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John Fordham

Charles Tolliver review 'A lithe and youthful figure in a rakish beret'

The gig lacked the punch of Tolliver's 2007 big-band outing, but the canny twists of the 72-year-old trumpeter's themes are always his own

Nels Cline Singers: Macroscope review glossy pileup of jazz-rock styles

Nels Cline, the LA-born musician and Wilco sideman who was memorably dubbed the 82nd greatest guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone, has a parallel life as a fearless improv and free-jazz investigator – notably with the Nels Cline Singers, the largely

Miles Davis: Miles at the Fillmore: 1970 The Bootleg Series Vol 3 review musical history in the making

(Columbia/Legacy) The latest in Columbia/Legacy's Miles Davis Bootlegs series has four discs representing all four nights played by the trumpeter's new electric band as the support for Laura Nyro at the Fillmore East in June 1970. That controversial and

Phronesis: Life to Everything review powerful live album from unusual jazz trio

Phronesis are a jazz trio built around Danish bassist Jasper Hoiby's sinewy phrasing and huge tone, and encircled by fluent British pianist Ivo Neame and Swedish drummer Anton Eger's eerie, birds'-wings sound.

Nick Smart's Trogon: Tower Casa review 'Undemonstratively idiosyncratic fusion'

(Babel) The trogon is the national bird of Cuba, and UK trumpeter, educator and MD Nick Smart 's cosmopolitan sextet (including Troyka guitarist Chris Montague, UK/Bangladeshi pianist Kishon Khan and Cuban bassist Denny Martinez) takes wing on this mix

Trio Riot: Trio Riot review punkish but poised improv jazz

(Efpi) Trio Riot are British tenor saxophonist Sam Andreae, Danish alto-saxist Mette Rasmussen and Swiss drummer David Meier. They share improv, jazz, rock and classical experiences, apparent in the mix of free-jazz squalling, punky thrashing and someti

Pigfoot: 21st Century Acid Trad review 'Violent distortions of classic songs'

(Village Life) Those with long enough memories to know the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band's Jazz, Delicious Hot Disgusting Cold (a merciless satire on trad jazz) might wonder if Pigfoot's tuba dissonances, out-of-whack rhythms and Cecil Tayloresque free-piano a

Christine Tobin: A Thousand Kisses Deep review - 'A heartfelt gift for Leonard Cohen'

An ear for poetry, a jazz sensibility that invests casually strewn phrases with ambiguities, a balladeer's patience partly inspired by Billie Holiday – these qualities and plenty more make the Dublin-born singer-songwriter Christine Tobin ideal as a Leo

Tom Rainey: Obbligato review - 'A no-prisoners approach to deconstructed standards'

(Intakt) Switzerland's Intakt label has a reputation for spiky music but though this set led by New York drummer Tom Rainey (featuring trumpeter Ralph Alessi, saxist Ingrid Laubrock, bassist Drew Gress and Canadian pianist Kris Davis) has a cutting-edge

Rachael Cohen: Halftime review - 'Unhurriedly intricate, slinkily free jazz'

(Whirlwind) Rachael Cohen is a saxophonist from Shetland via Edinburgh's ambitious youth-jazz scene and Birmingham Conservatoire, and from this clever set she sounds like she has a clear sense of where she's headed, with a technique to match. Cohen tak