MUSIC: JAZZ & BLUES

When the Frith Street landmark Ronnie Scott's paired Elvin Jones (right) with Stacey Kent for the coming week, the management was looking for a stark contrast. Just as John Coltrane's long-serving drummer is - even now - a human dynamo, singer Kent is possessed of as sensitive a voice as exists in modern jazz. Kent, whose third album, Let Yourself Go, is about to be released on Candid, has acquired a reputation as a tasteful and good-humoured stylist.

London's enthusiasm for Latin sounds continues to be served, with David Sanchez, the saxophonist who mixes his Caribbean heritage with a post- bop approach, appearing at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on the South Bank tomorrow. After performing on his own, he will appear with salsa singer Orlando Poleo.

Tonight and tomorrow, the startling pianist Brad Mehldau brings his short solo residency at the Pizza Express Jazz Club, Dean Street, to a close. Jessica Williams, an assured keyboard artist, should make the place swing when she takes the chair at the head of a trio for a brief residency from Friday.

More eclectic in style is Gary Crosby's Nu Troop, which features the tenor sax Denys Baptiste and pianist Alex Wilson. They perform at the Tabernacle in west London on Friday.

Female blues guitarists are rare, but that has not held back Debbie Davies. For her latest record, Tales from the Austin Motel (Shanachie), she has linked up with the rhythm section of Stevie Ray Vaughan, who was hugely popular for his intense guitar playing before his premature death. This mostly enjoyable set of shuffles evokes the Texas tradition. The Vaughan connection is even more evident on Strong Temptation (Vestige) from the much-touted youngster Sean Chambers. The album is technically proficient, but comes over as just a pyrotechnics exhibition.

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