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Profiles

PROFILES

Claude Nobs: We All Came Out To Montreux...

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Montreux Jazz Festival is fifty. It's a significant milestone and cause for celebration. No doubt there will be an added festive element to this year's edition of the festival, founded by Claude Nobs--along with pianist Géo Voumard and writer René Langel--in 1967. Yet for many, the celebrations will be tinged with sadness due to the absence of Nobs, who died in a skiing accident in 2013. Nobs may have passed, but his legend, his spirit, lives on, in the festival ...

PROFILES

David S. Ware and the Wisdom of Uncertainty

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Every record label needs a beginning, a first release, but it is seldom that the initial release is a masterpiece. However, this is the case with Wisdom of Uncertainty, saxophonist David S. Ware's album from 1997, which was the inaugural release of Steven Joerg's AUM Fidelity imprint. The name of the label is inspired by Charles Mingus' iconic album Mingus Ah Um. Referencing one of the all-time classics in jazz history, Joerg set the bar high for ...

PROFILES

Billy Jenkins Turns Sixty

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On 5 July 2016 guitarist, composer, vocalist and philosopher Billy Jenkins hits the Big Six-O. It only seems five minutes ago that Jenkins played at the Purcell Room during 2010's London Jazz Festival, accompanied by the BBC Big Band to a suitably enraptured audience. He's been gigging and recording less in the past five years. His album Jazz Gives Me The Blues (VOTP VOCD 1167) was released in 2011 and Billy became an Accredited Humanist Celebrant approved by the British ...

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Fahir Atakoglu: Istanbul Blues

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The history of jazz has been one of fusion. Its musicians and composers have continually drawn upon a huge range of different musics to create the rich and diverse tapestry that is world jazz today. Jazz is an evolving tradition of music-making. And how often, in the life stories of individual jazz musicians, do we see these same patterns operating at microcosm? When it comes to the music of Turkish-born pianist-composer Fahir Atakoglu, we might define it broadly ...

PROFILES

Roberto Bonati: Macbeth and the Whale

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Italian bassist-composer Robert Bonati is one of the most ambitious and literate composers in contemporary jazz. Between 2000-2006, he released four ground-breaking extended works with the ParmaFrontiere Orchestra. While they attracted notice in Italy, they seemed to pass by the wider jazz audience in Europe, North America and the Far East. If at one level, the issue was one of a lack of exposure, at another, the twin curses of conservatism and localism in jazz no doubt applied. The history ...

PROFILES

Jimmy Greene: Beautiful Life

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“Love Wins," says Jimmy Greene, Saxophonist, Newtown, Connecticut. Inspired by his daughter, Ana, Beautiful Life is emotionally fulfilling towards remembrance of all things for the love of Ana. The children's choir made up of Ana's and her brother, Isaiah's friends from when the family lived in Canada, exemplifies the spirit of joy in which Ana lived. Isaiah, Nelba, her mother, and Jimmy hold a candlelight in their hearts for Ana and the children killed in the ...

PROFILES

Barry Guy: Back to the Drawing-Board (Part 3)

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 One of the things which may strike the listener on hearing the London Jazz Composers' Orchestra for the first time is just how much volume Guy is able to draw from just seventeen to twenty players. Some other big bands sound almost insipid in comparison. There is something about the way the composer is able to harness the power of his individual musicians and magnify it to something of symphonic ...

PROFILES

Barry Guy: A Prophet is Not without Honour (Part 2)

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 Barry Guy has been the artistic director and main composer of the London Jazz Composers' Orchestra throughout its now forty-five year history. Recordings and performances since Ode in 1972 have been sporadic but those forty-five years have resulted in eleven albums (including one with Anthony Braxton) and one DVD. In that time, the longest gaps in releases have been between Ode and Stringer (1972-1983) and between Double Trouble Two and ...


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