Constellation are releasing the latest from sax great Matana Roberts. Powerful. Epic. Listen for a flavour.

The Cadogan Hall show will be on 15 October in London. Tickets. Blue Note have issued a news item about the signing (extract):

“Acclaimed guitarist Bill Frisell has signed with Blue Note Records and will release the first album under his own name for the legendary label with the arrival of his newest project HARMONY this Fall. Though his association with Blue Note stretches back nearly 3 decades to his appearance on John Scofield’s 1992 album Grace Under Pressure — and has included invaluable contributions to Blue Note albums by Don Byron (Romance With The Unseen), Ron Carter (Orfeu), Norah Jones (“The Long Day Is Over” from Come Away With Me), the collective project Floratone, and Charles Lloyd & The Marvels (I Long To See You & Vanished Gardens featuring Lucinda Williams) — HARMONY is Frisell’s bona fide Blue Note debut, an opportunity for jazz’s most storied label to document the work of “the most significant and widely imitated guitarist to emerge in jazz since the beginning of the 1980s, according to The New York Times.”

[full story via

Director Stanley Nelson has issued a statement on his film Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool. It will go into cinemas in the US in the autumn.

“The story of Miles Davis has often been told as the story of a drug-addled genius. You rarely see a portrait of a man that worked hard at honing his craft, a man who deeply studied and understood classical music. An elegant man who could render ballads with such tenderness, yet hold rage in his heart from the racism he faced throughout his life.

“He could be extremely generous, yet rescind that generosity on a whim. He could be shamelessly romantic with the women in his life, then unspeakably cruel. Miles was a man apart — in life, in love, in music — and there has never been a major documentary about this man who never looked back, rarely apologised, and changed everything we thought we knew about jazz, about music — several times in his career.”

Story and more via

From Sonero, which is a studio recording made over two days in March this year in Waterford, Connecticut, to be released on the Miel Music imprint in late-August the personnel is the classic Miguel Zenón quartet around for years and excellent live as a memorable Malta Jazz Festival appearance once attested. So, Miguel Zenón on alto saxophone is with Luis Perdomo, piano; Hans Glawischnig, double bass; and Henry Cole, drums. An innovator: Zenón is one of the greatest jazz alto saxophone players [see list] and a composer of note. Here the theme is Ismael (“Maelo”) Rivera (1931-1987) who Zenón describes as “... like Bird, Mozart, Einstein, Ali – he was that guy”. All arrangements are by the saxist who also acted as the producer.

Playing Monaghan town, in the Westenra, on 8 September: An incredible bluesman, widely acclaimed, Kenny Neal is out of Louisiana. ListenTickets


The full Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) award longlist is as follows: 

  1. Aidan Moffat and RM Hubbert – Here Lies The Body

  2. Aidan O’Rourke – 365: Vol. 1

  3. Andrew Wasylyk – The Paralian

  4. Auntie Flo – Radio Highlife

  5. Brìghde Chaimbeul – The Reeling

  6. C Duncan – Health

  7. Carla J. Easton – Impossible Stuff

  8. CHVRCHES – Love Is Dead

  9. Edwyn Collins – Badbea

  10. Fatherson – Sum Of All Your Parts

  11. Fergus McCreadie Trio – Turas

  12. Free Love – Luxury Hits

  13. Graham Costello’s Strata – Obelisk

  14. Karine Polwart with Steven Polwart and Inge Thomson– Laws of Motion

  15. Kathryn Joseph – From When I Wake The Want Is

  16. Kinnaris Quintet – Free One

  17. Mastersystem – Dance Music

  18. Niteworks – Air Fàir an Là

  19. Sean Shibe – softLOUD

  20. The Twilight Sad – It Won’t Be Like This All The Time

The Fergus McCreadie Trio recently won a Scottish Jazz Award and were Parliamentary Jazz-nominated last year.  Their debut, all bright voicings, melodic, folky, containing a lilt to Turas that is never trite or too homely — the work of the McCreadie trio legislates all by itself. The title is a Gaelic word for “journey”. McCreadie, who writes the tunes, is with David Bowden on double bass and Stephen Henderson on drums in solid support and was cleanly recorded by Liane Carroll’s favourite producer/studio engineer James McMillan working from his own studio. 

The style and sense of flow of the tracks are very mature, and regards McCreadie it does not take a genius or very long at all to realise that the pianist has a huge technique: think Brian Kellock-meets-Gwilym Simcock. Less trad (eg in an Art Tatum sense) than Kellock and not at all jazz-rock (eg Metheny-like) going on prog (eg King Crimson) as is Simcock’s wont but landing in the common ground they share. 

When McCreadie moves full tilt into an improvisation it is completely Jarrett fluent circa My Song in terms of feel and composure, swings like the clappers and has a real passion to it sometimes aided by say on ‘The Set’ the metrical rigour and discipline of a reel. A fugue state of creativity reigns. 

The public vote is spread over three full days and opens on 12 August. The shortlist will be announced on 15 August. The award show itself will be held at the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh on 6 September. SG.