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Yazz Ahmed

Yazz Ahmed is a British-Bahraini trumpet player and composer who seeks to blur the lines between jazz, electronic sound design, bringing together the sounds of her mixed heritage. Her music has been described as ‘psychedelic Arabic jazz, intoxicating and compelling’. In recent years she has led her various ensembles in concerts around the UK and abroad, including performances in New York, Toronto, Kuwait, Algiers, Berlin, Köln, Paris, Istanbul, Tunis and Amsterdam, and at major festivals such as WOMAD, Molde Jazz, Pori Jazz and Love Supreme. Yazz has also recorded and performed with Radiohead, Lee Scratch Perry, Nile Rodgers, ABC, Swing Out Sister, Joan as Police Woman, Tarek Yamani, Amel Zen and toured the world with These New Puritans

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Article: Album Review

Andrew Woolf: Song Unsung

Read "Song Unsung" reviewed by Chris May


Although London-based tenor saxophonist Andrew Woolf has been releasing records since 2012, Song Unsung is the first he has issued under his own name. His debut, which was actually recorded in 2008, was the EP Soma Quartet (Self Produced), made by Woolf, electric guitarist Ryan Williams, double bassist Will Collier and trumpeter Joe Auckland. The disc ...

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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: Radio

Tomorrow’s Warriors: The Sound of London, Part 1

Read "Tomorrow’s Warriors: The Sound of London, Part 1" reviewed by Russell Perry


jny: London has always been home to a thriving jazz scene. Several things distinguish that scene today—the gender and racial diversity of the players, their achievement at a young age and the wide range of musical influences from hip-hop, club sounds and the African and Caribbean diaspora. Much of this diversity has its roots in the ...

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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: 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

Johanna Burnheart: Techno Jazz Shines A Light: New Directions In Music

Read "Johanna Burnheart: Techno Jazz Shines A Light: New Directions In Music" reviewed by Chris May


A relatively new name on London's alternative jazz scene, the German-born violinist, vocalist and composer Johanna Burnheart has made a rapid ascent since leaving the city's Guildhall School of Music & Drama in 2018. She has played on three of the scene's benchmark albums--spiritual-jazz band Maisha's There Is A Place (Brownswood, 2018), trombonist Rosie Turton's 5ive ...

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Article: Album Review

Johanna Burnheart: Burnheart

Read "Burnheart" reviewed by Chris May


The violin has an eventful history in jazz. But it is still a niche instrument, despite a line of singular players stretching back to Stephane Grappelli and Stuff Smith (who deserves some bonus points for composing the immortal “If You're A Viper"). There are no schools of jazz violinists, simply a succession of one-off stylists, with ...

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Article: Album Review

Various Artists: Blue Note Re:imagined

Read "Blue Note Re:imagined" reviewed by Chris May


The idea—honouring Blue Note's legacy while mapping out a possible future—promises much. The actuality is a curate's egg. The sixteen artists each interpreting a classic Blue Note-associated tune are not, as the label's American publicity has it, among the London scene's “most exciting young talents." A few are, but not many. The sixteen are instead an ...

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Article: Album Review

Samuel Hällkvist: Epik Didaktik Pastoral

Read "Epik Didaktik  Pastoral" reviewed by Chris May


Swedish guitarist Samuel Hällkvist's rifftastic electric trio plays an exhilarating mixture of jazz, prog rock and minimalist music. Riffs aside, the key ingredients are cross rhythms, rhythmic displacement and lavish servings of MIDI-enabled keyboards and tuned percussion. The result is heavy on the tension and light on the release. A close comparator is Swiss keyboard player ...


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