Arts and Entertainment Dai & The Ramblers, Duw Duw

Duw Duw, Just Peachy Records

Album: Joe Lovano & US Five, Bird Songs (Blue Note)

On his 22nd album for the label, and his second with this hot-to-trot, two-drummer band featuring Esperanza Spalding on bass, saxophonist Lovano confirms his status as the most consistently inventive soloist/leader in jazz.

Album: Various Artists, CTI Records: the Cool Revolution (Sony Masterworks Jazz)

It's hard, after immersion in the rousing Fela Kuti box set, not to find this four-CD anthology culled from the jazz label CTI Records, as somewhat limp by comparison.

Album: Various artists, Bossa and the Rise of Brazilian Music (Soul Jazz)

An exemplary account of how Brazilian music found its keenest popular focus in the 1960s, as a chic, modernistic jazz-inflected pop form of remarkable stylistic integrity.

Album: Anne Sofie von Otter / Brad Mehldau, Love Songs (Naive)

Inspired pairing of leading mezzo-soprano and jazz pianist, or chi-chi crossover for the carriage trade?

Album: Heath Brothers, Endurance (Jazz Legacy)

Soon, jazz like this won’t exist any more.

Album: Charlie Haden, The Complete Remastered etc (Camjazz)

The two albums by the ex-Ornette Coleman alumni-group Old and New Dreams are justly celebrated, but they're entirely outshone in this superb five-disc box-set by three relative obscurities:

An eye for a sound: Portraits of jazz musicians throughout history

Richard Young Gallery is launching a new exhibition of portraits by photographer Tim Motion.

Album: Skeletons, Smile (Impossible Ark)

Composer and bandleader Benedic Lamdin of Nostalgia 77 fashions an homage to Ethiopiques-style African jazz and exotica, using offcuts of previously commissioned library music (the skeletons in his cupboard) as the primary source material.

Album: Mark Lockheart and the NDR Big Band, Days Like These (Fuzzy Moon)

Give some jazz musicians an orchestra to work with and you get scaled-up felt-tip sketches.

Regular Radio 2 jazz slot for Jamie Cullum

Jazz star Jamie Cullum has landed a regular slot as a DJ on Radio 2, it was announced today.

Album: Jeb Loy Nichols, Strange Faith & Practice, (Impossible Ark)

In the past, the Wyoming-born singer-songwriter Jeb Loy Nichols has mixed country with soul and reggae, but this foray into drifting, downtempo jazz is a wonderful and surprising departure, the 13-song sequence of Strange Faith & Practice deepening as it goes.

Album: The Modern Jazz Quartet, Bluesology, (Atlantic)

A timely reappraisal for the monumental MJQ, whose reputation has rather slipped over the years.

Question Time: Helen Mayhew

Work: Pirate radio while at university in Exeter, BBC local radio, then Jazz FM for 14 years. Joined BBC Radio 2 and 3 in 2004 for The Helen Mayhew Programme, Big Band Special, Jazz Line. Joining new digital radio station JazzFm on 1 July to present four jazz shows a week.

Life: Single, 49, lives in Buckinghamshire

Balance: It’s brilliant, I’m combining work with my passion, which is jazz

Album: Dutch Jazz Orchestra, Moon Dreams, (Challenge)

This is pure jazz gold-dust: rediscovered music by Gerry Mulligan and Gil Evans written for Claude Thornhill's pre-Birth of the Cool orchestra and never released in complete form before.

Album: Laurence Hobgood, When the Heart Dances, (Naim)

Welcome to a new piano star. Better known as the long-standing musical partner of Kurt Elling, Hobgood arrives at the top jazz table with this atmospheric album of duets with bassist Charlie Haden plus two solo pieces and three vocals by Elling.

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