Jazz FM

The winners of the Jazz FM awards were announced at a ceremony in London last night. They were:

Breakthrough Act sponsored by GHS Global Hospitality
Cassie Kinoshi
The Digital Award sponsored by Oanda
Louis Cole
The Innovation Award sponsored by Mishcon De Raya
Steam Down
Instrumentalist Of The Year sponsored by Savile Row Gin
Jean Toussaint
International Jazz Act Of The Year sponsored by Lateralize
Makaya McCraven
Soul Act Of The Year sponsored by RCS
Poppy Ajudha
Blues Act Of The Year sponsored by British Airways
Eric Bibb
Vocalist Of The Year sponsored by Denbies
Cherise Adams-Burnett
UK Jazz Act (Public Vote) sponsored by Cambridge Audio
Nubya Garcia
Album Of The Year (Public Vote) sponsored by Arqiva
Sons Of Kemet – Your Queen Is A Reptile
Live Experience Of The Year (Public Vote) sponsored by Yamaha UK
Steam Down featuring Kamasi Washington
PRS for Music Gold Award
Jacob Collier
PPL Lifetime Achievement Award
Don Was and Blue Note Records

Scottish Jazz Awards

Nominations for the Scottish Jazz Awards have been announced. Voting opens today. A new industry award has been introduced for 2019, the Services to Scottish Jazz Award sponsored by Ticketmaster which will celebrate those working behind the scenes. A Lifetime Achievement Award in association with Help Musicians Scotland will also be presented at the awards ceremony with both winners chosen by the panel. All the winners will be announced at a ceremony at Glasgow’s Drygate on Sunday 9 June.

Rising Star Award sponsored by The Blue Arrow

  • Anoushka Nanguy

  • Graham Costello

  • Joe Williamson

  • Marianne McGregor

  • Matt Carmichael


Best Band Award sponsored by Musicians’ Union

  • AKU

  • Fergus McCreadie Trio

  • Graham Costello’s Strata

  • Scottish National Jazz Orchestra

  • Tenement Jazz Band


Best Vocalist Award sponsored by Whighams Jazz Club  

  • Ali Affleck

  • Carol Kidd

  • Georgia Cecile

  • Luca Manning

  • Rachel Lightbody


Best Instrumentalist Award sponsored by ESP Music Rentals

  • Brian Kellock

  • Graeme Stephen

  • Joe Williamson

  • Liam Shortall

  • Martin Kershaw


Best Album Award sponsored by Birnam CD

  • Fergus McCreadie Trio – Turas

  • Graham Costello’s Strata – Obelisk

  • Jim Mullen – Volunteers

  • Kevin MacKenzie, Mario Caribé, Alyn Cosker – The Ballad of Future Joe

  • Tom Bancroft – In Common

It is fitting in a way that Shalosh are now on the ACT label, the label that did so much to champion EST. Look out for Onwards and Upwards in June from the Israeli trio which in the manner of EST shares a liking for eclectic improvisation that draws not only on jazz but rock, pop and electronica along the way in an exciting blend.

Jeff Williams has been making classy records like this for years. If anything he gets better each time. He receives little hype nor you suspect does he want any.

A piano trio this time recorded in New York featuring trio arrangements of old numbers, Michael Formanek on double bass provides plenty of beefy support while Carmen Staaf on piano reminds me a little of the way Bruce Barth accompanies Jerry Bergonzi.

Williams has a very Paul Motian-like way about him sometimes and that sense of quiet fracture and splinter of stick on snare makes his sound very approachable and intimate. Be good to yourself and get this asap.

It is looking like an early-June release for Arvoles the latest album from Avishai Cohen.

Arvoles’, which means ‘Trees’ in the ancient Sephardic language Ladino, finds Cohen with the trio that he introduced to Ronnie Scotts audiences earlier this month, featuring newcomer Elchin Shirinov from Azerbaijan on piano and Cohens old school friend Noam David on drums, plus Anders Hagberg on flute and Björn Samuelsson, trombone.

The record, recorded in a studio in Sweden earlier this year, will be released on the Razdaz label. 

Lots of reedy powerplay at work here courtesy of the lively Wanja Slavin and Joris Roelofs, and it is always a pleasure to hear any band featuring Martin France on drums. Phil Donkin is a bassist’s bassist and in this band you can hear his talents better than most (check out his solo at the beginning of the title track, for instance, and later in the same track the ferocious beat Donkin conjures up in a driving tour de force).

Released on trombonist Nils Wogram’s label Nwog there is a teasing quality to a good deal of the writing, I suppose most of all on the fourth part of the ‘Zealot Suite, and the way the tunes are shaped gives plenty of space for group work and a whole range of earthily spectacular solos. The sound recording quality is also first class.

That rare thing: a new trio and UK tour from 1990s UK jazz legend the singularly gifted saxophonist and composer Steve Williamson.

The trio, it’s Williamson with newcomers Hamish Moore on bass and Zoe Pascal on drums are touring with StringTing. The project features original new music by Williamson commissioned by Tomorrow’s Warriors with support from the PRS Foundation Open Fund.

Dates are Wed 1 May 2019, 7.45pm Purcell Room, South Bank Centre, London; Fri 10 May 2019, 8pm, Turner Sims, Southampton; Sat 18 May 2019, 8pm CBSO Centre, Birmingham; Sun 19 May 2019, 7pm, Hallé St Michael’s, Manchester; Thurs 23 May 2019, 8pm St George’s, Bristol; Fri 24 May 2019, 7.30pm Gulbenkian Theatre, Canterbury; Sat 20 July 2019, 9pm Hull Jazz Festival.  

This baritone sax/piano duo recording with its woozy undertow and great atmosphere sounds special and stands out trawling among the pre-releases auguring well for the rest of the album.

To be released on 17 May the issuing label Sunnyside describe pianist Lucian Ban’s ‘Dark Blue’, aptly as “a sombrely moving example of the various shades and contrasts of the blues.”