Soul and Jazz and Funk Latest


Sunday, 24 June 2018 08:35 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF


Critically-acclaimed American jazz chanteuse, MADELEINE PEYROUX, returns with her eighth album, 'Anthem,' which will be released by Decca/Universal on August 31st 2018. It follows hot on the heels of the brand new single and taster from the forthcoming album, the infectious 'On My Own.'

The follow-up to 2006's 'Secular Hymns,' the set reunites Peyroux's with producer, Larry Klein - who worked on some of the singer's earlier albums - and also finds her collaborating with noted musicians and songwriters, Patrick Warren, Brian Macleod, and David Baerwald, on a thirteen-song set whose title tune is an interpretation of late poet Leonard Cohen's plaintive 'Anthem' (it's the third time that the singer originally from Athens, Georgia, has recorded it). It's one of two covers on an album that offers trenchant socio-political commentary (check out 'Brand New Deal') as well as illuminating personal insights - the other is a beautiful, unadorned version of Paul Eluard’s World War II poem 'Liberté,'  which Peyroux sings in French while accompanied by acoustic guitar and gentle orchestral strings.  It provides a stunning moment on what is probably Madeleine Peyroux's most impressive album yet.

The singer/songwriter will also be on tour in the UK and Ireland during the late autumn:

Tuesday 20 November – National Concert Hall, Ireland

Wednesday 21 November - St David's Hall, Cardiff

Thursday 22 November - RNCM Concert Hall, Manchester

Saturday 24 November - Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre (as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival), London

Sunday 25 November - Festival Square Theatre, Edinburgh

Monday 26 November - Leeds Town Hall, Leeds

Tuesday 27 November - Cambridge Corn Exchange, Cambridge


'On My Own' is out now. 'Anthem' follows on August 32st 2018.


Read SJF's 2016 interview with Madeleine here:

Last Updated on Sunday, 24 June 2018 08:51



Saturday, 23 June 2018 07:54 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF


Chic are back. The legendary Big Apple disco-funk group co-founded by Nile Rodgers who lit up the late '70s with global anthems like 'Everybody Dance,' 'I Want Your Love,' and 'Good Times,'  release their first album in 25 years in September. It's called  'It's About Time' and is released by Virgin/EMI.

Ahead of it comes the new single, 'Till The World Falls,' an infectious dance floor groove driven by Rodgers' signature choppy rhythm guitar. The record has a strong British connection as it features Guernsey-born producer Mura Masa, and London-based singer Cosha. US rapper Vic Mensa also features. The song was co-produced by Rodgers with Masa, who also have a writing credit alongside Anderson .Paak, anaïs, Vic Mensa, and Nao.

Thrilled to be collaborating with the legend that is Nile Rodgers, Mura Masa said: "Working with Nile at Abbey Road was so enjoyable. It’s breathtaking to see a man who has been working and striving towards greatness for so long approaching the writing and recording process with the same joy and passion that he always has. Truly an amazing learning experience and a wild fever dream come true."

'Till The World Falls' is available to download and stream now.

Last Updated on Saturday, 23 June 2018 08:01



Thursday, 21 June 2018 06:55 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF


Carnegie Hall's newly-formed National Youth Jazz Orchestra - or NYO Jazz for short - are preparing for their first European sojourn during their foundation year.

The 22-member ensemble, comprising the cream of the USA's young jazz musicians (whose ages span 16-19), were put together earlier this year and after acclaimed US shows are looking forward to showcasing their talentS on an international stage.  They'll be landing in the United Kingdom on 31st July when they are due to perform at The Apex in Bury St. Edmonds. That's followed by a concert at Cadogan Hall in London on 1st August and four days later, on August 5th, they journey north to Scotland, where  they will appear Usher Hall, Edinburgh, as part of the prestigious Edinburgh International Festival.


