Jazz & Blues

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The Independent Culture
When Jonny Lang (above) burst on to the blues scene a year or so ago, it was his scalding guitar work that attracted all the attention. But on his second album, Wander This World (A&M/Polydor), the teenager, who appears at London's Shepherd's Bush Empire on 21 Oct, has come up with a much more balanced affair, exuding soul and experience.

The same night sees the wonderfully eclectic Alvin Youngblood Hart - so much more than a highly accomplished folk bluesman - begin a short UK tour at Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall (0141-287 5511), while tomorrow night, 18 Oct, the Blackheath Concert Halls (0181-318 9758) in south London play host to a "Texas blues summit", in which JSP artists led by Andrew "Junior Boy" Jones show off the sounds of the Lone Star State.

There is more jousting when the RIAS Big Band of Berlin, currently celebrating its 50th anniversary, joins the BBC Big Band to recreate the tension of the swing era with four shows, starting at Croydon's Fairfield Hall (0181- 688 9291) on 18 Oct, and continuing at Northampton, Liverpool and Glasgow until 21 Oct.

Also tomorrow, 18 Oct, the rising Bill Evans-influenced pianist Lynne Arriale follows up her striking album, A Long Road Home (TCB, via New Note), with the first of two shows at London's Pizza Express Jazz Club, for which she is joined by the British reeds man, Tony Coe. More a disciple of Monk than Evans, the great Jessica Williams also has a new record out - Jazz in the Afternoon (Candid). A live recording, it confirms her penchant for energetic and swinging music that lingers in the mind.