Jazz & Blues

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The Independent Culture
Much of the attention during this first weekend of the 13th Soho Jazz Festival will be focused on tomorrow, when those stalwarts of the British jazz establishment, Stan Tracey, Don Lusher, Cleo Laine and John Dankworth, will be taking the stage at London's Palace Theatre. However, one of tonight's events - at the Pizza Express in Dean Street - may offer something more compelling. Versatile reedsman Alan Barnes and fellow Brit, pianist Dave Newton, launch their highly acclaimed new album, Below Zero (Concord).

More tasteful blowing comes from Jim Tomlinson, who follows up a Tuesday night gig under his own name at Chelsea's 606 Club (0171-352 5953) with a pair of dates at the 100 Club, Oxford Street (0171-636 0933), on Wednesday and Thursday leading the band behind his partner, the increasingly popular singer, Stacey Kent.

Tomorrow, Camden's Jazz Cafe hosts what should be one of the hottest nights of the autumn, when Bobby Matos, the Latin percussionist, introduces his take on Caribbean jazz.

Meanwhile, Reuben Wilson, a Hammond organist whose 1960s Blue Note albums featured the likes of Grant Green and Lee Morgan, warms up for his Jazz Cafe Show next Saturday with an appearance at Mezzo, Wardour Street, London W1 tomorrow night.

Keyboard skills of a more restrained kind will be on display at the Jazz Cafe on Thursday, when pianist Julian Joseph takes his quartet through their paces. A versatile performer, he is closer to the mainstream than Courtney Pine, who has made it his life's work to push back all the boundaries. That restless spirit will be well to the fore tomorrow night when he performs at the Blackheath Halls, London with various "friends".

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