Tour dates to follow the early autumn release of the Impossible Gentlemen’s second album Internationally Recognised Aliens have been announced by their label Basho. The October run begins in Dorking at Watermill Jazz on 10 October and continues with further appearances at The Flavel, Dartmouth (11 October); Turner Sims, Southampton (12 October); RNCM, Manchester (15 October); The Spin, Oxford (17 October); Zefferelli’s, Ambleside  (18 October); Seven Arts, Leeds (19 October); The Arena, Wolverhampton (20 October); Pizza Express Jazz Club, Dean Street, London (21-24 October); and Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama Cardiff (26 October).
Gwilym Simcock above left and Mike Walker, Adam Nussbaum and Internationally Recognised Aliens producer Steve Rodby

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Jazzpospolita above survey the scene
Prog-jazz is a warm wind blowing across the rooftops of the fast mutating new jazz scene at the moment, and coming hard on the heels of this month’s Match&Fuse festival in Oslo to be headlined by Jaga Jazzist and featuring the scene’s trailblazers WSP whose milestone “Kershaw" album Fire in A Petshop is reviewed here www.marlbank.net/reviews/583-pet-sounds the M&F caravan returns to home ground in east London following the inaugural festival last year for a mini-fest in late-July. Led Bib who headlined the first running, Troyka, the Laura Jurd Quartet, Kairos 4tet, Chris Sharkey, Italian progsters Ay!, Norwegians Mopti, and Polish “statists” Jazzpospolita are all in the starting line-up of the two-dayer to be held on 25 and 26 July with more names to be added. Gigs are at Rich Mix in Bethnal Green, and the Vortex in Dalston. Tickets via www.matchandfuse.co.uk

What would Webern’s music sound like if he were a jazz musician living in New York City today?" It’s a question alto saxophonist John O’Gallagher poses in regards to the questing spirit behind The Anton Webern Project a new album featuring adaptations of the music of 12-tone composer Anton Webern performed by O’Gallagher’s seven-piece band. The saxophonist, who hails from California and is best known in the UK for his work with Hans Koller and Jeff Williams, first heard Webern’s music when he studied at Berklee college of music in Boston in the late-1980s. “His music seemed other worldly and shrouded in a mysterious process that no explanation by the teacher could unravel. This seed, planted early on in my musical development, grew into a love and fascination for twentieth century classical music,” O’Gallagher says in the notes that accompany The Anton Webern Project to be released on Whirlwind records in mid-June. “Each of the eight Webern pieces I selected to arrange for this recording,” he adds, “spoke to my imagination as having an unusual kinship and translatable essence to modern jazz and this ensemble in particular.” O’Gallagher is joined by vibraphone player Matt Moran, guitarist Pete McCann, Hammond organist Russ Lossing, double bassist Johannes Weidenmuller, drummer Tyshawn Sorey and singer Margret Grebowicz on the album.
John O’Gallagher above

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The Limavady Jazz and Blues Festival begins tomorrow, the 17th running of the annual gathering, which continues until Sunday in the county Londonderry town. The line-up this year includes the great modern mainstream jazz guitarist Louis Stewart, the soulful Mark Black and the Hard Road band, recently on fine form at this year’s city of Derry jazz and big band festival, an appearance by local favourites the Limavady Big Band, with the John Trotter trio, Alan Niblock Trio, and the Grainne Duffy band also scheduled to perform. More at www.limavadyjazzandblues.com
Louis Stewart, above

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David Murray Infinity Quartet
Be My Monster Love

Motéma **** RECOMMENDED
Murray is joined on the title track by croaky voiced R&B sensation Macy Gray, “catwoman” to the “wolfman” she addresses in a fun-filled tale of “monster love”. It’s a tune that has also inspired the short story ‘A Dangerous Kind of Love’, by crime novelist Robert Wilson and is included in the place of sleeve notes. Another singer with a big part to play here is Gregory Porter on three songs. Be My Monster Love, Murray’s first quartet album in six years, featuring cult pianist Marc Cary who’s just recently released a superb tribute to Abbey Lincoln for Motéma [reviewed www.marlbank.net/reviews/653-shared-experience], bassist Jaribu Shahid and the Bandwagon’s drummer Nasheet Waits. Murray, a maverick figure blessed with being able to produce one of the most definitive tenor saxophone sounds on the planet, has a Gonsalves-like style on a song like ‘Stressology’. Yet the innovations of the New Thing and beyond are always a factor added to the strong Ellingtonian dimension deep within Murray’s music. The opening love song to Murray’s wife Valérie is just lovely, and romance is clearly one of the important factors at the album’s core. Later the funky and gospellised ‘Army of the Faithful (Joyful Noise)’ with Gregory Porter stretching out against soulful organ sets up Murray to blow his heart out before the old school sophistication of ‘Sorrow Song’ takes the record into a new fulfilling direction. Murray brings an old friend cornetist Bobby Bradford out to join him on ‘The Graduate’ for some effective testifying but ‘Hope is a Thing with Feathers’ a Murray/Ishmael Reed song about immigration and freedom, with Gregory Porter at his best is the ultimate standout of a very fine socially conscious, involved and appealing album. It’s Murray’s best in many a year. SG
Released on Monday 17 June
 

 

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Jazz writer Alyn Shipton has written the first official biography of Harry Nilsson, which is due to be published in the UK in August. Titled Nilsson: The Life of a Singer-Songwriter the singer’s estate granted the Dizzy Gillespie and Jimmy McHugh biographer access to private files and Nilsson’s own unfinished autobiography among other papers. Shipton in the book, published by Oxford University Press, traces Nilsson’s life from his Brooklyn childhood to his Los Angeles adolescence and charts his later rise to fame. The book’s publication coincides with the release of a huge 17-CD box set: Nilsson The RCA Albums Collection.