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Lift Every Voice And Sing: Twenty #BlackLives Albums That Matter

Read "Lift Every Voice And Sing: Twenty #BlackLives Albums That Matter" reviewed by Chris May

Jazz has been inextricably linked with social and political protest since at least the late 1930s, when Billie Holiday made famous the leftist songwriter and poet Abel Meeropol's “Strange Fruit." The song, which has a power to move that is undiminished by familiarity, likens the bodies of lynched African Americans to fruit hanging in trees.

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Denys Baptiste: Pathfinder For The New London Jazz

Read "Denys Baptiste: Pathfinder For The New London Jazz" reviewed by Chris May

Bandleader, composer and educator Denys Baptiste is among the generation of musicians, many of them of Caribbean or African heritage, who pointed the way for the younger players who have emerged on the London jazz scene since around 2015. Baptiste's contemporaries include saxophonists Jason Yarde, Soweto Kinch, Steve Williamson and Courtney Pine, and trumpeter Byron Wallen, ...

New Jazz From London: Top 20 Paradigm Shifting Albums

Read "New Jazz From London: Top 20 Paradigm Shifting Albums" reviewed by Chris May

After a lifetime trying to get on an equal footing with its American parent, British jazz has finally come of age. Since around 2015, a community of young, London-based musicians has forged a style which, while anchored in the American tradition, reflects the Caribbean and African cultural heritages of many of its vanguard players. The scene ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

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 REVIEW

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: LIVE REVIEW

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: PROFILE

Denys Baptiste: Making the Late Trane Accessible

Read "Denys Baptiste: Making the Late Trane Accessible" reviewed by David Burke

Even the most avowed John Coltrane disciples among us would admit to grappling with some of the albums he released in the couple of years before his death--the likes of Ascension, Sun Ship and Om. And we weren't alone. His long-time drummer, Elvin Jones, told Downbeat magazine, “At times I couldn't hear what I was doing--matter ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2017

Read "Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2017" reviewed by Nick Davies

Cheltenham Jazz Festival Cheltenham, Gloucestershire April 26 to May 1, 2017 The Cheltenham Jazz Festival saw the jazz world descend on the Regency Spa Town of Cheltenham for six days. The festival presented a mix of established jazz acts with emerging artists, complemented by stars from the soul and blues ...


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