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Sten Sandell/Paal Nilssen-Love: Jacana review fearless jazz improv

(Rune Grammofon)Health and safety warning this is a completely improvised live set from the duo of Norwegian percussion volcano Paal Nilssen-Love and Swedish pianist Sten Sandell. Jacana, recorded at Norway's Kongsberg jazz festival last year,...

John Fordham | The Guardian

BOOK REVIEW: Mark Robertson - Off Key

Mark Robertson - Off Key (Matador, 322pp., £8.99. Book Review by Chris Parker) The strapline on the cover of this, drummer Mark Robertson’s first novel (though he has an award-winning TV play under his belt), claims that Off Key is ‘the greatest story...

Chris Parker | LondonJazz

That's It! review New Orleans's Preservation Hall Jazz Band know not to change a thing

Founded in 1961 as a platform for veteran New Orleans musicians, Preservation Hall bears nightly witness to the city's unique musical tradition, constantly changing but ever the same.

Dave Gelly | The Guardian

New York Standards Quartet: The New Straight Ahead review freshened up jazz standards

(Whirlwind)Most 21st-century jazz musicians still playing American Songbook material want to bring freshness and surprise to those old classics. The New York Standards Quartet do so with the sheer verve and character of their playing, rather than by...

John Fordham | The Guardian

CD: Preservation Hall Jazz Band - That's It!

As the name suggests, the New Orleans’ Preservation Hall Jazz Band was established to promote traditional New Orleans Jazz.

Matthew Wright | The Artsdesk

Jerry Dammers’ Spatial A.K.A. Orchestra (and Reggae Ensemble), Barbican, London

Dammers and his ensemble – which included top British jazz names – paid epic tribute to bandleader Sun Ra and Jamaican roots music.

Financial Times | Mike Hobart

Jerry Dammers's Spatial AKA Orchestra (and Reggae Ensemble) review profound, ecstatic and moving

Barbican, LondonDammers melds Sun Ra's musical legacy with ska, Dixieland jazz and Jamaican pop in a majestic four-hour showWhile the Specials have latterly reunited without founder Jerry Dammers for a series of tours, their former leader has been...

Stevie Chick | The Guardian

Five review wonderfully clever improvisation from Kirk Knuffke and Jesse Stacken

(SteepleChase)It's difficult to imagine two jazz composers more unalike than Bill Evans and Carla Bley one soft and delicate, the other all hard outlines and sharp angles. But these two musicians manage to get inside half a dozen pieces by each with...

Dave Gelly | The Guardian

Tommy Andrews: The Crux review free-flowing, idiom-mingling debut

(Jellymould)Former Guildhall School saxophonist Tommy Andrews is only 25, but he's performed with the BBC Big Band, worked with Howard Goodall, and played sessions on The X Factor and with pop group McFly. All seven pieces here as different as the...

John Fordham | The Guardian

Noel Langley: Edentide review an open-minded master's solo debut

(Suntara)Noel Langley, the virtuoso crossover trumpeter, has played with stars Radiohead, Massive Attack and Adele to Michael Nyman and Graham Fitkin, and he's also a Loose Tubes member. As a jazz player, he has something of Kenny Wheeler's patient...

John Fordham | The Guardian