Sunday, 24 June 2018 08:35 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

                              altCritically-acclaimed American jazz chanteuse, MADELEINE PEYROUX, returns with her eighth album, 'Anthem,' which will be released by Decca/Universal on August 31st 2018. It follows hot on the heels of the brand new single and taster from the forthcoming album, the infectious 'On My Own.'

The follow-up to 2006's 'Secular Hymns,' the set reunites Peyroux's with producer, Larry Klein - who worked on some of the singer's earlier albums - and also finds her collaborating with noted musicians and songwriters, Patrick Warren, Brian Macleod, and David Baerwald, on a thirteen-song set whose title tune is an interpretation of late poet Leonard Cohen's plaintive 'Anthem' (it's the third time that the singer originally from Athens, Georgia, has recorded it). It's one of two covers on an album that offers trenchant socio-political commentary (check out 'Brand New Deal') as well as illuminating personal insights - the other is a beautiful, unadorned version of Paul Eluard’s World War II poem 'Liberté,'  which Peyroux sings in French while accompanied by acoustic guitar and gentle orchestral strings.  It provides a stunning moment on what is probably Madeleine Peyroux's most impressive album yet.

The singer/songwriter will also be on tour in the UK and Ireland during the late autumn:

Tuesday 20 November – National Concert Hall, Ireland

Wednesday 21 November - St David's Hall, Cardiff

Thursday 22 November - RNCM Concert Hall, Manchester

Saturday 24 November - Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre (as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival), London

Sunday 25 November - Festival Square Theatre, Edinburgh

Monday 26 November - Leeds Town Hall, Leeds

Tuesday 27 November - Cambridge Corn Exchange, Cambridge


'On My Own' is out now. 'Anthem' follows on August 32st 2018.


Read SJF's 2016 interview with Madeleine here:

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 June 2018 18:49



Saturday, 23 June 2018 07:54 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

                      altChic are back. The legendary Big Apple disco-funk group co-founded by Nile Rodgers who lit up the late '70s with global anthems like 'Everybody Dance,' 'I Want Your Love,' and 'Good Times,'  release their first album in 25 years in September. It's called  'It's About Time' and is released by Virgin/EMI.

Ahead of it comes the new single, 'Till The World Falls,' an infectious dance floor groove driven by Rodgers' signature choppy rhythm guitar. The record has a strong British connection as it features Guernsey-born producer Mura Masa, and London-based singer Cosha. US rapper Vic Mensa also features. The song was co-produced by Rodgers with Masa, who also have a writing credit alongside Anderson .Paak, anaïs, Vic Mensa, and Nao.

Thrilled to be collaborating with the legend that is Nile Rodgers, Mura Masa said: "Working with Nile at Abbey Road was so enjoyable. It’s breathtaking to see a man who has been working and striving towards greatness for so long approaching the writing and recording process with the same joy and passion that he always has. Truly an amazing learning experience and a wild fever dream come true."

'Till The World Falls' is available to download and stream now.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 June 2018 18:50



Thursday, 21 June 2018 06:55 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

     altCarnegie Hall's newly-formed National Youth Jazz Orchestra - or NYO Jazz for short - are preparing for their first European sojourn during their foundation year.

The 22-member ensemble, comprising the cream of the USA's young jazz musicians (whose ages span 16-19), were put together earlier this year and after acclaimed US shows are looking forward to showcasing their talentS on an international stage.  They'll be landing in the United Kingdom on 31st July when they are due to perform at The Apex in Bury St. Edmonds. That's followed by a concert at Cadogan Hall in London on 1st August and four days later, on August 5th, they journey north to Scotland, where  they will appear Usher Hall, Edinburgh, as part of the prestigious Edinburgh International Festival.

                                      altAs a bonus, the NYO will have two special and highly experienced musicians with them - noted trumpeter SEAN JONES will lead the group and be its main soloist while multi-Grammy winning singer, DIANNE REEVES, will feature as a special guest.

