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The Independent Culture
As leader of his own band and a participant in albums by label mate Jesus Alemany's Cubanismo and others, pianist Alfredo Rodriguez is an important source of the charge that Latin music has given jazz over the past year or so. As Cubanismo's latest album Reencarnacion (Hannibal/Rykodisc) hits the shops, Rodriguez brings a highly percussive and lyrical, but always irresistible sound to London's Queen Elizabeth Hall tonight.

Cross-fertilisation of a different sort takes place at the Royal Festival Hall on 15 Oct, when John Surman and Dave Holland line up alongside Anour Braham. They will play an eastern and western blend of jazz.

Rather more direct is the new album from Otis Grand. This British-based blues guitarist has teamed up for Grand Union (Blueside) with Texan great Anson Funderbugh and Debbie Davis. Despite the three-handed front line, this is not a show of axe-hero pyrotechnics, but a fine record with both classic and contemporary sounds. They will tour from tonight until early December.

Joe Louis Walker has done his time without earning the acclaim he warrants. But the Bay Area stalwart just keeps on making soulful records and being - as in the title of one of his earlier efforts, a "Blues Survivor". Given recent events - the latest Preacher and the President (Gitanes/Verve) - should at least attract curiosity, but with Steve Cropper and other rhythm and blues legends along for the ride, this should prove more than a novelty show.

Russell Malone has come up with a gem. Sweet Georgia Peach, backed by stellar accompanists Kenny Barron, Ron Carter and Lewish Nash, is loaded with swing and lyricism and may be rated the classiest album of the year.