Arts and Entertainment Dai & The Ramblers, Duw Duw

Duw Duw, Just Peachy Records

The best music of 2012: Jazz

Forty years in the making, four CDs and 260 minutes long, Mississippi-born trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith's Ten Freedom Summers proved hard to beat for strength and depth.

Album: Joni Mitchell, The Studio Albums 1968-1979 (Warner Bros)

The 10 albums that comprise this box set depict one of the most extraordinary career arcs in all of pop music, testament to the questing intelligence with which Joni Mitchell approached music.

Album: Various artists, All Ready for the 25th (Sartorial)

Any Christmas album that begins with a rendition of "Silent Night" on the musical saw (from David Coulter) scores points, at least, for originality.

Matthew Norman: The unignorable Mr Farage

Some things in life, you put off and put off. The source of the procrastination may be tedium (all those red utility bills yellowing on the doormat), or fear about a medical problem such as tinnitus, which is probably no more than a whooshy noise in the ear, but might prove a symptom of a benign tumour (acoustic neuroma) if you took it to the doctor.

Editorial: When East came West and the twain met

The late Ravi Shankar became known in the West through his association with The Beatles. But there was far more to the man George Harrison called the "godfather" of world music. He was a champion of crossover in its fullest sense. His sitar spoke to all our souls.

Win a pair of flights to The Big Easy - New Orleans

New Orleans is known as The Big Easy for two reasons: it's a big place, and everyone is really easy-going.

IoS album review: Wadada Leo Smith & Louis Moholo-Moholo, Ancestors (Tum)

Trumpeter Smith – whose epic Ten Freedom Summers is probably the most impressive jazz recording of the year – left segregated Mississippi for the army at around the same time as drummer Moholo-Moholo joined the soon-to-be-exiled Blue Notes in apartheid Cape Town.

IoS album review: Various artists, Mercyland: Hymns for the Rest of Us (Mercyland)

High-concept stuff – as in heavenly – in which the Nashville songwriter Phil Madeira co-opts a posse of notables into a project predicated on the idea that “God is love” (as opposed to the moralist of “crazy TV preachers”).

Rhythm but (hopefully) no blues: Britain to host first outdoor jazz festival in decades

The Love Supreme Jazz Festival takes place in Sussex next July

Swing kings: the Brad Mehldau Trio have stood the test of time

IoS jazz review: Brad Mehidau Trio, Barbican Hall, London

Generous, creative – and still groovy after all these years

Mara Carlyle with Jon Snow, Purcell Room, London

London Jazz Festival

In other news ... Jon Snow performed at last year's Newsroom's Got Talent charity event

Cool Daddio! Jon Snow gets star jazz billing

The Channel 4 newsreader is to be opening act at London festival

London Jazz Festival set to celebrate 20th year with first ever UK solo gig by Herbie Hancock

The London Jazz Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and some serious jazz hitters are coming out to play.

Esperanza Spalding plays the London Jazz Festival in November

Heads Up: London Jazz Festival

Blowing its trumpet: London Jazz Festival swings into town

Album: Diana Krall, Glad Rag Doll (Verve)

Glad Rag Doll features exactly the same producer and rhythm section as the Lisa Marie Presley album, but to different ends.

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America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

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