JAZZ & BLUES

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The Independent Culture
The highlight of this week is the appearance at London's Barbican Centre of the brilliant trumpeter and musical director Wynton Marsalis (above) On Tuesday, he leads the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra in a straightforward romp through various parts of Duke Ellington's capacious catalogue. The following day, the London Symphony Orchestra will join in for some Greig works plus new Marsalis takes on Ellington pieces. As if this were not enough, the hyperactive star has just released a fourth volume of standards, this one devoted to Thelonious Monk - the first in what is promised to be a series of eight Marsalis recordings this year.

Meanwhile, tonight sees Vertu, the latest fashion vehicle for Stanley Clarke and Lenny White, appear at the same venue, with support from British saxophonist Courtney Pine.

More funk will be on hand at Camden's Jazz Cafe tonight and Sunday, when pianist and orchestra leader Eddie Palmieri brings his distinctive take on salsa to town. And, of course, Roy Ayers is still in residence at Ronnie Scott's, Frith Street.

Wednesday sees the veteran singer Jimmy Scott, whose latest Warners CD, Holding Back the Years, features his distinctive high-pitched treatment on songs associated with the likes of John Lennon and Simply Red, at the South Bank's Royal Festival Hall.

And on Friday, Ingrid Jensen, a Canadian trumpeter in the mould of her compatriot Kenny Wheeler, leads a band that includes the interesting pianist Kevin Hays in the first of three nights at the Pizza Express Jazz Club, Dean Street in support of the lovely Enja album Higher Grounds.

On the record front, there is a long-lost treat for blues fans in the shape of Shrine 69 (Rykodisc), a live recording from Fleetwood Mac in their hey-day. With Peter Green and Jeremy Spencer on on tracks such as "Albatross" and "Need Your Love So Bad," this is far superior to many recordings that have spent lengthy periods gathering dust in the vaults.

Roger Trapp

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