Jazz & Blues

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The Independent Culture
Singer Dianne Reeves has always been a little too versatile for the tastes of the jazz purists. Though she was a protegee of trumpeter Clark Terry, and has worked with the likes of Stanley Turrentine, McCoy Tyner and James Moody, she has also ventured into Latin, pop and fusion - notably with her pianist cousin George Duke. However, she is possessed of a remarkable voice and - in support of her current live album, New Morning - is sure to put on a captivating performance at the South Bank's Queen Elizabeth Hall on Wednesday.

The Jamaican-born pianist Monty Alexander is another who is not afraid to entertain. Years of working alongside those greats Milt Jackson and Ray Brown have imbued him with a fine swinging style. A regular visitor to Ronnie Scott's, Frith Street, he can be expected to pack them in for much of the two-week stay that begins on Monday.

But, even with such strong visitors, there is plenty of opportunity this week for home talents to shine. Tonight the Latin percussionist Snowboy - whose recent CuBop album Mambo Rage is loaded with powerfully performed and highly danceable tunes - leads his band, the Latin Section, through a funk-laden night at the Blackheath Halls.

Meanwhile, the highly acclaimed young vibes player Orphy Robinson leads out his new band, Codefive, at the Tabernacle, Powis Square, London W11 on Friday. With a sound that draws on West African influences as well as straight-ahead jazz and New Orleans swing - described by Robinson as "nouveau jazz swing" - the band is the first of his in a decade to feature a saxophonist (Jean Toussaint) in the front line.

Back in the recording studio, Rounder's Bullseye Blues & Jazz imprint has come up with a minor gem in the shape of Preston Shannon's latest, All in Time. Hitherto seen as a journeyman performer of Southern-style R'n'B, the singer-guitar player has teamed up with fabled producer Willie Mitchell and other Memphis stalwarts for a CD that does not just evoke, but positively reeks of the Stax and Hi sounds.

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