The London Jazz Festival’s typically packed opening weekend finished with a bravura set from saxophonist Wayne Shorter, undiminished at 80, picking out space for solo revelation as the BBC Concert Orchestra gave his compositions classical heft. Jazz Voice, though, remains the festival’s curtain-raiser, dryly introduced by Victoria Wood and bringing together diverse singers over big band swing.
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Friday 17 May 2013
Jamie Cullum's first album for Island may be his best. It certainly goes beyond his retro-jazz comfort zone, with piercing electric organ and electric piano lending a vibrant, visceral edge to several songs.
Friday 17 May 2013
Since the 1980s, John Zorn has composed 500 songs inspired by traditional Jewish music, a series known as the Masada Book, variously recorded by adventurous musicians such as Marc Ribot and now Pat Metheny.
Sunday 05 May 2013
Friday 03 May 2013
The Child Of Lov is Cole Williams, a reclusive bedroom soundscaper flushed into the open courtesy of this debut album, which marries disjointed beats with hoarse, high soul vocals.
Saturday 27 April 2013
Louis Armstrong singing spiritual-jazz anthem "The Creator Has a Masterplan" (and sounding great) is one of the more bizarre experiences on this neat compendium of black consciousness from the vaults of Bob Thiele's Flying Dutchman label.
Friday 26 April 2013
For their follow-up to 2011’s acclaimed Buffalo, New Zealand psych-poppers The Phoenix Foundation chose to ignore the “short-form game” of contemporary pop and make “Test Match music” – an indication of the double-album length of Fandango which, alas, also hints at its yawning longueurs.
Tuesday 23 April 2013
George Jackson, who died in his Mississippi home on 14 April at the age of 68 after a year-long struggle against cancer, was the co-author of "Old Time Rock and Roll" and hundreds of other soul, rock and rhythm and blues tunes. Jackson recorded dozens of singles in the 1960s but made his mark as a writer, beginning with FAME Studios. He later was a songwriter for Muscle Shoals Sound Studios. When Malaco bought Muscle Shoals Sound, it hired Jackson to write songs.
Saturday 13 April 2013
If guitarist-auteur Otis's killer 1973 album Inspiration Information has somehow passed you by, you need to get it now.
Friday 05 April 2013
The daughter of a Malian diplomat, Rokia Traoré is perhaps the most naturally cross-cultural of her country's abundant musical offspring, effortlessly blending styles and sounds as easily as she switches between languages.
Sunday 03 March 2013
If you haven't heard this Swedish singer/producer duo before, then track title "This City's Local Italo Disco DJ Has a Crush on Me" tells you what to expect.
Sunday 24 February 2013
AFP is the supergroup formed by Radiohead's Thom Yorke, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, producer Nigel Godrich, drummer-for-hire Joey Waronker and Brazilian percussionist Mauro Refosco. If you're still reading, I salute you, but despite that terrifying opening sentence, Amok is not an unpleasant listen.
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