Tommy Smith/Arild Andersen/Paolo Vinaccia – 22/11/08 Purcell Room, LJF

Progressive improvised music: an ethic which typifies Arild Andersen’s work as a double bass player and composer. It is an approach which transcends the constraints imposed by narrow musical categorisation and finds space for musicians to express the purist form of their musical voice. Andersen, Smith and Vinaccia were thereby able to penetrate beyond the recognised parameters of the saxophone-trio.

The Bays with The Heritage Orchestra - 25/11/08 RFH, LJF

Entering the auditorium of the Royal Festival Hall on Saturday, it appeared as though some sort of spaceship had crash-landed on stage. Glowing plasma screens stood dotted amidst trailing wires and banks of mixers, whilst a Perspex screen guarded a dormant drum kit. An analogy with a scene from science fiction is appropriate given the scope of this ambitious collaboration, which saw the improvisational four-piece The Bays join forces with Jules Buckley's Heritage Orchestra.

Chick Corea/John McLaughlin Five Peace Band - 23/11/08 RFH, LJF

John McLaughlin and Chick Corea sauntered on stage with the laid-back nonchalance which comes with knowing that even if they just waved at the adoring crowd and went home, their place in the pantheon of jazz megastars would still be secure. Fortunately, we got somewhat more than that.

Andy Sheppard Melody Gainsbourg Band – 23/11/08 Purcell Room, LJF

Serge Gainsbourg: poet, musician and iconoclast. Andy Sheppard’s latest project, Melody Gainsbourg uses material by this icon of French counter-culture. It will not be to everyone’s taste but it certainly provided compelling entertainment.

Sibongile Khumalo/Jack DeJohnette's 'Intercontinental' 21/11/08 QEH, LJF

The surfacing of stellar talent Sibongile Khumalo by drumming legend Jack DeJohnette is something to be grateful for. Tonight's concert provided an opportunity to air their 'Intercontinental' project, the result of a collaboration founded during a residency at Aldeburgh in Suffolk, an unlikely setting for the development of some unlikely music.

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