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Interested in participating in the International Artistic Jazz Research Symposium this autumn in Vienna?

To be held in partnership with the Institute for Jazz Research at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz and the Jam Music Lab Private University for Jazz and Popular Music Vienna you have until 19 August to submit your ideas. 

Inaugurating a network and according to its website looking at a range of academic interests including specifics of artistic jazz research and best practice models, proposals for contributions should include: title, name, institutional affiliation, country, type of contribution, abstract and a short CV.  Speakers/panelists for the October event include Andrew Bain and Mike Fletcher from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Full details via the symposium website. 

Anthony Braxton

The great composer, saxophonist, professor, innovator Anthony Braxton appears with in his band in Dalston, east London at Oto: the acclaimed Sun Ra-inspired Alexander Hawkins on piano; Neil Charles, a member of Seb Rochford’s new band Pulled By Magnets, who also plays with Hawkins in his own acclaimed trio, on double bass; and, completing the line-up, the influential multi-directional Bourne-Davis-Kane player Stephen Davis on drums featured on each of the three nights. Dates are 19-21 January 2020. A series pass for all three nights is available. Anthony Braxton, above (Photo: Wikipedia). Tickets and full details.  

As previously noted in these pages back in 2015, Ríoghnach Connolly let the music do the talking on Matt Owens’ The Aviators’ Ball with her spine-tingling version of the Appadlachian folk song ‘Black is the Colour (of My True Love’s Hair)’ covered famously by Nina Simone and Joan Baez in the 1960s, Cara Dillon and Christy Moore more recently. Ríoghnach [pronounced “ReeOna”] and The Breath (her duo with Stuart McCallum) have picked up BBC Folk Awards nominations. From County Armagh, and for some years since part of the Manchester music scene, she entered the spotlight for real as part of a duo on Carry Your Kin, which was her highest profile release and appeared on jazz-friendly world music label Real World and on which she teamed up with one of the north of England’s most creative jazz-into-electronica guitar stars Stuart McCallum who is pictured with Connolly, above.  

Full list of nominations, below. (The awards ceremony will be held at The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester on Wednesday 16 October during the Manchester Folk Festival.)

Folk Singer of the Year

•              Gwilym Bowen Rhys

•              Lisa O’Neill

•              Olivia Chaney

•              Ríoghnach Connolly

Best Duo or Group

•              Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita

•              Stick in the Wheel

•              The Breath

•              The Rheingans Sisters

The Horizon Award

•              Brìghde Chaimbeul

•              Kinnaris Quintet

•              Kitty Macfarlane

•              The Trials Of Cato

Best Traditional Track 

•              Factory Girl by Lisa O'Neill ft. Radie Peat

•              Ffoles Llantrisant by VRï

•              The Foggy Dew by Ye Vagabonds

•              The Reedcutter’s Daughter by Jimmy Aldridge & Sid Goldsmith

Best Original Track

•              Blackbird by Lisa O'Neill

•              I Burn But I Am Not Consumed by Karine Polwart

•              Spells Out by Kathryn Tickell & The Darkening

•              Scapa Flow 1919 by Kris Drever

Best Album 

•              Ancora by Flook

•              Heard a Long Gone Song by Lisa O’Neill

•              Hide and Hair by The Trials of Cato

•              Soar by Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita 

Musician of the Year

•              Jenn Butterworth

•              Mohsen Amini

•              Sam Sweeney

•              Seckou Keita

Worth getting on LP. Great interview, above, which ECM have put up to chime with the release of the 1998 album Khmer now reissued on vinyl.

Khmer is a bona fide classic it goes without saying but there it is anyway: said. Now on vinyl a format that does lend itself to the style and will enhance its organic characteristics given the format’s tactile and kinetic abilities. Khmer spawned the term “futurejazz”.

Once again the future is present tense given the way technology allows us to an extent certainly with reissues and format changes to imagine better and better.

TS Eliot sums up such thinking without making too much of a leap yet altering the context, place and era in Four Quartets, a classic of literary modernism, and it is worth quoting the first three lines: “Time present and time past/Are both perhaps present in time future,/And time future contained in time past.” A great work of art has that ability to hang in the air in a state of timelessness and Khmer certainly does exactly that and makes the listener alert in this instance to its, yes post-modern, world of sound and silence as a unity and enables a vanishing of the self to fully grasp its impact.  

• Also perhaps of interest, this Nils Petter Molvær feature ‘Legends of the Fall’ published in 2013 when marlbank visited western Norway and Ålesund near the island of Sula (where NPM is from) ahead of the release of 1/1 and Switch and we went into the Ocean Sound Recordings studio at Giske, also met the great painter Ørnulf Opdahl, visited the Opdahl studio, and looked at some of Ørnulf’s paintings. 

The Hang is a new podcast series hosted by Gregory Porter.

Kamasi Washington, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Don Was, Amma Asante, Gilles Peterson, Annie Lennox and more are some of the guests coming up. Begins on 8 August. Check out, in the audio, which big film star will appear on the first podcast.


Just enough essential parts. Listen. Alex Hahn...? See his Official biog

The time. The space. The maturity. All are evident in these little clips and sample tracks. Interesting to see how New Flight will do. 

Stream in late-August to do yourself a favour. Marlbank got lucky today finding these sounds that, chiefly in terms of timbre and facility, relate to the Derek Nash soundsphere a little yet stylistically is very different. The word may well spread that bit more after all the awards, touring, and early career work that provided the platform to spring from channelling the reedist-flautist’s natural talent in a rising trajectory if people listen in numbers. Let’s hope so. In brief: Accessible. New Melodic. Full of improvisational flair. Credible. 

Saoirse, unveiling a collaboration between singer Lauren Kinsella, saxophonist Tom Challenger, violist Benedict Taylor and pianist Kit Downes, is to feature in this autumn’s Galway Jazz Festival. Exploring Irish traditional music and in part celebrating Connemara Sean-nós song, improvisation and original composition the work will be performed at An Taibhdhearc in Galway on 3 October. More

• Watch this space for more festival programme details. 

Blue Note 80 logo web optimised 740

It is looking like saxophonist James Carter’s debut as a bandleader for Blue Note will be released at the end of August. A number of incomplete reports on the Internet suggest that it is titled Live from Newport Jazz and there is a suggestion that we should expect gypsy jazz and the African American heritage of the organ under the microscope plus six compositions by or in the repertoire of Django Reinhardt. Hammond B-3 virtuoso Gerard Gibbs and drummer Alexander White are in the trio with JC. No artwork or tracks seem to be available at the time of writing.

• This is a developing story. Marlbank has reached out to the label for more solid information.   

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 bluenote.com

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 https://www.udiscovermusic.com/news/miles-davis-birth-of-the-cool-trailer/

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.