New Soho theatre The Boulevard Theatre on the site of the old Raymond Revue Bar has announced a late-night offering of music, comedy and cabaret running from Wednesday-Saturday straight after its nightly theatre shows. Soho Sounds: Jazz will run every Wednesday night weekly from 6 November – 18 December showcasing the best UK and international performers. The house trio will be Alex Webb (piano), Andy Champion (bass), and Pete Hill (drums). For the first season, composer, pianist and arranger Alex Webb will curate the night. Confirmed performers for the autumn include David McAlmont, China Moses, Jo HarropVimala Rowe and singer-songwriter Anna Ross.

Engrossing free jazz listen from the Christina Dahl Quartet and their new album Quintesse to be released on the venerable Storyville album at the end of this month. Saxist Dahl is joined by guitarist Niclas Knudsen, Nils Bosse Davidsen, on bass & cello, and Espen Laub von Lillienskjold on drums playing Dahl compositions.

Quite taken by this, Mattson 2 are a psychedelic jazz duo comprising identical twin brothers Jared and Jonathan Mattson. The guitar-drums ’n’ moody vocals toting outfit have supported GoGo Penguin on tour in the States and Paradise just released is making waves in the US. Uncannily you could be into indie rock, or see yourself as a Yo La Tengo or Coltrane fan (they do their own out-of-the-ballpark take on A Love Supreme live), and get something different out of this. Only a matter of time before they play the UK, surely. 

PRS Foundation and the Steve Reid Foundation have announced that the next deadline for the Steve Reid Innovation award is 8 August. It is an initiative for emerging artists worth up to £1,500 to assist with creative goals and career development and including mentoring from an experienced, successful working artist. Open to anyone based in the UK who writes and performs their own music and is currently unsigned and unmanaged. Submit links to your music as well as a three-minute video which explains your career to date, and how funding and mentoring would help with your creative development via: http://bit.ly/SRIAapply with the final deadline for submissions of Thursday 8 August 2019, 6pm.

 Eliane Elias

Brazilian singer-pianist Eliane Elias has a new orchestral project just announced which is to be released in the late-summer.

Love Stories sung mostly in English, features three original compositions plus seven arrangements of songs made famous by Frank Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim.

With Elias on the album, which is to be released by Concord at the end of August, are Marcus Texiera on guitar and Edu Ribeiro, Rafael Barata and Celso Almeida on drums – plus her core collaborators, her husband co-producer and bassist Marc Johnson and co-producer Steve Rodby. The orchestrations are by long-term associate Rob Mathes. Roberto Menescal guests on ‘Little Boat.’

Elias (photo above: Bob Wolfenson/Concord) plays the London Jazz Festival this year appearing at the Barbican on 22 November.

 

Street Party

Pretty novel idea, as part of the Ronnie Scott’s 60th Anniversary festivities spooling out this year, in that the club is to host a street party outside the club’s premises on Frith Street on Saturday 20 July. The confirmed line-up includes Pee Wee Ellis and his Funk Assembly, Nubya Garcia and a 7-piece latin-jazz band.
Full details: here

Pianist Zac Gvi returns this summer with a smart new Thelonious Monk-themed album on the F-IRE label.

Called Monk Spent Youth it features Ben Davis (cello), Fred Thomas (drums, bass, prepared piano) and Gvi on piano, bass clarinet, organ, toy piano. The album was recorded by Alex Bonney at Greenway Studios and Heath Street Baptist Church in Hampstead, and mixed and mastered by Bonney.  The launch will be on 13 August at the Vortex in London. 

Olli

At least a couple of times a year I go out to see an unreconstructed blues-rock guitarist called Pat McManus who has incredible chops but does not play jazz, only getting close when he opens up on a Hendrix-like run. I often wonder standing in front of his power trio how it would sound if he played jazz. It probably would not work in the same way. However this guy Olli Hirvonen (photo: Luke Marantz) can do the sort of things I want with a guitar and this summer the guitarist who used to be on the Edition label and who has won a high profile Montreux Jazz Guitar competition judged by John McLaughlin switches to US indie Ropeadope returns with Displace. I have been listening to the album, which I must say is superb, this morning but cannot share anything for the time being: maybe something will turn up on YouTube or Bandcamp and if so I will add a track or two.

It is pretty compulsive stuff kitted out with gutsy McLaughlin-like jagged lines full of intensity and strength. The 30-year-old Finn is in a quartet setting with pianist Luke Marantz, bassist Marty Kenney and drummer Nathan Ellman-Bell. Playing a Fender Jazzmaster solidbody electric guitar there is something completely organic about his sound, full of a very modern sounding jazz without being remotely avant garde but with that spiky sound going on that commands attention. Hirvonen started studying classical guitar in Finland when he was 9, studied at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and at Manhattan School of Music in New York where his creative world opened up and he began to move away from bebop to the sounds of the likes of Nels Cline and Lee Ranaldo. Next time I hear Pat McManus I will be thinking of Hirvonen and wondering if when the Finn was into Deep Purple years ago he sounded anything like Pat. Look for the record in late-August. SG. 

Orphy RobinsonThe National Jazz Youth Orchestra has announced details of a new scheme called the NYJO Jazz Exchange which is a two-year national project which NYJO says is about “encouraging young professional musicians to take charge of their artistic voice.”

To begin next year ten musicians will be supported by mentorship, regular rehearsals, paid performances and masterclasses with the first ensemble to be coached by vibist Orphy Robinson MBE, pictured above.

The initiative is funded by Arts Council England and the Peter Sowerby Foundation. 

Austrian saxophonist, flautist, bandleader and educator Karlheinz Miklin died on Saturday afternoon following a stroke. He was 72. The Carinthian culture minister and governor Peter Kaiser expressed his deepest sympathy to Miklin’s family and said that Carinthia has lost an inspirational cultural ambassador.

Miklin appeared in numerous projects, including with Albert Mangelsdorff, Art Farmer, Mark Murphy, Horace Parlan, Mel Lewis and Barre Phillips and appeared at festivals all over Europe during a long career. From 1983 to 2000 he led the jazz department of the Graz University of Arts.