25 November 2021Strong Scottish contingent heading to Love Supreme festival
Pianist Fergus McCreadie’s trio and saxophonist Matt Carmichael are part of a Scottish contingent that also includes drummer Graham Costello’s STRATA, trombonist Liam Shortall's corto.alto and singer Georgia Cecile that will be appearing at the massive Love Supreme jazz, funk and soul festival in Sussex from July 1 to 3, 2022.
Following two years of cancellations the festival is going ahead with headline acts including saxophonists Gary Bartz and Charles Lloyd, guitarists Bill Frisell and Julian Lage and Ethio-jazz pioneer Mulatu Astatke.
Soul music attractions Candi Staton and Sister Sledge join previously announced Saturday headliner Erykah Badu and a strong representation of UK jazz, with more names still to be announced.
Fergus McCreadie Trio (photo by Dave Stapleton)
22 November 2021Jazz stars McCreadie and Carmichael to play at Celtic Connections 2022
Pianist Fergus McCreadie and saxophonist Matt Carmichael bring their groups to Celtic Connections in Glasgow over the weekend of January 29 and 30.
Two of the leading musicians on the currently vibrant, young Scottish jazz scene, McCreadie and Carmichael have both release highly acclaimed albums during 2021.
McCreadie’s Cairn, the follow-up to his award-winning debut, Turas, received five stars from Mojo magazine and four stars from Jazzwise as well being “longlisted” (top 20 from over 300 entries) for the cross-genre Scottish Album of the Year Award.
Carmichael’s first album, Where Will the River Flow, also reached the SAY longlist and received five stars from BBC Music Magazine. Carmichael, who followed McCreadie in graduating from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland jazz course this summer, also won all three of the awards presented at the end of the academic year at the RCS – for composition, arranging and improvisation – the first student to scoop all three awards.
Carmichael’s quintet, including BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2017, fiddler Charlie Stewart, appears at the Mackintosh Church on Saturday January 29. McCreadie’s trio, which was nominated for the Jazz FM Awards 2021 and the Scottish Jazz Awards 2021, plays the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall’s New Auditorium on Sunday, January 30.
Fergus McCreadie (photo by Dave Stapleton) & Matt Carmichael (publicity photo)
20 November 2021Saxophonist Brian Molley releases new quartet album, Modern Traditions
Internationally acclaimed Scottish group the Brian Molley Quartet release their third album, Modern Traditions on Friday 3rd December.
Featuring the quartet’s trademark blend of jazz and world music, Modern Traditions again showcases the group's broad range of musical influences while demonstrating a deep respect for the jazz tradition. From straight-ahead, high-octane jazz to tender ballads, from driving Indian raga to Scottish traditional folk song, Modern Traditions is a collection of creative, contemporary jazz played by an established group at the height of their powers.
Formed in 2012 by Glasgow-based saxophonist and former Jazzwise 'One to Watch' Molley, the quartet brings together some of the finest musicians from the UK's jazz and world music scenes, with pianist Tom Gibbs, double bassist Brodie Jarvie and drummer Stuart Brown joining Molley. Their enthusiastically received debut album, Clock was released in 2013 and was described by BBC Radio 3 as ‘a well-crafted and classy debut’ and by London Jazz News as ‘skilfully crafted music, a minor masterpiece…strikingly good.’
Colour and Movement, their follow-up from 2017, was greeted with similar praise. All About Jazz said, ‘Molley’s tone is gorgeous, he never wastes a note’ and The Scotsman described Molley's tenor saxophone as singing 'beautifully, sultry and lyrical.’
The quartet have been selected three times for the Made in Scotland programme at Edinburgh Festival Fringe and represented the cutting edge in UK jazz at Rochester International Jazz Festival, New York as part of Made in the UK 2015. On the same trip the group played well received club dates in New York City, drawing enthusiastic responses at Silvana in Harlem and WhyNotJazzRoom in Greenwich Village.
Their numerous national and international tours include appearances at Glasgow, Edinburgh and Manchester jazz festivals, a live session for BBC Radio 3’s Jazz Line-Up in 2017 and several trips to tour, collaborate and record in India. The quartet's first collaboration with Rajasthan’s Asin Langa Ensemble included a nationwide tour of India as well as a reciprocal arrangement, bringing the renowned Indian folk musicians to the UK to tour for the first time in 2018. A resulting track, Journeys in Hand, composed by Molley, was selected for Songlines Magazine's June 2018 covermount CD. More recently the quartet have collaborated with Chennai-based percussionist Krishna Kishor on a nationwide tour of India, including headline appearances at Madras Jazz Festival. Their remotely-recorded album, Intercontinental is planned for release in 2022.
11 November 2021Nominees announced for Scottish Jazz Awards 2021
Pianists Fergus McCreadie, Brian Kellock, Euan Stevenson and Steve Hamilton, saxophonists Matt Carmichael, Laura Macdonald and Martin Kershaw and bands including the Playtime quartet and Graham Costello’s STRATA are among the nominees announced for the Scottish Jazz Awards.
The winners will be decided by a public vote, which opens on Thursday November 11 at 4pm, and the results will be announced at a ceremony in the Savings Bank, Glasgow on Wednesday December 8.
The public have until 5pm on Monday, November 29 to vote for their favourite instrumentalist, vocalist, band, rising star and album. To vote go here.
A panel of industry specialists, including media, press and promoters from across the UK, alongside last year’s winners who were ineligible to be nominated in the same category as last year, have selected the shortlist and it’s now up to the public to decide who wins which award.
