Saturday, 16 February 2019 09:27 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF


The nominees for this  year's much-anticipated JAZZ FM awards, due to take place on International Jazz Day, on Thursday April 30th in London's Shoreditch Town Hall, have just been announced and recognise the idiom's rising stars and its contemporary trendsetters as well as the iconic trailblazers.

Those nominated range from true giants, like jazz legend John Coltrane, whose album 'Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album,' stormed into the UK Top 40 album charts last year, and octogenarian saxophone guru, Wayne Shorter, whose 'Emanon' album - a contender in the Album Of The Year category - has just picked up a Grammy award. Also nominated from the USA are saxophonist Kamasi Washington,  veteran blues maven, Eric Bibb, jazz sage, Charles Lloyd, soul singers, Leon Bridges and Jose James, and rising drummer/composer, Makaya McCraven.

As always, the Jazz FM Awards, despite  being international in its scope , also has a strong British flavour, reflected by the presence of Biriths jazz acts, Sons Of Kemet along with Nubya GarciaEmma Jean-Thackray, Joe Armon-JonesMoses BoydCamilla George, Cassie Kinoshi, Ian Shaw and Rob Luft.  

Hosting the Awards Ceremony with Jez Nelson is Jazz FM’s Head of Music and broadcaster, Chris Philips, who says:“This year’s Jazz FM Award nominees list reflects another tremendous year of growth and interest in the music. In particular it’s fantastic to see some of our formerly recognised emerging talent like Nubya Garcia and Shabaka Hutchings sharing nominations with some of the world’s best, testament indeed to a vibrant and strengthening jazz community and industry here in the UK.”

You can have your say by taking part in the public vote here - - but you'll have to hurry because the  closing date is on Monday 12th March 2019.

Last Updated on Saturday, 16 February 2019 16:42



Friday, 15 February 2019 19:36 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altLast October we were introduced to yet another member of the formidable Winans clan. Artist in question was the sweet voiced CARVIN WINANS and our introduction came via a big, contemporary soul groove, 'Once In A Lifetime'. The track, deservedly, topped all the credible soul charts and we were told that the cut's parent album was "on its way". Well, it's almost here. Carvin's people tell us that the long player, 'In The Softest Way' is nearly with us... indeed, it's ready to pre-order.

The great news is that the 11 tracker offers plenty more modern soul excellence. 'Once In A Lifetime' was a great dance groove (produced by The Jackie Boys who anoraks will know from their work with Charlie Wilson and those great, recent Wilson cuts were the template) and if you want more of the same there's a beefy 'So Watcha Got'.

But 'In The Softest Way's' treasure are in the ballads and slow jams and amongst the best is 'If You Only Knew My Heart' – enhanced by some haunting harmonica work from someone called Stevie Wonder! Also on the guest list is brother Marvin who joins Carvin on the steady 'Ready To Love You' while Kenny G add his distinctive sax sound to the album's title cut.

Right now our favourite track is the lush 'You Blow My Mind' and like most of the songs here its sentiment and message can be seen in either a secular or gospel context. Hardly surprising, given Carvin's background. For the past 30 years he's worked the gospel circuit with his brothers Marvin, Michael and Ronald and he's also written hits for people like Whitney Houston, Regina Belle and Peabo Bryson.

CARVIN WINANS; 'In The Softest Way' available to pre-order now.

Last Updated on Friday, 15 February 2019 19:55



Friday, 15 February 2019 19:33 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altIt was back in September 2017 that we first became aware of LA's PHILLIP BRANDON ... a new-ish kid on the soul block with a fine pedigree (Phillip Sr was a jazz buff while mother Brenda was a member of Ray Charles' legendary Raelets).

We got to know Phillip via his Preston Glass-produced album, 'The Story Begins' ... a set that had some commentators making comparison with early Gregory Porter. Amongst the album highlights were the  album title cut, the gentle 'Stay In The Moment '(a duet with his mother) and 'Chocolate Child'. This uplifting latter referenced messages voiced by pioneers like Oscar Brown Jr, Donny Hathaway and Curtis Mayfield and is still winning radio plays, so much so that the track is being presented as a single and can be investigated at your favourite download portal.

Last Updated on Friday, 15 February 2019 19:56



Wednesday, 13 February 2019 20:46 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altLast Autumn, out of nowhere, it seemed, the legendary O'JAYS (now made up of Eddie Levert, Walter Williams, and Eric Nolan Grant,) announced that in 2020 they would retire from the music biz. The announcement came with the release of the single 'Above The Law' - a tough, hard hitting throwback to their socially conscious music of the 70s.

We were told that the single was from an upcoming new long player... and, alleluia!, the release of the album has been confirmed for April. Confirming their retirement, the LP is to be called 'The Last Word' and as a taster, the trio have just released a new single. The delicious hors d'oeuvre is a wonderful 'I Got You' - another reminder of the great days of Philly – this time the lush. smooth and sophisticated sound of what Gamble and Huff and their team did best! It's a corker and could be no one else but the O'Jays!

Anoraks will be delighted to know that 'I Got You' (along with other album tracks) was produced by Betty Wright.

THE O'JAYS ; 'The Last Word' released April 19th via S-Curve Records/ BMG

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 February 2019 20:54



Wednesday, 13 February 2019 09:32 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF


One of the most keenly anticipated events on the jazz calendar, the Cheltenham Jazz Festival, is renowned for presenting a sonic smorgasbord of musical sounds, styles and genres. This year, the 23rd in the festival's history, is no exception with a host of leading names from the worlds of  jazz, soul, funk and pop being announced.

Soul-jazz cat-in-a-hat, Gregory Porter, returns alongside fellow US Grammy winner, singer/songwriter Madeleine Peyroux. Other American artists due to perform at Cheltenham include singers Curtis Stigers and Kandace Springs, alto saxophone legend, David Sanborn, multi-Grammy-winning pianist Fred Hersch, rising jazz chanteuse Charinee Wade,  jazz power trio the Bad Plus, and tenor saxophone maven, Joshua Redman.

There are plenty of UK names appearing, with Jamie Cullum, James Morrison and Katie Melua leading the charge. They'll be joined by jazz-funk avatars, Level 42, plus Swing Out Sister, singer Andreya Triana, saxophonist Soweto Kinch, and the pick of London's new wave of jazz musicians - Yazz Ahmed, Nubya Garcia, and Jo Armon-Jones - as well as veterans like Georgie Fame, reed master John Surman, singer Carmel, and pianist Nikki Yeoh. Long-running jazz-funk group, Incognito, will also celebrate their 40th anniversary with a special concert.

To add a truly international dimension to the festival, you'll also be able to hear concerts from  Brazilian legend, Sergio Mendes, celebrated South African pianist Abdullah Ibrahim, the trio Rymden (a Scandi supergroup comprising Bugge Wesseltoft with e.s.t.'s Dan Berglund and Magnus Ostrom), Russian singer Alina Engibaryan, Norwegian saxophonist Hanna Paulsberg and Cuban pianist/composer Omar Sosa  who'll be performing with violinist/vocalist Yilian Cañizares.

The festival will run from Wednesday 1st May 2019 to Monday 6th May.

For more information go to:


Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 February 2019 17:49


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