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I have recently been listening to the majestic album by Shirley Horn ‘Here’s to Life’ from 2005. This features strings and a wonderful collection of standard tunes, well known to jazz lovers. String arrangements on that album were supplied by Johnny Mandel. To my mind, that album has become a contemporary classic and that’s how […]

Brooklyn based bandleader and trumpeter Ahmed Abdullah has recently released his first album in 15 years. Abdullah’s band is Diaspora, an acronym for Dispersions of the Spirit of Ra. Abdullah was a long time member of his mentor Sun Ra’s Arkestra. On this recording, Diaspora joins forces with percussionist Francisco Mora Catlett’s Afro Horn Ensemble. […]

Saxophonist and clarinettist, Jesper Thilo, has been an established presence on the Danish jazz scene for many years. So much so that he can now be regarded as an elder statesman. He is one of the top European musicians working in what has come to be regarded as a straight-ahead style of jazz with the […]

Before we spin through the album, let us first take a snapshot of the year 1970 in South Africa, the year Zorro Five release ‘Jump Uptight’ for the Brigadiers Recording label: Philips records highlighted that 1000 doctors in South Africa had already had cassette players in their cars, with a tremendous increase in the sale […]

“Golden Year” is the excellent debut album from young American guitarist/composer Tony Davis. Born and raised by his musical parents, trombonist Steve Davis and pianist/composer Mary Di-Paola, he has been surrounded by the sounds of a myriad of genres his entire life. Having played piano, several brass instruments and bass, it wasn’t till the age […]

Welcome aboard the music train! There’ll be a few unscheduled stops but the Krebinetter is piping hot and the Tuborg is taste-bud-numbingly coooool… Unscheduled stops, indeed – the first time I heard this album was on Spotify and I assumed it had accidentally been set to random, or my guileless (?!) daughter was uncharacteristically (?!) […]

This debut album from Sanja Marković, and first on vinyl from the A.MA label out of Italy, is instantly European in delivery. As the title track enters, there is the fragrance of Miles’ Tutu before the passage opens, and Marković’s vocals join Milena Jančurić – flute, Max Kochetov – soprano saxophone, Ivan Radivojević – trumpet, […]

AuB (pronounced ORB) is the eponymous debut album from the London based quartet masterminded by saxophonists Tom Barford and Alex Hitchcock. United by a fiery desire to make music together, their debut is expressive and intoxicating, ambitiously bringing together individual ideas around which they improvise, developing new lines of thought and opening up fresh avenues […]

Polish quartet, Błoto, are the hot muddy heart of the larger format EABS (Electro-Acoustic Beat Sessions); that sampling, loop-making, “reconstruction from deconstruction” jazz improv family from Wrocław. Marek Pędziwiatr (keys & synths), Olaf Węgier (tenor sax), Paweł Stachowiak (bass) and Marcin Rak (drums) are the plucky, handsome quadruplets who stepped out on their own for […]

Liberia Ballad is the fifth album from Örjan Hultén Orion. It sees the Swedish band collaborating with Liberian singer-composer Ernie Bruce. I for one was unaware of the long historic links between Sweden and Liberia. These are social and commercial links stretching over hundreds of years but here the currency is music. This does not […]

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