JAZZ & BLUES

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Nearly 20 years after his death, bassist-composer Charles Mingus continues to cast a lengthy shadow over modern jazz. In part, this a result of record companies such as Atlantic and Columbia introducing him to new audiences in their handsome reissues. But credit should also go to his widow, Sue, for organising performances of his music by repertory bands. In the latest of these, the Mingus Big Band plays at Ronnie Scott's from Monday, and if the performances are anything like the band's wonderfully eclectic album Que Viva Mingus! recently released on Dreyfus, they should be hard to miss.

Ronnie Scott's was also the venue for the latest album from the highly durable Georgie Fame. Name Droppin', on the reactivated Go Jazz label, features performances from Guy Barker, Peter King and Alan Skidmore, and provides a useful primer for Fame's 55th birthday party, to be held on Friday at the Forum, Highgate Road.

Buddy Guy, one of the few remaining links with such Delta blues originals as Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon, has refused to stick to the old style and remains a consummate entertainer. Heavy Love, his latest Silverstone release, sees him teamed up with former Little Feat drummer Richie Hayward, the late Stevie Ray Vaughan's pounding keyboard player, Reese Wynnans, Stax legend Steve Cropper and the latest young pretender, Johnny Lang, for a highly varied but always funky set that ranges from Louis Jordan's "Saturday Night Fish Fry" to his own "Let Me Show You".

More old-stagers, in the shape of The Blues Band, appear at Bla0ckheath Concert Halls on Friday, with part-time DJ Paul Jones leading them through a rhythm and blues routine that is as enjoyable as it is accomplished.

And, finally, a soundtrack album that breaks away from the genre of snippets and soundbites. Jazz has featured in more films than anybody would care to mention, but with the music to the current Alan Rudolph release, Afterglow (Verve), Mark Isham has scaled new heights. With his own subtle trumpet supported by the likes of Charles Lloyd, Gary Burton and Billy Higgins, this is a recording that genuinely stands on its own.

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