Wednesday, 27 April 2011 11:06 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

ambroseOne of the hottest new names on the jazz scene is AMBROSE AKINMUSIRE. His Blue Note debut is the wonderfully-titled 'When The Heart Emerges Glistening' and has been getting rave reviews in the USA, where Akinmusire hails from. Catch him live in the UK at Ronnie Scott's on May 18th.

Look out for SJF's interview with him coming soon.


Former Miles Davis sideman, guitarist JOHN SCOFIELD, shows his mellow side on a new album 'A Moment's Peace' just out on Emarcy. A tasteful blend of covers and original material, it finds the Ohio-born fretboardist leading a quartet comprising keyboardist Larry Goldings, bassist Scott Colley and drummer Brian Blade.

'Forever' is a the first album by COREA, CLARKE & WHITE, a trio version of the legendary fusion quartet, Return To Forever. The first disc of this 2-CD set is devoted to acoustic versions of songs that influenced the group, including Bill Evans' 'Waltz For Debby' and Thelonious Monk's 'Hackensack.' The second disc finds the trio performing some of their classic material – including 'Senor Mouse' and '500 Miles High' - augmented by original RTF guitar player, BILL CONNORS, violinist JEAN-LUC PONTY and singer CHAKA KHAN.

Bassist/film composer KYLE EASTWOOD also has an excellent new set out. Entitled 'Songs From the Chateau', it's the Californian musician's fifth album to date and is released by the UK-based Candid label. Its title refers to the fact that it was recorded at a 15th century French chateau. The opening cut 'Marciac' – which despite its Gallic title melds funk and hard bop – is already causing ripples in the jazz community.

US trumpeter SEAN JONES, who has played with Nancy Wilson, Joe Lovano and Frank Foster and until recently was the lead trumpeter in Wynton Marsalis's Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra, releases his sixth album as leader called 'No Need For Words' on Mack Avenue in May. This new set is a straight ahead offering devoted to love songs and demonstrates why the 32-year-old Ohio horn man is considered by many as one of jazz's rising stars.

JAMES FARM is a new jazz supergroup combining the formidable talents of saxophonist Joshua Redman, pianist Aaron Parks, bassist Matt Penman and drummer Eric Harland. Their self-titled debut is released on Nonesuch this month and proves to be an exciting affair, mixing breathtaking improvisation with strong compositional foundations.

Mancunian DJ and trumpet maestro, MATTHEW HALSALL, is back with a scintillating new album on the Gondwana label called 'On The Go.' It pays tribute to both modal and spiritual jazz of the 1960s with a series of fine compositions that reference the past yet are fully plugged into the present day.



Tuesday, 26 April 2011 18:47 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

cherri-princeCollectors of quality indie soul compilations might well remember a track on SOUL UNSIGNED'S 'URBAN SOUL COLLECTION' from CHERRI PRINCE. The song – 'Jus' Say Hi' – was an edgy amalgam of soul, jazz and hip hop (that latter courtesy of a rap from MANGALISA ASI). CHERRI'S unusual vocal had a real addictive appeal all of its own and the good news is that the feisty North Londoner is currently working on her debut album.

As a prelude, she's just released a single called 'Misery'. The cut's a real slow burner that combines elements of the lady's love of classic soul and her admiration of great jazz stylists like SARAH VAUGHAN, DINAH WASHINGTON and ELLA FITZGERALD... recommended for those who like their soul just a little different. Find out more by visiting  or

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 April 2011 18:56



Tuesday, 19 April 2011 19:55 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

DOWN_TO_USCollectors of eclectic modern soul grooves will fondly remember a lovely, summery 2009 tune from JUDDERRBASS called 'Everybody Knows'. The band was the brainchild of Liverpool-based musician GEORGE McSHANE and the cut first appeared on PHIL DRIVER'S second Soul Unsigned compilation.

Well, the good news is that GEORGE has hooked up again with PHIL and with an outfit named DOWN TO US, he's just released another excellent tune called 'Hanging On'. It's a sweet and sophisticated mid-tempo item that though totally original has the feel of both JAMIROQUAI and DRIZABONE about it, while there's also a Freudian link to the classic LOOSE ENDS almost similarly named classic. We really couldn't offer more recommendation that that now, could we? But, in truth the song's annoyingly catchy and it's currently available as a download only single. You can find out more by going to

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 April 2011 08:29



Tuesday, 19 April 2011 10:56 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

bev_1UK soul queen BEVERLEY KNIGHT has just completed her seventh studio album - 'SOUL UK'.

It's set for release on July 4th.  and as the name implies the album is an unashamed homage to Ms K's UK soul roots. The album features fab new versions of songs that shaped her sound and style.

Amongst the featured tracks are BEV'S versions of SOUL II SOUL'S 'Fairplay', JAMIROQUAI'S 'When You Gonna Learn', HEATWAVE'S 'Always and Forever', JACKIE GRAHAM'S 'Round And Round' and JUNIOR'S 'Mama Used To Say' – which is set to be the first single... released on June 27th.

Full review on SJF very soon.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 April 2011 11:39



Tuesday, 19 April 2011 10:54 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

new_yorkEclectic label, YEAR ZERO has just announced the release of a series of albums that unashamedly celebrates the music of New York City. The instigator of the project is music journalist KRIS NEEDS and his intention is to trace the Big Apple's impact on popular music between 1945 through to the 2000s.

The series is called 'Watch The Closing Doors: A History of New York's Melting Pot' and there will be a total of six albums in the set. The first volume is released on May 10th and focuses on the period 1945 – 1959. Amongst the featured tracks are DUKE ELLINGTON'S 'Take The 'A' Train', FRANKIE LYMON & TEENAGERS' 'Why Do Fools Fall In Love', DIZZY GILLESPIE'S 'Manteca', BILLIE HOLIDAY'S 'Autumn In New York', MILES DAVIS' 'Summertime', THE DRIFTERS' 'Money Honey' and BIG MAYBELLE'S 'One Monkey Don't Stop No Show'.

Each album in the series will be accompanied by a book containing the relevant musical and social history, artist biographies, illustrations and NEEDS' own stories and recollections of the city that they say never sleeps. For more information go to


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