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MUSICIAN Born:

Denys Baptiste

Born in London of St Lucian parents in 1969, Denys studied music at school from the age of 13 and, in 1990, went on to study at the West London Institute (Brunel University). In 1992, he continued his music education at London’s Guildhall School of Music, studying under former Jazz Messenger, Jean Toussaint. From the moment he joined the London jazz circuit, Denys displayed extraordinary talent, energy and commitment. Spotted by veteran Jazz Warriors double bassist, Gary Crosby at the bassist’s regular Tomorrow’s Warriors jam sessions, Denys was immediately invited to join Crosby’s new band, Nu Troop

ARTICLE: INTERVIEWS

Camilla George: Warrior Charge

Read "Camilla George: Warrior Charge" reviewed by Chris May

In 2017, alto saxophonist and composer Camilla George's band was the support act for a Dee Dee Bridgewater gig at the London Jazz Festival. After George had finished her set, Bridgewater, who had been listening in the wings, came onstage, took the mike, and announced: “The world is safe because we have Camilla." Others in Cadogan ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Byron Wallen: Portrait

Read "Portrait" reviewed by Chris May

An all too rare event, an album from Byron Wallen. The British trumpeter is part of that cohort of musicians who immediately preceded, and continue to inspire, the young London rebels who have been renewing British jazz since around 2015. So, too, is this album's drummer, Rod Youngs. Youngs was born and raised in the US, ...

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

Saxophone Summit: Street Talk

Read "Street Talk" reviewed by Chris May

Since coming together in 1999 to celebrate the late-period work of John Coltrane, the aptly named Saxophone Summit has lost only one original member. Michael Brecker passed in 2007 and was replaced by Ravi Coltrane, who has in turn been replaced by Greg Osby. The other principals, Joe Lovano and Dave Liebman, are unchanged, as is ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Dave O'Higgins & Rob Luft: Plays Monk & Trane

Read "Plays Monk & Trane" reviewed by Chris May

Hearing the young British guitarist Rob Luft for the first time on his debut album, Riser (Edition, 2017), was rather like hearing American guitarist Johnny Smith for the first time on Moonlight In Vermont (Roost, 1956). You knew you were listening to something special. And while much separates the players' styles, much unites them, too: Smith'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: ALBUM REVIEWS

Alice Coltrane: Live At The Berkeley Community Theater 1972

Read "Live At The Berkeley Community Theater 1972" reviewed by Chris May

Conventional belief holds that Alice Coltrane was the dreamy, mellifluous partner in John Coltrane's late period, out-there sonic explorations. The truth is otherwise, as attentive listening to the recordings the two Coltranes made together in 1966 and 1967 demonstrates. The misapprehension stems from the gentler albums Alice made for Impulse in the first few years following ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Binker Golding Quartet and Denys Baptiste Quartet at the London Saxophone Festival

Read "Binker Golding Quartet and Denys Baptiste Quartet at the London Saxophone Festival" reviewed by Chris May

Binker Golding Quartet / Denys Baptiste Quartet London Saxophone FestivalThe Jazz Cafe London May 23, 2019 The launch event for the 2019 London Saxophone Festival, which runs until June 16, featured two of the most edge-of-your-seat, high impact, kick-out-the-jams tenor saxophone-led bands in the recorded history of British jazz. ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Wild Card: Life Stories

Read "Life Stories" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

When British youth started picking up on the music coming out of America in the Fifties and Sixties their tastes were widespread. While some kids loved the early rock & roll of Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly or the blues of Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, others grabbed onto the jazz played by the likes of ...


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