JAZZ & BLUES

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The Independent Culture
The enthusiasm for all things Latin shows no sign of abating as the Afro-Cuban All-Stars' (right) original single performance at the Royal Festival Hall on Friday (4 Dec) has proved so popular that a second night - Thursday - has had to be added. As if the appearance of the likes of Ruben Gonzalez and Pio Leyva were not enough they will be joined by Juan Pablo Torres, director of the Estrellas de Areito, whose long-unavailable recordings featuring many of the All-Stars have just been issued as Los Heroes (World Circuit).

Similarly infectious grooves will be in the air all week at Camden's Jazz Cafe, with Airto Moreira, the legendary percussionist who has graced albums by Miles Davis, Weather Report and Return to Forever as well as material by himself and his wife Flora Plurim, kicking things off tomorrow and vibraphonist Roy Ayers taking up the challenge for the rest of the week. And tonight former James Brown mainman, saxophonist Maceo Parker, plays at the Shepherd's Bush Empire in support of his aptly named latest record Funk Overload (ESC).

A somewhat cooler sound will be in evidence at the RFH on the South Bank on Wednesday as the Norwegian saxophonist Jan Garbarek begins a short tour in support of his latest ethereal album Rites (ECM).

The increasingly busy home-grown singer Ian Shaw, whose latest album, to be released in the New Year, features the inestimable pianist Cedar Walton, performs at Chelsea's 606 Club tomorrow before moving on to Ronnie Scott's, Frith Street for a week of supporting former Roy Ayers reedsman Ray Gaskins.

Finally, in a week that sees legendary songwriter Dan Penn in London supporting Nick Lowe, the inspired reissue merchants at the Westside label have just put out a selection, Oscar's Winners, by the much-talked-about-but-seldom-heard Oscar Toney Jr that features great versions of "The Dark End of the Street" and "Do Right Woman - Do Right Man".

Roger Trapp

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