Tuesday, 01 May 2018 11:15 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

          altHeld, for the second year, at Shoreditch Town Hall, the Jazz FM Awards 2018 offered a glittering celebration of a music genre that has been written off for years but which is continuing to evolve and flourish in the 21st century. It was a star-studded event with Tito Jackson, Corinne Bailey Rae, Omar, and Nitin Sawhney there to present awards to victorious recipients on the night.

Those honoured ranged from newcomers like rising British sax star, Nubya Garcia (Breakthrough Act Of The Year), and Ezra Collective (who picked up the gong for UK Jazz Act Of The Year) to veterans such as Pat Metheny (PRS For Music Gold Award), George Benson (Impact Award), and Dame Cleo Laine (PPL Lifetime Achievement Award).

Other winners included female singers, Zara McFarlane (Vocalist Of The Year) and Cecile McLorin Salvant (International Jazz Artist Of The Year), while bassist/composer/singer Esperanza Spalding picked up the Digital Initiative Of The Year award for her album, 'Exposure.'

There were also some stunning live performances on the night. British pianist, Ashley Henry, led a house band, which accompanied Nubya Garcia and Esperanza Spalding.  Cecile McLorin Salvant brought along her own pianist, Aaron Diehl, for a stunning rendition of Jimmy Rowles' 'The Peacocks.'  The most poignant performance of the evening came from Dame Cleo Laine singing 'I've Got A Crush On You.' She showed that even at 90, her voice still possesses a luminous beauty.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 May 2018 17:44



Monday, 30 April 2018 13:43 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altNADIA COLE is a new, young US soul singer. Now aged 18, she wowed audiences on 'America's Got Talent' when she was just 9. She sang with her brothers as The Voices of Glory but the judges knew that young Nadia was the star.

Since going out on her own she's worked regularly and now signed to David Nathan's Soulmusic Records she's just released her debut solo single, 'Today'. It's a big production ballad with big beats and constant mood shifts. US commentators have already made comparison to Whitney Houston. Make up your own minds by checking out Nadia Cole at your favourite download portal!

Last Updated on Monday, 30 April 2018 13:49



Monday, 30 April 2018 13:36 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altTONY SHARPER is an old school soul man who works out of Atlanta Georgia. He runs his own label, Sharp Records, and his mission stament is to bring back old school values into the music business. On his facebook page he says he wants to "stop giving the fan trash, all artists sure be professionals and know how to conduct themselves in a professional manner, and companies sure have a very strict criterion, artists sure not use any drugs or other inappropriate substances publicly, what artist do in publicly is representatives of the company they are sign to. Strive for the highest standard of excellence in there their music".

Right now he's promoting his latest album – a best of set, from which 'God, Lady, You And I' – a sweet ballad – is stuffed with all those old school soul qualities that Mr S is so keen on. 'Earthquake' is another signature ballad while elsewhere there's bone-crunching funk on stuff like 'You Know What You Like' and 'Girl I Need You'.

You can find out more about Tony and his ideas @

Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 May 2018 17:42



Monday, 30 April 2018 13:32 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

altEarlier this year we spotlighted WHITFIELD BATSON - a London born singer who was brought up in Barbados. Then he was promoting his single 'Put That Love On Me' which he now follows with 'Do Me Good'.

The song comes in two mixes – one with a rap from C.M. Panorahmaz, the other rap-less. That's the one the soul boys will want to investigate – a broody beater that gets better after several spins.

Last Updated on Monday, 30 April 2018 13:50



Monday, 30 April 2018 12:23 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altBack end of last year we brought to your discerning attention an unusual and adventurous album from UK muso Robb Scott. Scott is a London-based musician, singer, songwriter, composer, arranger and producer with several albums already under his belt.

The long player we enthused about was a lengthy set simply called 'Siren' and it touched all kinds of musical bases and you'll guess straight away that an album on which 'Overture' is the penultimate track, followed by what Robb calls the 'Postlude' , well there's something different going on here. Then, tunes with titles like 'Venus In Virgo', 'Neptune Atmosphere' and 'Flight Of Ulysses' will convince you that this isn't your usual soul fare. And you'd be right.... but complex or not, the album scaled some of the more esoteric soul charts.

It also came to the attention of the people at Expansion Records and they've decided to give the set a higher profile release (it was previously only available on Rotary Ends Records) and it's now good to go!

But, you may ask, what is it actually like? Well we've just said that it's quite different and last autumn we described as "imagine Rotary Connection meeting up with Donald Byrd in the Cafe Del Mar then getting Charles Stepney in on the act!" and listening again, we've not changed our mind.

Most accessible tune is the bold, brass-laden groove that is 'Neptune Atmosphere (You Didn't Feel My Love)'. Here the soulful vocal come courtesy of Gina Foster (other featured vocalists include Sylvia Mason James, Elizabeth Troy, Sandra St Victor and Julia and Maxine Waters). Then there's the lengthy 'California Suite Revue' which, in places, reminds me of something else... could it be Light Of The World's 'Bahia'?

There are mixes of 'Neptune Atmosphere' on the way, we're told but in the meantime if you like to be intrigued and challenged you may want to investigate.

Last Updated on Monday, 30 April 2018 12:33


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