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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

RAF Squadronaires and Todd Gordon: Evergreen

Read "Evergreen" reviewed by Ian Patterson

The Royal Air Force Squadronaires can rightly lay claim to being one of the UK's most historically important big bands, and judging by the vibrancy of Helping the Heroes (Jazz Specific, 2012), undoubtedly one of the very best. A showcase for vocalist Todd Gordon and The Royal Air Force Squadronaires' impressive collective voice, that album is ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

The Royal Air Force Squadronaires And Todd Gordon: Helping The Heroes

Read "Helping The Heroes" reviewed by Ian Patterson

One of the UK's premiere big bands, the Royal Air Force Squadronaires' roots date to 1939 when some of London's top jazz and dance band musicians were recruited to form the Royal Air Force Dance Orchestra, more popularly known as the Squadronaires. The band toured war-torn Europe to raise troop morale following the Allied Normandy Landings ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

The Royal Air Force Squadronaires And Todd Gordon: Helping The Heroes

Read "Helping The Heroes" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

Helping The Heroes, from singer Todd Gordon and the Royal Air Force Squadronaires, has the authentic, swinging, sound of a great big band. The guest singers showcase the range of vocal talent on the UK scene, and the album has its heart fairly and squarely in the right place, too, having been recorded in support of ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Jacqui Dankworth: It Happens Quietly

Read "It Happens Quietly" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

It Happens Quietly is an album of great beauty. Singer Jacqui Dankworth is at the top of her game, investing this collection of songs with superb technique and humanity. She's ably assisted by superb musicians, and by some of the loveliest and most creative arrangements to grace a jazz record for some time. There's an element ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Jay Phelps: Jay Walkin'

Read "Jay Walkin'" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

Canadian-born trumpeter Jay Phelps moved to the UK at the age of 17. Since his arrival Phelps has gathered much valuable experience with acts such as Dennis Rollins (who guests on Jay Walkin''s “10 Years"), Tomorrow's Warriors and the award-winning Empirical, before embarking on this debut recording as leader at the age of 28. It's paid ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Tony Kofi Quartet: The Silent Truth

Read "The Silent Truth" reviewed by Chris May

Saxophonist Tony Kofi is that increasingly rare thing on the British jazz scene, a player who didn't spend three years “learning" the music at an academic institution, but who discovered it, and developed his gift for it, mostly on the bandstand. True, Kofi did once spend a year at Berklee College of Music on a full ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Anita Wardell: Noted

Read "Noted" reviewed by William Grim

The best straight-ahead jazz singer on the scene today is Anita Wardell, the winner of the prestigious BBC Jazz Award last month, and Noted is one of the most impressive displays of vocal jazz and vocalese in many years. Backed up by her usual working trio of pianist Robin Aspland, bassist Jeremy Brown and drummer Steve ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Various Artists: BBC Jazz Awards 2006

Read "BBC Jazz Awards 2006" reviewed by Chris May

As a boy, I was told that wedding reports in our local newspaper generally concluded with the remark that the nuptial gifts were “both numerous and costly." A similarly de rigueur riff accompanies the publication of lists of awards nominations today, with “both varied and of a very high standard" the preferred epithet.

Sometimes the claim ...

Tony Kofi: Future Passed

Read "Future Passed" reviewed by Chris May

Though its nuances may not be readily apparent online, the back and front sleeve art for Future Passed, London saxophonist and ex-Tomorrow's Warrior Tony Kofi's second album as leader, is reminiscent of the time-travelling cover of Curtis Counce's 1958 recalibration of hard bop, Exploring The Future.

There are no astronauts on Kofi's sleeve, true, but the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Tony Kofi Quartet: Plays Monk (All Is Know)

Read "Plays Monk (All Is Know)" reviewed by Chris May

First making a name for himself on the British jazz scene in '91 as a member of the high profile young Turks the Jazz Warriors, Tony Kofi went on to guest with a wide variety of artists during the first half of the '90s--from the David Murray Big Band, Jazz Jamaica and Eddie Henderson to Queen ...