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BAN BAM: Talking Music

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Regular goers to jazz/improvised music gigs and festivals might have clocked the fact that those on stage tend to be predominantly male--a mirror, more often than not, of the make-up of the audience. Women instrumentalists are the exception rather than the norm. Though what exactly, we should perhaps ask ourselves when it comes to music and gender, is normal? This, and many other questions related to the gender imbalance in jazz/improvised music, are put under the microscope at ...


Issie Barratt: Astral Pleasures

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Composer/baritone saxophonist Issie Barratt's music is nothing if not distinctive. The balance it strikes between ensemble and soloists usually comes down on the side of the former. Soloists such as guitarist Mike Outram--whose work sometimes recalls Chris Spedding's in the early line-ups of trumpeter Ian Carr's band Nucleus--and saxophonist Mark Lockheart, however, ensure that there's enough stimulation for listeners whose interests fall into one camp or the other. Lockheart is a one-time member of the British band Loose Tubes, and ...