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Courtney Pine

No musician more embodies the dramatic transformation in the British jazz scene over the past thirty years than saxophonist Courtney Pine. The ground breaking, multi- instrumentalist has led a generation of exciting and innovative players who have broadened their styles to take jazz out to a wider audience.

In the 80’s he was one of the first black British jazz artists to make a serious mark on the jazz scene when his first album “Journey To The Urge Within” charted and some 30 years on (now with an OBE and CBE for services to music) he continues to break new ground with a string of highly acclaimed recordings and numerous prestigious Industry awards. His album “Modern Day Jazz Stories” was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize in 2000 and he was the recipient of the Gold Badge award in 2002.

He has released 16 studio albums to date and continues to tour Worldwide with his award winning band playing clubs, concert halls and festivals from Glastonbury to Fuji Rock, Montreux to Cape Town.

His numerous TV and radio presenting credits include “Mandela Living Legend” for the BBC and the Sony Award winning long running specialist jazz show – Courtney Pine’s Jazz Crusade for BBC Radio 2. He was most recently commissioned by The Tate to compose and perform a unique piece inspired by the work of artist Henri Matisse, as part of Tate’s ‘Matisse Live’ broadcast in cinemas across the UK.

In 1986 a 22 year old Courtney Pine appeared on the front cover of the iconic British music publication NME, he is the only Black British jazz artist to do so – the last quote in a two page interview read “You know I’m doing this for a reason” – some 30 years later he still is…

“I believe in letting the musicians decide what is and what isn’t jazz. And for me, not to open my heart and play everything that is in my head or reflects my experiences, is just wrong.” ==Courtney Pine


Album Review

Courtney Pine: Spirituality

Read "Spirituality" reviewed by Chris May

In the 1980s, as a co-founder of the band Jazz Warriors and with his debut album Journey To The Urge Within (Island, 1986), reed player Courtney Pine inspired a generation young black British musicians, and not a few white ones, too. On Spirituality, Pine teams up with pianist Zoe Rahman, herself an influential figure, for a reprise of their album Song (The Ballad Book) (Destin-E, 2015). Both albums feature Pine on bass clarinet and Rahman in a ...

Book Review

Music From Out There, In Here: 25 Years Of The London Jazz Festival

Read "Music From Out There, In Here: 25 Years Of The London Jazz Festival" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Music From Out There, In Here: 25 Years Of The London Jazz Festival Emma Webster, George McKay 136 Pages University Of East Anglia 2017 There was a time when London had more jazz festivals than you could shake a stick at. Most, however, have disappeared, leaving the London Jazz Festival, founded in 1993, as the flagship. Twenty five years is not old in jazz festival terms--the wonderful trad jazz festival that is the Australian ...


Courtney Pine: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

Read "Courtney Pine: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants" reviewed by David Burke

Courtney Pine didn't pick up his beloved tenor saxophone for more than a decade, until an album exploring the black British experience demanded it. The multi-instrumentalist eschewed the horn on the likes of Europa, House of Legends and Song (The Ballad Book), his two-hander with pianist Zoe Rahman. “I spoke to Sonny Rollins about five years ago at a concert, and I asked him, 'Why don't you play loads of instruments, like John Coltrane?' What he said was, ...

Extended Analysis

Courtney Pine: House of Legends

Read "Courtney Pine: House of Legends" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Though multi-reedist Courtney Pine has been playing soprano for almost 30 years, this is the first occasion he's recorded an entire album with the instrument. Following his bass clarinet adventures on the European roots album Europa (Destin-E, 2011) it's clear that the modern British jazz legend doesn't tire of setting himself new challenges. Taking as his inspiration the roots of the British Afro-Caribbean community, Pine visits calypso, soca, zouk, reggae and South African rhythms in a joyous dance party that's ...


Courtney Pine: Suffolk, UK, September 20, 2012

Read "Courtney Pine: Suffolk, UK, September 20, 2012" reviewed by Sammy Stein

Courtney PineSuffolk, UKSeptember 20, 2012Courtney Pine is not so much a musician as an experience. The event was the opening night of the Ipswich Music Festival and the venue was the grand hall of Ipswich High School-grander than most school halls granted but not the sort of venue Pine would normally be associated with. The last time I saw him in action was just over a year ago at Snape Music Festival, where he ...

Album Review

Courtney Pine: Transition In Tradition

Read "Transition In Tradition" reviewed by Chris May

British reed player Courtney Pine began his professional life in reggae bands, and reggae's “conscious" music tradition has since been a defining feature of his work. Pine plays conscious jazz, in that many of his compositions and recording projects have held a focus on social rights and justice as seen through the prism of the black experience. Sometimes the story has been told with the aid of vocalists; sometimes, as on the exuberant Transition In Tradition, instrumentally--through track titles, liner ...

Album Review

Courtney Pine: Devotion

Read "Devotion" reviewed by Woodrow Wilkins

It's not the instrument; it's how you play it.Considering the commercial aspects of contemporary music, it would be easy to dismiss any solo artist who plays soprano saxophone as being among the hordes of sax players who try to emulate Kenny G, but wind up falling far short of their goal. Don't make that mistake with Courtney Pine. His music isn't trite enough to be lumped into that category, and it's too innovative for even a fair comparison ...

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Brecon Jazz 2013 Hosts Best Of Contemporary Jazz

Brecon Jazz 2013 Hosts Best  Of Contemporary Jazz

Source: All About Jazz

The stunning Brecon Beacons in the heart of Wales will resonate to the sound of some of the very best in contemporary jazz as Brecon Jazz returns on the weekend of the 9th-11th August with a stellar line-up to suit a broad range of tastes. Saxophonist Courtney Pine presents his House of Legends band at the Market Hall on Friday evening while another unique talent, saxophonist/author/agent provocateur Gilad Atzmon leads The Orient House Ensemble on the Chapter Stage at Brecon ...



Courtney Pine releases 12th album - Transition

Courtney Pine releases 12th album - Transition

Source: All About Jazz



Courtney Pine Brings His Visionary Music to Festival

Courtney Pine Brings His Visionary Music to Festival

Source: All About Jazz

ONE of the headliners at Scarborough Jazz Festival is the world-famous saxophonist Courtney Pine, a leading figure on the UK jazz scene for more than 20 years. He spoke to the festival's programme organiser Mike Gordon. MG: It’s going to be great having you at our festival Courtney. Everybody is commenting on the cover of our programme – there you are on the beach ready to play. What do you think of it? CP: Sax on the beach – very ...


Music Industry

Courtney Pine's Inspiration

Courtney Pine's Inspiration

Source: All About Jazz

The jazz musician reveals the cultural milestones in his life

Courtney Pine's debut album Journey to the Urge Within (1986) was the first British jazz album to make the top 40 in more than a decade. Smart-suited and prodigiously talented, the young saxophonist became a poster boy for British jazz, despite the fact that he was still playing predominantly American music.

Then something happened. “At the beginning of the '90s, I was doing the American set list," says Pine. “It ...

"There have been many pioneers in the black British community – people who have defined an era, changed societal perceptions and made it easier for those who follow to progress in their field. Courtney Pine is such a trailblazer" –The Voice
Chris Hall
Kim Cypher



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson


Destin-E Records


Black Notes from the...

Freestyle Records


House of Legends

Destin-E Records



Destin-E Records


Transition In...

Destin-E Records



Destin-E Records




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