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Soweto Kinch

Award winning alto-saxophonist and MC Soweto Kinch is one of the most exciting and versatile young musicians in both the British jazz and hip hop scenes. Undoubtedly, one of the few artists in either genre with a degree in Modern History from Oxford University he has amassed an impressive list of accolades and awards on both sides of the Atlantic – including a Mercury Music Prize nomination, two UMA Awards and a MOBO for best Jazz Act in 2003. In October 2007, he won his second MOBO Award, at the O2 Arena, London where he was announced as the winner in the Best Jazz Act category- fending off stiff competition from the likes of Wynton Marsalis. His skills as a hip hop MC and producer have also garnered him recognition in the urban music world: having supported the likes of KRS ONE, Dwele and TY, and being championed by the likes of Mos Def, Rodney P and BBC 1-Xtra’s Twin B. Kinch’s projects also extend beyond recorded albums

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Article: Album Review

Nathaniel Cross: The Description Is Not The Described

Read "The Description Is Not The Described" reviewed by Chris May


Trombonist Nathaniel Cross is a key presence on London's alternative jazz scene, just like his brother, Theon Cross, who plays tuba in Shabaka Hutchings' Sons Of Kemet. Until now, however, Nathaniel has probably been better known among his fellow musicians than with the general public, for he has been most active behind the scenes as a ...

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Article: Book Review

Giant Steps: Diverse Journeys in British Jazz

Read "Giant Steps: Diverse Journeys in British Jazz" reviewed by Chris May


Giant Steps: Diverse Journeys in British Jazz David Burke 240 Pages ISBN: 9781908755483 Desert Hearts 2021 David Burke's survey of British jazz musicians of colour does not begin promisingly. The first sentence of his Foreword reads: “Jazz is, of course, African-American in provenance, just as the greatest ...

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Article: Interview

Shabaka Hutchings: Black to the Future

Read "Shabaka Hutchings: Black to the Future" reviewed by Chris May


Though he is far too modest to make any such claim himself, most observers agree that saxophonist and clarinetist Shabaka Hutchings is the standard-bearer for the new wave of jazz musicians who have emerged in London since around 2015. Hutchings is a few years older than most of the cohort. He made his debut recording in ...

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News: Book / Magazine

Giant Steps: Diverse Journeys in British Jazz

Giant Steps: Diverse Journeys in British Jazz

Giant Steps: Diversity Journeys in British Jazz features conversations with many of the artists who have engineered the cultural transformation of British jazz over the past four decades. A new wave of the genre emerged in the 1980s, spearheaded by the Jazz Warriors, a collective of black musicians which launched the careers of bassist Gary Crosby, ...

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Article: Album Review

Nubiyan Twist: Freedom Fables

Read "Freedom Fables" reviewed by Chris May


Guitarist Tom Excell's Nubiyan Twist is one of the more substantial groove-based fusion outfits orbiting the perimeter of Britain's alternative jazz world. The band combines soul, funk, modal jazz, hip hop, and West African Afrobeat and highlife in a dancefloor-friendly melange which is a whole lot of fun while also possessing some depth. Based in Leeds ...

Album

Um Yang

Label: Night Dreamer
Released: 2020
Track listing: Um (Radio Edit); Yang (Radio Edit); Um; Yang.

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Article: Year in Review

Chris May’s Best Releases Of 2020

Read "Chris May’s Best Releases Of 2020" reviewed by Chris May


Not the best year for live gigs in London, but Dele Sosimi's Afrobeat Orchestra just made it under the wire, lighting up the Jazz Cafe in late January. Rather like Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, Sosimi's band has form as an incubator of young talent. A recent star in the making was trumpeter Ife Ogunjobi, who has ...

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Article: Interview

Makaya McCraven: Cross Border Traffic

Read "Makaya McCraven: Cross Border Traffic" reviewed by Chris May


Like his near contemporaries Shabaka Hutchings, Kamasi Washington, Nubya Garcia and Robert Glasper, the Chicago-based drummer, bandleader, producer and self-declared beat scientist Makaya McCraven is routinely described by the more breathless commentators writing about modern music as a “saviour" of jazz. Certainly, McCraven and his peers are enriching jazz by their embrace of other ...

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Article: Album Review

Makaya McCraven: Universal Beings E&F Sides

Read "Universal Beings E&F Sides" reviewed by Chris May


Universal Beings E&F Sides is an addendum to drummer and producer Makaya McCraven's paradigm-shifting underground hit Universal Beings (International Anthem, 2018). That album was a double (four sides: A, B, C and D). The new album is a single (two sides: E and F). Geddit? Most, but not all, of the tracks on ...


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