JAZZ & BLUES

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
B B King (right) may be an elder statesman of the blues who is now rather better known for the polish and exuberance of his shows than for the originality of his sound, but that should not be a deterrent to seeing him strut his stuff at the Royal Albert Hall tonight. As the recently released Definitive Greatest Hits (MCA) shows, the back catalogue is without parallel, and B B himself still loves to entertain.

On a rather more low-key note, Canadian trumpeter Ingrid Jensen continues her short stint at the Pizza Express Jazz Club, Dean Street, tonight and tomorrow in support of her new Enja album, Higher Grounds. Featuring the highly accomplished rhythm section of Ed Howard and Victor Lewis, this is a prime example of assuredly inventive post-bop.

On Monday, Camden's Jazz Cafe opens its doors to Marc Ribot, a guitarist who has graced the albums of idiosyncratic rock singers Tom Waits and Elvis Costello, and who now offers his take on Cuban sounds with his band, Los Cubanos Postizos.

While expatriate South African pianist Mervyn Africa leads a performance at Chelsea's 606 Club on Friday, the previous evening sees Mose Allison, the singer/keyboard player who flits seamlessly between country blues and bebop, taking up his familiar position at the Pizza Express Jazz Club for a residency that will cover most of July.

Meanwhile, on the recordings front, more eclectic listeners will be tempted by two highly impressive world music collections. Put together by Ian Anderson, editor of Folk Roots magazine, Roots and its companion volume, Routes, are double-CD packages that provide an extraordinary range of sounds, stretching from English folkie Richard Thompson to Mali's Ali Farka Toure, who has another mesmerising record, Niafunke, just out on World Circuit Records, with a good smattering of Ry Cooder in between. Though one volume is devoted to music from Britain, Ireland and North America, and the other to the rest of the world, each still includes a fantastic and fascinating variety.

Roger Trapp

Comments