores added up to a substantial win for multi-reed master Pine. A first time recipient of this annual award Pine follows recent winners Gregory Porter, Phronesis, Keith Jarrett, Dave Holland and Empirical.
It’s perhaps no surprise that in these grim socio-economic and environmental times that Pine has come up with an album that hits the feet as hard as the head. House of Legends is arguably his most complete statement to date: paying tribute to the fallen heroes in the struggle for equality, re-energising the musical traditions and giants of his Caribbean roots and fizzing with some of his most exhilarating soprano sax improvisations ever captured on disc. When Alyn Shipton reviewed the album for Jazzwise’s October issue he remarked: “Unquestionably one of the most joyous albums Pine has ever made. This is music to be listened to on several levels.” Clearly a number of Jazzwise writers were similarly moved as it has garnered the most votes by a convincing margin in our annual critics poll – so big congratulations Mr Pine.
The top 20 new releases also sees EST still making big waves with the monumental 301 four years after their tragic demise, proving conclusively how much they are missed. John Surman returned to his West Country roots for the haunting beauty of Saltash Bells, Christine Tobin turned in a stunning jazz interpretation of the poetry of WB Yeats, which is widely spoken of as her finest album yet, and readers please say a big welcome to Roller Trio. A new young British band that really fired the imagination, caught the critic’s attention and will be touching, and torching, ears, at a venue near you in 2013.
TOP 20 NEW RELEASES 2012
1 Courtney PIne House Of Legends Destin-E 2 EST 301 ACT 3 John Surman Saltash Bells ECM 4 Christine Tobin Sailing To Byzantium Trail Belle Records 5 = John McLaughlin and 4th Dimension Now Here This Abstract Logix 5 = Gregory Porter Be Good Motéma 7 = Jeremy Pelt Soul Highnote 7 = Robert Glasper Black Radio Blue Note 9 = Branford Marsalis Four MFs Playin’ Tunes Marsalis Music 9 = Django Bates Belovèd Confirmation Lost Marble 11 Béla Fleck/Marcus Roberts Trio Across The Imaginary Divide Rounder 12 Christian Scott Christian aTunde Adjuah Concord 13 Esperanza Spalding Radio Music Society Decca 14 Phronesis Walking Dark Edition 15 Kurt Elling 1619 Broadway: The Brill Building Project Decca 16 = Ahmad Jamal Blue Moon Jazz Village 16 = Roller Trio Roller Trio F-ire 18 = Simcock/Garland/Sirkis Lighthouse ACT 18 = Colin Towns’ Blue Touch Paper Stand Well Back Provocateur 18 = Billy Hart All Of Our Reasons ECM
TOP TEN ARCHIVE AND REISSUES 2012
1 Keith Jarrett Sleeper ECM 2 Bill Evans Live At Art D’Lugoff’s Top Of The Gate Resonance Records 3 Loose Tubes Säd Afrika Lost Marble 4 Wes Montgomery Echoes of Indiana Avenue Resonance Records 5 Weather Report The Complete Columbia Albums 1971-1975 Columbia/Legacy 6 Don Cherry Organic Music Society Caprice 7 Charles Mingus Complete Columbia & RCA Albums Collection Columbia/ Legacy 8 Charles Mingus The Black Saint and The Sinner Lady/Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Impulse 9 Rahsaan Roland Kirk Spirits Up Above - The Atlantic Years 1965-1976 Warner Jazz 10 Jan Garbarek Dansere ECM
Look out for the complete list of albums that made the poll, which will be published on the Jazzwise website early next week.
Jazz breaking news: Matthew Shipp Trio get the Vortex spinning
Wednesday, 21 November 2012 14:34
For the ‘beats’ generation of 1980s hip-hop rather than the beat generation of 1950s bebop, a new sound is generally not borne of acoustic instruments. A piano trio is an old vehicle for a musician to drive. Yet in the hands of Matthew Shipp the keyboard on a Steinway grand, as well as what lies under its hood, assume something of the range of the MPC machines and audio software beloved of modern day producers. The tonal palette of the pianist, who, as he solemnly reminds us, was a dutiful sideman to the late David S. Ware for 16 years, is one of the most expressive to be heard in an ‘unplugged’ setting. In the course of two absorbing sets he produces ecstatic violence and needle sharp delicacy, unleashing volcanic overtones that are akin to the punishing sub-bass of techno as well as pizzicato curls that evoke the hisses and sighs of an analogue synthesizer. All the while, he, double bassist Michael Bisio and drummer Whit Dickey, the three bound by a heads down shoulders up stance similar to poker players at the climax of a hand, will take one of the central tenets of jazz – liberty of pulse; the skip across the bar-line; the looseness of the ‘one’ – and push it to a great extreme of fragmentation and suppleness.
