A documentary on Birmingham? Thanks but no thanks, I thought to myself while pondering the new series of Reimagining the City. Seriously, Birmingham? It's hardly Florence or Cairo or Cape Town. No one nudges their partner on a soggy January morning and says wistfully, "Darling, wouldn't it be just lovely if we could leave all this behind and disappear to Birmingham?"
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Sunday 17 April 2011
Star saxman Joshua Redman's new band is a "collaborative" quartet (Aaron Parks, Matt Penman, Eric Harland) who cleave to a strikingly Euro-sounding aesthetic.
Sunday 03 April 2011
If new UK jazz groups sometimes seem marred by superficiality with, as an older bandleader put it, "everyone sounding different, everyone sounding the same", saxophonist Figes has strength in depth.
Sunday 03 April 2011
Sunday 27 February 2011
Wailing, bluesy free jazz from alto saxophonist Roberts, following up her excellent debut with this Vortex recording accompanied by pianist Robert Mitchell, bassist Tom Mason and drummer Chris Vatalaro.
Sunday 06 February 2011
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.
Friday 28 January 2011
It was rare to find a woman jazz musician in the Fifties. Even more rare to find one who played hotter jazz than her colleagues. The tenor saxophonist Betty Smith was one such.
Sunday 23 January 2011
Recorded at Rainbow Studios in Oslo, with the UK's John Taylor on piano and Norwegians Thomas Stronen on drums and Tore Brunborg on saxes, Meadow turns out to be more rhythmically varied than its ECM-type provenance might suggest.
Sunday 16 January 2011
Tenor saxophonist Baptiste follows Let Freedom Ring!, his Martin Luther King dedication from 2003, with a more questioning reflection on "life's experience as a black man of Caribbean descent, playing jazz music in the UK".
Sunday 09 January 2011
Celebrating his 75th birthday, bandoneonist Dino Saluzzi faithfully follows in the steps of his mentor and former colleague Astor Piazzolla.
Sunday 26 December 2010
Three American late-modernists reasserted themselves as world leaders. Charles Lloyd's Mirror provided a hard-won summary of his lyrical gifts, fluttering saxophone solos grounded by the expert team of Jason Moran, Reuben Rogers and Eric Harland.
Sunday 14 November 2010
You can't knock the sheer class of this major-label grand production matching bassist Haden's film noir-inspired quartet – one of the best groups of the past 20 years – with guest singers Cassandra Wilson, Diana Krall, Melody Gardot, Norah Jones, Renée Fleming and Ruth Cameron (Haden's wife, who co-produces).
Friday 12 November 2010
Sunday 07 November 2010
Sunday 31 October 2010
Saxophonist Ed Jones and trumpeter Damon Brown are talented UK bop players who've been round the block a few times and Killer Shrimp is their attempt to use technology to sound more contemporary.
Friday 22 October 2010
Sadly, the saxophone is rarely present in classical orchestral surroundings. Indeed, three of the five pieces performed here by Cretan saxophonist Theodore Kerkezos with the LSO were commissioned in the early 1900s by sax evangelist Elise Boyer Hall, in a bid to create a repertoire for the instrument.
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