• Johnny Mandel, Oscar-winning composer behind M*A*S*H theme, dies aged 94
    Musician, composer and arranger who also won five Grammys hailed by Michael Bublé as ‘a genius, a beast’Johnny Mandel, the Oscar and Grammy-winning composer behind the theme from M*A*S*H and more, has died aged 94.Details of his death have not been released. The news was announced by musician and friend ... read more
    Source: JazzPublished on 2020-06-30
  • Kansas Smitty’s: Things Happened Here review – irresistibly groovy
    (Ever)The east London bar-band’s knowing patchwork of jazz styles is ambitious and funKansas Smitty’s is a live-music bar in Hackney, east London. It’s also the name of the seven-piece band that runs the place and calls it home, a band that doesn’t sound remotely like any of its contemporaries. It ... read more
    Source: JazzPublished on 2020-06-27
  • Mulatu Astatke & Black Jesus Experience: To Know Without Knowing review – bright Ethio-jazz
    (Agogo)The Melbourne collective and 76-year-old Astatke play wedding songs, political rap and cross-continental fusionsLike many great jazz originals liberated by the idiom’s openness to all manner of borrowings and hybrids, the Ethiopian multi-instrumentalist and composer Mulatu Astatke created a new sound by unlikely alchemy – between the Latin grooves and ... read more
    Source: JazzPublished on 2020-06-26
  • Carmine Street Guitars review – pure uncut music-geek erotica
    Dewy-eyed chatter meets master craftsmanship in this loving behind-the-scenes look at a treasured New York emporiumThis extraordinarily pleasant, restful film is essentially the digital equivalent of hanging out in the Manhattan shop of the title, a Greenwich Village institution of sorts where master craftsman Rick Kelly and his young apprentice ... read more
    Source: JazzPublished on 2020-06-26
  • British jazz acts mark Black Lives Matter, Grenfell and Windrush
    London jazz club hosts virtual concert with work inspired by themes of race, identity and immigrationIn the 1980s, the British roots reggae of groups such as Steel Pulse and Aswad provided a cultural backbeat to protests and civil unrest. In 2020, British jazz is covering similar ground as the Black ... read more
    Source: JazzPublished on 2020-06-22
  • Norah Jones: Pick Me Up Off the Floor review – steel amid the smokiest of blues
    (Virgin EMI/Blue Note)Jones is as melodious as ever, but can’t smooth over everything…One reliable lockdown pleasure has been Norah Jones’s performances “for anyone who wants to listen”. Unflashy and sensibly short, she plays piano requests, covers or demos, while streams of fans thank “Nojo” for being there for them. You’ll ... read more
    Source: JazzPublished on 2020-06-21
  • On my radar: Simon Bird on his cultural highlights
    The actor and director on a Spike Lee classic, Ethiopia’s astounding piano-playing nun and a set of photographs of a ping pong tableActor, comedian and director Simon Bird was born in 1984 in Guildford, Surrey. He studied English at Queens’ College, Cambridge and completed an MFA in cultural and critical ... read more
    Source: JazzPublished on 2020-06-20
  • Norah Jones: ‘I worried about being swallowed up by success’
    The singer-songwriter reflects on her eclectic back catalogue, from a breakthrough mellow jazz smash to collaborations with Danger Mouse and Jeff Tweedy To this day, it is hard to reconcile the supernatural success of Norah Jones’s debut album with the shy 22-year-old at its centre. Released in 2002, Come Away ... read more
    Source: JazzPublished on 2020-06-19
  • Keith Tippett obituary
    Brilliant jazz pianist and composer who could make the outlands of modern music feel like the most hospitable of placesFew free-improvising musicians, singlemindedly stirring the soundworlds of lyricism, jagged dissonance, recognisable melody and raw noise, can bring audiences to stunned silence and leave stages to awed ovations. Even fewer are ... read more
    Source: JazzPublished on 2020-06-17
  • Carmine Street Guitars: tuning up with New York’s finest plank-spankers
    Lou Reed, Bob Dylan and Patti Smith all played guitars made from wood salvaged from New York buildings. Now there’s a documentary about the eccentric genius who crafted themRick Kelly’s guitar shop occupies the ground floor of a red brick tenement at 42 Carmine Street in New York’s West Village. ... read more
    Source: JazzPublished on 2020-06-17
  • Keith Tippett: the jazz great who saw music as a source of goodness
    He had an alchemical instinct for bringing together progressive rock and a new jazz generation – and the results were magicWhen his daughter Inca was small, Keith Tippett overheard her saying that her father was a “mujician”. It was a title he appropriated for an outstanding series of solo piano ... read more
    Source: JazzPublished on 2020-06-15
  • Keith Tippett: British jazz pianist dies age 72
    The ‘west country bloke with a great big heart’ collaborated with a wide range of musicians from Louis Moholo-Moholo to Robert Wyatt The British jazz pianist and composer Keith Tippett has died aged 72. A post on Tippett’s official Facebook page did not disclose the cause of death.Tippett was known ... read more
    Source: JazzPublished on 2020-06-15
  • Kevin Figes Quartet: Changing Times review – constantly fascinating
    (Pig Records)The multi-instrumentalist’s latest quartet recording is a mind-expanding feast for the earsI didn’t think I was going to like this album at first, when greeted by the strains of an electronic sequencer. But this faded into a beautifully played flute solo. Then came some wordless chanting by two mysterious ... read more
    Source: JazzPublished on 2020-06-13
  • The US is still segregated – but is our democracy up to the challenge? | Wynton Marsalis
    We’re seeing the same problems with race that Abraham Lincoln once complained about, but blackness is threaded into the heart of America’s identity and can never be erasedWith the crescendo of public outcry around the killing of George Floyd, I fear there’s little need for another person voicing a commonly ... read more
    Source: JazzPublished on 2020-06-12
  • Don Weller obituary
    Self-effacing saxophonist who was one of the leading lights of the British jazz scene from the early 1970s onwardsDon Weller, a world-class saxophonist with a big sound, a big presence and a capricious improviser’s imagination, sometimes seemed more at home playing pub gigs in his Croydon birthplace than chasing the ... read more
    Source: JazzPublished on 2020-06-09