Rhythmic and melodic lines are in constant seesaw motion during which phrase lengths contract and expand without warning, and without loss of élan, so that the swing is marked but bracingly jagged. The effect is a non-linearity that manages to skate right on the edge of rubato, not unlike the vision of the iconic drummer Beaver Harris, who posited ‘ragtime to no time’ as a way of collapsing historical borders in jazz to facilitate a dance in which steps are not easy to count. And yet the most intense moments of this performance are the ones in which apparently paradoxical forces cohere beyond any programmed contrivance. A Monkish groove sidles into ‘Frère Jacques’. A tumbling New Orleansian stomp steadies into a proto-house click before un-clicking into a beat that floats just as the bowings and pluckings of strings crackle like the glitches on a small dark computer.
Jazz breaking news: Jools Holland, Branford Marsalis, Marcus Miller and Neil Cowley Trio confirmed for Jazz FM Love Supreme Jazz Festival 2013
Wednesday, 21 November 2012 08:14
Jazz FM, the national DAB radio broadcaster, has announced it will present a major new summer jazz festival in July, its second big initiative for 2013 following the launch of the Jazz FM Awards that take place in January. The Love Supreme Jazz Festival will be a three-day green-field jazz event with camping, and takes place from Friday 5 to Sunday 7 July in the picturesque surroundings of Glynde Place in east Sussex, next to the famous Glyndebourne opera festival.
The event is created by a partnership of Neapolitan Music, Jazz FM and Ingenious Media Entertainment who have appointed Serious, producers of the London Jazz Festival and numerous jazz tours, as programme consultants. The first names to be announced are Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, Branford Marsalis Quartet (pictured above), Marcus Miller, Neil Cowley Trio, Soweto Kinch, Zara McFarlane and Phantom Limb with more names to be announced shortly.
Richard Wheatly, chief executive of Jazz FM, said: “Jazz FM is delighted to be supporting the Love Supreme Jazz Festival, we are confident that it will be a warmly welcomed newcomer to the UK’s great Festival scene. We are all delighted to be working with the highly experienced team at Serious, whose impressive track record in programming jazz events will help us achieve our ambition that Love Supreme becomes known as one of Europe’s leading jazz festivals.”
Jazz breaking news: Australian Art Orchestra’s outback beats heat up LJF 2012
Tuesday, 20 November 2012 17:16
Although billed as the AAO’s gig, the stage belongs as much to the Young Wagilak Group, a trio of Aboriginal musicians (Benjamin, Daniel and Roy Wilfred), whose first two members sing and third plays yiddaki (dijiredu). In fact, they are the defining element of both the sound canvas and the cultural framework of one of the most original concerts in the 2012 London Jazz Festival programme. The album that the collaboration has produced, Crossing Roper Bar, is based on ‘manikay’ song cycles that have been handed down through countless generations of Australia’s ‘first nation’ and jointly arranged by both the Wilfreds and AAO, led by pianist Paul Grabowsky, to create music that appears both from the ‘dawn of time’ and of days yet to pass. The former quality does not refer to the Wagilak and the latter orchestra, but it is rather the mesh of vocals, yiddaki, keys, drums, double bass and reeds that plays boldly with perceptions and accepted notions of ancient and modern timbres.
The western instruments often use hypnotic modal figures while the indigenous singing is awash with throaty overtones and fluttering harmonics that are like electronica freed from the rigidity of fixed keys and pre-set loops. Furthermore the bilma – clapstick – has a percussive sharpness that progressive dance music producers would die for. Often deployed as two beats to mark the end of a lengthy phrase or in cycles of straight fours, these potently resonant staves could be seen as a kind of Aboriginal clave but they are used with greater metric looseness, underscoring high, impassioned declamations from the vocalists. Grabowsky’s piano and Tony Hicks’ tenor, clarinet and bass flute raise the intensity of the overall sound by way of concise but expressive solos, which, in the latter case, have a cottony, woozy quality that cushions the hard edge of the vocals. The musical union is inspired. One hopes it translates into real life for a first nation still battling second-class citizenship.