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John Fordham

John Coltrane: Offering: Live at Temple University review a fearsome live inferno from 1966

(Impulse)Coltrane was nine months away from death at 40 when this music was recorded, a year after he had dissolved his breakout quartet including McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones. Previously undiscovered, and co-produced by Ravi Coltrane and writer Ashley Ka

John Scofield/Medeski, Martin & Wood: Juice review an elevated pub band with an accessible repertoire

(Okeh)Those enamoured of the gag about rock guitarists playing three chords to thousands of people and jazz guitarists thousands of chords to three people have to call it quits when it comes to John Scofield, a multi-chordal jazz guitarist who can nonethe

Bobby Wellins/Scottish National Jazz Orchestra: Culloden Moor Suite review inspiring

(Spartacus)Scotlands Spartacus label was naturally going to choose this week to release the Scottish National Jazz Orchestras remake of Bobby Wellinss 1963 Culloden Moor Suite. Whether or not the romantic defiance in Wellinss often pipe-like sound influen

Claire Martin: Time and Place review subtle expertise

(Linn)Anyone with half an ear open to the elusive art of song interpretation will have recognised a subtle expert in UK vocalist Claire Martin over the past 25 years. But she has rarely sounded so commanding and moving on disc as on this unusual session,

Gregory Porter Issues of Life: Features and Remixes review an absorbing chronicle

(Membran)Gregory Porter is an international singing star now, a luminary of the Blue Note record label (and a prominent guest on this weeks iTunes festival), but these songs and remixes catch some quirky collaborations from his life on the way up. It incl

Manu Katché: Live in Concert review warm, engaging and melodic

The magnetic French-African drummer Manu Katchés music an amalgam of subtle world-grooves, glimpses of 1960s Blue Note jazz-funk, Scando-ambience and Miles Davis postbop - can sound cooler and more reserved than might be expected from a long-time rock

John Surman and Bergen Big Band: Another Sky review warmth creative patience

(Grappa)British saxophonist and composer John Surman is due to perform these orchestral pieces (reflecting this fine artists deep roots in English folk-song and classical music as well as straight-ahead jazz) with Norways Bergen Big Band at the EFG London

Jason Moran/Meshell Ndegeocellos All Rise: A Joyful Elegy review gripping tribute to Fats Waller

(Blue Note)Contemporary makeovers of the hits of classic-jazz legends can make you want to run for cover, but this celebration of the 1930s swing legacy of Thomas Fats Waller comes from a credible source: the incisive mind and cutting-edge methods of awa

Stefano Bollani: Joy in Spite CD review warmly expressive jazz

(ECM)When the Italian virtuoso Stefano Bollani plays piano, the word play applies in its widest senses, and the title of this fine transatlantic session (Americans Bill Frisell and Mark Turner augment Bollanis Danish rhythm section) could hardly be a bet

Gascoyne/OHiggins Quartet CD review expert classic jazz-making

(Jazzizit)The UKs Jazzizit label released the first part of the Real Note collection of postbop/swing pieces from bassist Geoff Gascoynes and saxist Dave OHigginss band last year, and the followup is just as good at reworking familiar jazz materials as ne