Said Sean Jones ahead of the tour: “I look forward to sharing a truly unique educational and cultural experience with the students who will come together this summer to create NYO Jazz, as well as inspiring audiences with memorable performances that place the spotlight on our gifted youth…NYO Jazz will demonstrate that the Big Band is the perfect vehicle to reveal the diversity, scope, and profound ability of jazz music to express the vast dynamics within American music.”

Dianne Reeves is also excited by the prospect of playing with the young group. "It is a joy and an honour to tour with the brilliant young musicians of Carnegie Hall’s NYO Jaz," she said. "What a wonderful opportunity to share ideas, and aspirations. I know I’ll be inspired and I hope to be a source of the same as we share this musical journey."

More info here:

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 June 2018 18:50



Saturday, 16 June 2018 11:16 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

                              altTenor saxophonist and composer, KAMASI WASHINGTON, made jazz sexy and cool again in the eyes of mainstream audiences with 'The Epic,' his critically-acclaimed  triple album from 2015, which appealed as much to pop and rock fans as well as jazz's hardcore devotees. The secret to the 37-year-old's success  wasn't just down to visual presentation - Washington looks like a Biblical prophet leading a band of rock stars - but his music, with its big, uplifting melodies, sumptuous arrangements, high energy, and positive vibes,  gave the world something fresh and different. What's unique about him is that he's simultaneously groundbreaking and accessible.

Washington's popularity has also been fuelled by all the different festivals he and his band, The Next Step, have played over the last three years around the world, which has widened not only his own audience, but has seemingly given the general public a new appetite for contemporary jazz.

Following in the wake of last year's superb EP, 'Harmony Of Difference,' 'Heaven & Earth' is a 16-track concept album that will be available on double CD and vinyl. Washington is joined by his band, The Next Step - including singer, Patrice Quinn, pianist Cameron Graves, keyboardist Brandon Coleman, trombonist Ryan Porter, bassist Miles Mosley, and drummer Tony Austin - along with several members of The West Coast Get Down, a loose aggregation of Los Angeles musicians that includes Stephen "Thundercat" Bruner, his brother, drummer, Ronald Bruner, and Terrace Martin. Noted jazz singer, Dwight Tribble, features on the album's first single, 'Fists Of Fury.'

'Heaven & Earth' is available (on CD, LP, download, and to stream) via the Young Turks record label on Friday 22nd June.

   Look for a detailed review soon at SJF

Last Updated on Saturday, 16 June 2018 14:22



Friday, 15 June 2018 17:41 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altAL LINDSEY is a veteran US soul man who, though born down in Virginia, actually began his singing career in Detroit where his family relocated to. By 14 he was singing lead in his local church choir and by 16 he was hitting the Motor City's night clubs.

He eventually hooked up with Lawrence Payton Jr (son of Four Tops, Lawrence Payton Snr and now a Top himself) before deciding to take the solo route. One of Al's first recordings 'Always On My Mind' became a cult Northern soul classic while a trio of albums gained a measure of success.

Al has just self-released his fourth long player – the ten tracker that is 'Versatility', and it's shaping up to be his most successful to date, being, well, "versatile". There's plenty for the dancers, different shadings of soul, heartfelt ballads and even a dash of reggae.

The cut garnering all the plaudits right now is the opening track 'Cotton Candy' – a tight, proper soul groove with a touch of toughness - perfect for the modern soul scene. Repeat plays of the album though allow the ballads to shine. Two of the best are 'Midsummer Dream' and 'Heavenly Thoughts' while the album's title cut attracts with its mix of lush orchestration, heartfelt vocals and meaningful, "social awareness" style lyrics. It's preceded by a monologue that adds a little more magic.

The album's lush soundscape in some ways reminds me of vintage Whispers sets, though elsewhere I can hear shades of Isaac Hayes. In truth Al's vocals go a little awry in places but in fact that only adds to the authentic, old school sound... certainly charming.

Al Lindsey's 'Versatility' is out now

Last Updated on Friday, 15 June 2018 17:48


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