As a bonus, the NYO will have two special and highly experienced musicians with them - noted trumpeter SEAN JONES will lead the group and be its main soloist while multi-Grammy winning singer, DIANNE REEVES, will feature as a special guest.

Said Sean Jones ahead of the tour: “I look forward to sharing a truly unique educational and cultural experience with the students who will come together this summer to create NYO Jazz, as well as inspiring audiences with memorable performances that place the spotlight on our gifted youth…NYO Jazz will demonstrate that the Big Band is the perfect vehicle to reveal the diversity, scope, and profound ability of jazz music to express the vast dynamics within American music.”

Dianne Reeves is also excited by the prospect of playing with the young group. "It is a joy and an honour to tour with the brilliant young musicians of Carnegie Hall’s NYO Jaz," she said. "What a wonderful opportunity to share ideas, and aspirations. I know I’ll be inspired and I hope to be a source of the same as we share this musical journey."

More info here:

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 June 2018 07:03



Wednesday, 20 June 2018 10:21 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF


Judith Hill is talking to me from Nashville, the iconic capital of country music. It's not a place you would imagine her to be, or, perhaps, have an affinity with - after all, she's a Los Angeles-raised R&B and funk singer with gospel music roots, but the 34-year-old confesses that being in the iconic Tennessee metropolis ignites her imagination.  "It's really, really, inspiring to be here in this city," she enthuses. "It's fun because I love any kind of bluegrass and roots guitar playing." That statement is not one you would perhaps expect to hear from someone who's worked closely with Michael Jackson and Prince but it's insightful because it reveals that Judith Hill is refreshingly different and doesn't think in terms of genres - to her, then, music is music: it's a universal language and a unifying force that all can share despite their ethnic and cultural diversity.

It's a viewpoint that fits in with the theme of the singer's latest single, 'The Pepper Club,' an addictive chunk of horn-laden funk with an infectious chorus. It offers a taste of her forthcoming second, story-driven, concept album, 'Golden Child.' "'The Pepper Club is the place where everybody comes together and celebrates culture and diversity," explains Judith. "I picture it as a cultural Mecca - a place that people can come and have a good time and enjoy themselves and celebrate life, regardless of who they are and what their background is."

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 June 2018 11:44



Saturday, 16 June 2018 11:16 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

                              altTenor saxophonist and composer, KAMASI WASHINGTON, made jazz sexy and cool again in the eyes of mainstream audiences with 'The Epic,' his critically-acclaimed  triple album from 2015, which appealed as much to pop and rock fans as well as jazz's hardcore devotees. The secret to the 37-year-old's success  wasn't just down to visual presentation - Washington looks like a Biblical prophet leading a band of rock stars - but his music, with its big, uplifting melodies, sumptuous arrangements, high energy, and positive vibes,  gave the world something fresh and different. What's unique about him is that he's simultaneously groundbreaking and accessible.

Washington's popularity has also been fuelled by all the different festivals he and his band, The Next Step, have played over the last three years around the world, which has widened not only his own audience, but has seemingly given the general public a new appetite for contemporary jazz.

Following in the wake of last year's superb EP, 'Harmony Of Difference,' 'Heaven & Earth' is a 16-track concept album that will be available on double CD and vinyl. Washington is joined by his band, The Next Step - including singer, Patrice Quinn, pianist Cameron Graves, keyboardist Brandon Coleman, trombonist Ryan Porter, bassist Miles Mosley, and drummer Tony Austin - along with several members of The West Coast Get Down, a loose aggregation of Los Angeles musicians that includes Stephen "Thundercat" Bruner, his brother, drummer, Ronald Bruner, and Terrace Martin. Noted jazz singer, Dwight Tribble, features on the album's first single, 'Fists Of Fury.'

'Heaven & Earth' is available (on CD, LP, download, and to stream) via the Young Turks record label on Friday 22nd June.

   Look for a detailed review soon at SJF

Last Updated on Saturday, 16 June 2018 14:22




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