JAZZ & BLUES

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The Independent Culture
The hugely varied London Jazz Festival comes to a climax this weekend with a gala concert at the South Bank's Royal Festival Hall tomorrow evening featuring the versatile singer Dianne Reeves and her fellow Blue Note artist, the Canadian pianist Renee Rosnes.

The same night sees the great South African drummer Louis Moholo and his Spirits Rejoice band at the nearby Queen Elizabeth Hall, while at the Black- heath Halls, Tim Richard's Great Spirit serves up its exciting blend of funk, blues and jazz. Back in Soho, at the Pizza Express Jazz Club, Dean Street, Stan and Clark Tracey's tribute to Duke, Ellingtonia, takes to the stage.

Tonight, British saxophonist Andy Sheppard (above) joins the double act of Carla Bley and Steve Swallow (whose latest Watt album, Are We There Yet?, is at times quietly enthralling) at the Royal Festival Hall, while recent Mobo prize winner and Mercury prize finalist Denys Baptiste brings the exciting saxophone playing showcased on the recent Be Where You Are (Dune) to the neighbouring Purcell Room.

Outside of the festival, the popular Cameroon multi-instrumentalist Manu Dibango begins a two- week stint at Ronnie Scott's, Frith Street, on Monday, with support from Benn Clatworthy, a young Londoner who received his first sax lessons from the late Ronnie Scott himself.

At the Pizza Express Jazz Club, another saxophonist, the Scot Tommy Smith, concludes a residency with his American quartet, while on Wednesday the Bobby Shew and Bob Martin Quintet starts a four-night run of their tribute to "Diz" and "Bird".

On the recordings front, Etta Jones produces another high-quality effort in the shape of her Sammy Cahn tribute, All the Way (HighNote), ably assisted by her husband, the saxophonist-producer Houston Person, who is in good form in harness with fellow tenor man Teddy Edwards on his own Close Encounters (HighNote) album.

Roger Trapp

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