Music: Survivors Of The last Jazz Revival

The old new kids of British jazz
Click to follow
The Independent Culture
Courtney Pine

The wunderkind of the Eighties revival, Pine sold albums by the truckload but still got dropped from Island when jazz was no longer flavour of the month. A terrific sax player, he maintains a high profile through constant touring. Although he is now more or less dedicated to populist fusions with hip hop, reggae and dance music, there's always a feature for the heavier stuff, which his big personality successfully carries the punters through.

Django Bates

An extravagantly gifted composer, keyboardist, tenor-horn player and bandleader (of the big bands Loose Tubes and Delightful Precipice, and the small group Human Chain), Bates is the loose cannon of British jazz, given to English eccentric stylings and post-modern parody. Too clever by half for some, he nevertheless won the ultimate accolade of the Danish Jazzpar prize. Signed and then dropped by Polygram, he now ploughs his own furrow and likes to confound expectations.

Jason Rebello

Sparkling pianist whose Wayne Shorter-produced debut for RCA's Novus label won lots of praise, although this didn't stop him being dropped two albums later. After a period in a Buddhist monastery, he has recently re-emerged with a brilliant new album, Next Time Round, for the independent Onion label.

Nikki Yeoh

London-based pianist and composer who began her professional career jamming with Pine, and who has since gone on to lead a trio and an occasional big band playing her own compositions. Her debut album released earlier this year perhaps suffered by only being available on mail order and by having to accommodate the second piano of classical soloist Joanna McGregor.

Julian Arguelles

Together with his Paris-based drummer brother, Steve, saxophonist Julian combines technical virtuosity with good taste and an adventurous spirit. Arriving on the scene too late to benefit from the majors' largesse, he has recorded for independents including Babel and Ah-Um, and his next album is on Provocateur, the label set up by soundtrack composer Colin Towns. Equally at home in old-school modernist settings or more chewy impro.

Comments