From Begin Again Fred Hersch’s new album with the WDR Big Band, arranged and conducted by six-time Grammy winner Vince Mendoza, which is to be released by the Palmetto label on 7 June.

Hersch will be appearing in Ireland at the Bray Festival on 3 May [Tickets] and the Cheltenham Jazz Festival on 5 May [Tickets].

Abdullah Ibrahim

Quite a coup for Gearbox records, the London jazz vinyl label, who have signed South African piano great Abdullah Ibrahim to the label in one of their most significant moves to date. His first new album in four years The Balance features his septet Ekaya in a studio project recorded at London studio RAK last year. Expanding on Ekaya UK-based musicians including bassist Alec Dankworth and South African expat Adam Glasser also participate. Gearbox are advertising a 28 June release.

HERE IS THE ABSORBING LEAD-OFF TRACK OF THE LONG GAME what I guess will be one of the most significant new UK jazz releases of the year, a trio affair from pianist Liam Noble here in the company of former Polar Bear players bassist Tom Herbert and drummer Seb Rochford.

Noble is one of those rare pianists who manages to dip in and out of both avant and mainstream traditions while injecting his own stamp on affairs.

Now signed to what for many is the UK’s top indie jazz label Edition the album is released in June.