JAZZ & BLUES

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The Independent Culture
It is revival time in London as two of London's best-known venues feature sounds from the past. Tonight, the Pizza Express Jazz Club, Dean Street begins an American Mainstream All-Star Festival that continues for two weeks, with appearances from the likes of pianists Ralph Sutton and John Bunch, saxophonist Scott Hamilton and clarinet player Ken Peplowski.

Meanwhile, at Ronnie Scott's, Frith Street, the orchestra that carries on in the style of the late Woody Herman performs with support from a group - The Scott Legacy - that pays tribute to the venue's late founder. However, on Friday there is a break, when the guitarist Wayne Krantz plays the first of two nights.

Elsewhere, more dance sounds are to be heard at Camden's Jazz Cafe, where Monica Vasconcelos and Jayme Marques are among the stars of Braziliance 99, a celebration of Brazilian music. And tonight, musicians with a Caribbean bent, such as Alex Wilson, Alan Weekes and Denys Baptiste, appear in the Jazz Meets Comedy event at the Tabernacle in west London as part of the Portobello Festival.

On the recorded front, the major labels' reissue programmes continue, with the continued fascination with Miles Davis (above) leading Sony to issue Some Day My Prince Will Come. Recorded in a fertile period in early 1961, the CD is chiefly interesting for the chance to compare the saxophonists John Coltrane and Hank Mobley.

Davis was a great admirer of the singer Shirley Horn, who is the latest Verve artist to receive The Ultimate... treatment. The material ranges from "I Fall in Love Too Easily", to Ray Charles's "Hit the Road, Jack", complete with backing singers called The Hornettes.

Continuing the link, Horn is guest singer on the latest recording from Charlie Haden's Quartet West. The Art of the Song (Universal) maintains the bassist's interest in the lush sounds of the Forties and is a truly romantic affair that, though it treads close to kitsch at times, is a highly accomplished work.

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