The full list of nominees is:
Rising Star Award sponsored by Musicians’ Union
Best Vocalist Award sponsored by Whighams Jazz Club
Best Band Award sponsored by Inhouse Event Productions
Fergus McCreadie Trio
Graham Costello's STRATA
Best Instrumentalist Award sponsored by ESP Music Rentals
Best Album Award sponsored by Birnam CD
Matt Carmichael, Where Will The River Flow
Georgia Cecile, Only the Lover Sings
Fergus McCreadie, Cairn
Paul Towndrow, Deepening The River
06 November 2021Dundee jazz session continues to bring swing to the Caird
Dundee's latest jazz session has announced a second series of bands who will appear in the Caird restaurant and cocktail bar in the city’s Nethergate on Sunday afternoons.
Running from 12:30pm to 3:30pm, in the Caird’s Capone downstairs bar, the sessions will feature The Sellars Brothers Quintet exploring bebop and beyond on Sunday 7 and the East Coast Jazzmen, featuring trumpeter Dave Fimister, on Sunday 14.
Popular hot club style group Havana Swing appear on Sunday 21, followed by singer Mary Mac's quartet on Sunday 28.
December brings The Sunnysiders, a quartet featuring Ian Mathieson (keys), Alan McGlone (alto saxophone), John Whyte (guitar) and Ron Elder (bass) on Sunday 5 and guitarist John Brady's Bedford Falls quartet on Sunday 12.
30 October 2021New ECM Records releases due from Eberhard Weber and Jorge Rossy
Bassist Eberhard Weber and percussionist Jorge Rossy release new albums on the ECM Records label on Friday November 5th.
Weber, an ECM stalwart since the early 1970s, has been absent from the jazz scene since suffering a stroke in 2007. His Once Upon A Time - Live In Avignon, is a recording of one of the solo concerts that became a staple of his career latterly.
Recorded in Avignon’s Théâtre des Halles in August 1994, the album comprises compositions from Weber’s Orchestra and Pendulum albums as well as his solo take on My Favorite Things and his own Trio for Bassoon and Bass.
Leading a trio with bassist Robert Landfermann and drummer Jeff Ballard, Barcelona-born Jorge Rossy puts aside his own drum kit to concentrate on vibraphone and marimba on Puerta. Following his recent contribution on drums to Danish guitarist Jakob Bro’s trio album with trumpeter Arve Henriksen, Uma Elmo, the new album sees Rossy focusing on his own, distinctively melodic music.
28 October 2021Piano-guitar duo Courvoisier and Halvorson release second album
Pianist Sylvie Courvoisier and guitarist Mary Halvorson release their second duo album, Searching for the Disappeared Hour, on Pyroclastic Records on October 29th.
Following on from their 2017 album, Crop Circles, which featured existing compositions repurposed, the two musicians expressly composed all the tracks on the new recording, building on the chemistry and familiarity forged during tours of Europe and the US in the intervening years.
Originally from Switzerland, Courvoisier has lived in New York for more than twenty years. She has led several groups, recorded ten albums as a band leader and appeared on more than 50 albums for labels including ECM and Intakt Records. She has also performed and recorded with John Zorn, Wadada Leo Smith, Joey Baron, Fred Frith, Yusef Lateef, Tim Berne, Joëlle Léandre, Butch Morris, Tony Oxley, and Tomasz Stanko, among others.
MacArthur Fellow Halvorson has released a series of critically acclaimed albums on the Firehouse 12 label and has worked with such diverse musicians as Tim Berne, Anthony Braxton, Bill Frisell, Ingrid Laubrock, Jason Moran, Tom Rainey, Marc Ribot and John Zorn. She is also part of several collaborative projects, most notably the longstanding trio Thumbscrew with Michael Formanek and Tomas Fujiwara.
The album’s title reflects the strange relationship people have had with time passing during the Covid pandemic.
“A month would pass,” says Halvorson, “and I’d feel like no time had passed at all, or vice versa. It was very weird and would leave you feeling disoriented all the time. At the same time, this album is almost exactly an hour long – so once you’ve listened to it an hour has disappeared.”
16 September 2021Historic Jazz Messengers recording set for November release
Blue Note Records releases a previously unknown recording by one of the great line-ups of legendary drummer Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers on November 5.
First Flight to Tokyo: The Lost 1961 Recordings captures the Messengers – Blakey with Lee Morgan (trumpet), Wayne Shorter (tenor saxophone), Bobby Timmons (piano), and Jymie Merritt (bass) – playing jazz staples including Charlie Parker’s Now’s the Time and Thelonious Monk’s Round About Midnight and Messengers hits Moanin’, Blues March and Dat Dere.
The Messengers were among the first modern jazz groups to tour Japan and received a rapturous welcome from adoring fans.
"I was amazed at the reception when we finished, not just the whole concert, but each thing we played,” remembers Wayne Shorter who went on to visit Japan regularly with Miles Davis, Weather Report and his own groups. “Every time we went on, we knew we were being appreciated in ways we never had been in America."
The album, which is released in deluxe 2-LP and 2-CD editions with elaborate booklets, was co-produced by David Weiss and Zev Feldman, who commented: "My heart leapt from my chest when I heard that these previously unknown tapes of Art Blakey performances from his first Japanese tour existed."
The Japan tour turned made the band whose style was established by Blakey and pianist Horace Silver into a worldwide phenomenon following the 1958 European tour by the Benny Golson edition of the Jazz Messengers - a phenomenon that remained a big international attraction up to the time of Blakey’s death in 1990.