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ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

Chris May's Best Releases of 2019

Read "Chris May's Best Releases of 2019" reviewed by Chris May

The world may be going to hell in a handcart, but the year has been full of uplifting jazz. Here are ten of the best albums--the first seven newly recorded, the final three reissued or recently unearthed. Each one is the coyote's cojones.

Yazz Ahmed
Polyhymnia
Ropeadope

The eagerly ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Levitation Orchestra: Inexpressible Infinity

Read "Inexpressible Infinity" reviewed by Chris May

A lot of bull is talked about collective music-making, so it is good to come across a band who not only talk the talk but also walk the walk. Good, too, to come across a debut album that is as outstanding as the thirteen-piece Levitation Orchestra's Inexpressible Infinity. Vibrant, joyous and cosmopolitan, it joins Theon Cross's ...

ARTICLE: PROFILES

WOKE JAZZ: The Fast-Forward Evolution of British Jazz

Read "WOKE JAZZ: The Fast-Forward Evolution of British Jazz" reviewed by Chris May

After a lifetime in the shadow of its American parent, British jazz is finally coming of age. A community of young, London-based musicians is forging a style which, while anchored in the American tradition, reflects the modern Caribbean and African cultural heritages of the majority of its vanguard players. The music also addresses the race, class ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Steve Williamson & Guildhall Jazz Orchestra: Celebrating Coltrane at Milton Court

Read "Steve Williamson & Guildhall Jazz Orchestra: Celebrating Coltrane at Milton Court" reviewed by Chris May

Steve Williamson / Guildhall Jazz Orchestra / Scott Stroman
Milton Court Concert Hall
Celebrating Coltrane
London
July 10, 2019

The word “legendary" is bandied around so indiscriminately these days that it has all but lost its meaning. London saxophonist Steve Williamson is among a tiny number ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

An Embarrassment of Riches

Read "An Embarrassment of Riches" reviewed by Jennifer DeMeritt

It's a great time to be a jazz lover, with so many fantastic new releases that it's almost overwhelming. To quote Shakespeare, it's an embarrassment of riches! This week we have handpicked some of the most exciting new music, from giants like Bill Frisell and Chris Potter to indie upstarts and international artists like Theon Cross ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Brussels Jazz Festival 2019

Read "Brussels Jazz Festival 2019" reviewed by Martin Longley

Brussels Jazz Festival
Flagey
Brussels, Belgium
January 10-19, 2019

The Brussels Jazz Festival is a relative newcomer, but this ambitious 10-dayer managed to sell out around two thirds of its gigs, and was overall the most successful in attendance for this fifth edition. Concerts are held in the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Zara McFarlane: East Of The River Nile

Read "East Of The River Nile" reviewed by Chris May

As a teaser for her upcoming album, the divine Zara McFarlane has released a 4-track EP revisiting Jamaican dub and rockers wizard Augustus Pablo's canonical 1977 single “East Of The River Nile." McFarlane's disc, on which her wordless vocals stay close to Pablo's original melodica topline, showcases her signature blend of jazz and Caribbean music to ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

SEED Ensemble: Driftglass

Read "Driftglass" reviewed by Chris May

After decades in the shadow of its American parent, British jazz is finally coming of age. A community of young, London-based musicians is forging a rebooted style which reflects both the Caribbean and African musical heritages of the majority of its vanguard players and also locally created musics such as grime and garage. Jazz was created ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Makaya McCraven: Where We Come From (Chicago X London)

Read "Where We Come From (Chicago X London)" reviewed by Chris May

A summit meeting starring luminaries from two of the planet's bleeding-edge jazz scenes--London and Chicago--Where We Come From was recorded at London's Total Refreshment Centre in late 2017 and was first released as a mixtape and a download. It pitches Chicago drummer Makaya McCraven alongside four leading faces on the young London scene--tuba player Theon Cross, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Theon Cross: Fyah

Read "Fyah" reviewed by Chris May

Over the last two years years the disruptive slice of the London jazz scene has produced an abundance of four-going-on-five-star albums, but even among such company Fyah stands out. Performed by a tuba, tenor saxophone and drums trio, augmented on two tracks, it is a work of majestic proportions, the embodiment of the neoteric London sound. ...