IoS Sounds of 2013: Jazz


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The Independent Culture

There are not many artists who reignite their careers in their ninth decade, but the Pittsburgh-born pianist Ahmad Jamal, who comes to London's Barbican on 8 February, is really on a roll, at 82. The knockout title track from his latest album, Blue Moon, has been nominated for a Grammy and his London performance will be a showcase for the disc

In many ways, Jamal has been overlooked by jazz history – the one big story is that Miles Davis said he was influenced by him – but he was a huge star in black America, and his many LPs for Chess subsidiaries Argo and Cadet – such as the killer Live at the Pershing – still fill the racks of US record shops.

Ironically, it's through a return to vinyl that current jazz releases in the UK are finding a new popularity, with sales of LPs offering a rare sign of growth. Starting in February, the leading UK indie, Edition Records, releases its first LP, Kenny Wheeler's Mirrors, on 180g vinyl, with an LP edition of Marius Neset's new album, Birds, to follow, accompanied by selected reissues from the company's archive.

February also sees the release of a beautiful seven-LP box-set of Norwegian trumpeter Arve Henriksen's recordings for the Rune Grammofon label, complete with bonus tracks and his brand new album, Chron.