Steve Lindeman with BYU Synthesis
The Day After Yesterday
Jazz Hang ***

US big bands sound very different to European ones. I’m not quite sure why this is and the more informal they are all the better. Steve Lindeman, who was taught at Indiana university by the great educator David Baker, is a professor of music theory at Brigham Young University in Utah and knows a thing or two about informality. His album here features the award-winning BYU Synthesis student band with 10 pieces written by Lindeman mainly while he was a member of the BMI jazz composers workshop directed by the Village Vanguard Orchestra’s composer in residence Jim McNeely. There is a great deal of fulfilling material on The Day After Yesterday performed in winningly understated fashion including the lively ‘Meet Me When The Stars Come Out’, ‘Verloren’ with its cha-cha and mambo flavours, and the Paradise Lost-inspired ‘With Wandering Steps’. Kelly Eisenhour’s summery vocal feature and dubbed background harmonies on the slowly unfolding ‘Llévame ya al Mundo de las Maravillas (‘Take Me to Wonderland Right Away’) is a highlight of a very promising album by a composer whose star deserves to rise sooner rather than later.


Gregory Porter (clockwise from above left),
Courtney Pine, and Portico Quartet
appearing at Love Supreme

The jazz festival scene globally is vast with huge seasonal variations and a large and often highly distinctive array of artistic programming on offer. As the peak summer season begins in earnest in the UK and Ireland there’s plenty on offer with some new festivals, particularly the outdoor Love Supreme festival in Sussex, entering the fray; while long established local events continue to come up with surprises. Here’s a selection

Margate jazz festival 21-23 June
Just announced it’s the eighth running of the Kentish seaside town’s summer main jazz event. Monica Vasconcelos, Carol Grimes, Dunajska Kapelye, and Ray Gelato are all appearing this year. Full details at

Glasgow jazz festival 26-30 June
Burt Bacharach, the Stan Tracey quartet joined by Bobby Wellins, Chris Dave and the Drumhedz, the Kevin Brady trio featuring Bill Carrothers, the touring Venezuelan pianist Leo Blanco, and gospel veterans Blind Boys of Alabama are all included in the Glasgow line-up this year.

Love Supreme, 5-7 July
New outdoor festival in Sussex with Bryan Ferry, Chic, Gregory Porter, Michael Kiwanuka, Jools Holland, Courtney Pine, Robert Glasper, Neil Cowley Trio and Portico Quartet

Swanage jazz festival 12-14 July
Dorset bound are Kit Downes Quintet, Jean Toussaint, Gilad Atzmon, and Karen Street at this long established jazz gathering.

Sligo jazz festival 16-21 July 
See Focus below

Marlborough jazz festival 19-21 July Zoe Rahman, Becki Biggins, Laurie Holloway, Georgie Fame, Darius Brubeck, and Clare Teal with the BBC Radio Leeds big band all appear this year in the historic Wiltshire market town. Full line-up at

Edinburgh jazz and blues festival 19-28 July Jools Holland, Tia Fuller, Mud Morganfield, Champian Fulton, Hidden Orchestra, and more at Scotland’s biggest jazz gathering.

Manchester jazz festival 26 July-3 August
More at

Brecon jazz festival 9-11 August
Mr Acker Bilk, Courtney Pine, Gilad Atzmon, Roller Trio, and John Surman are all on their way to the Powys market town for the biggest jazz gathering in Wales.

Lancaster jazz festival 15-22 September Programme to be announced in July.

Herts jazz festival 20-22 September
Welwyn Garden City calling for
Stan Tracey octet, Tony Kofi, Georgie Fame, the Jason Yarde/Andrew McCormack Duo, Django Bates Beloved Trio, Kenny Wheeler Quintet, Iain Ballamy, and Don Weller.

Scarborough jazz festival 27-29 September
Kicking the sands from their shoes in Yorkshire are Courtney Pine, Kyle Eastwood, Ian Shaw, and Beats & Pieces big band this year.


Sligo jazz festival, July

Victor Wooten appearing in Sligo

Sligo, in the west of Ireland, well known for its love of traditional Irish music, and in recent years a burgeoning reputation as a jazz place thanks to local jazz education initiative the Sligo Jazz Project, hosts the Sligo jazz festival from 16-21 July. This year’s line-up features the Mike Stern/Victor Wooten band with multi-Grammy award winning bass guitarist Victor Wooten of Béla Fleck and the Flecktones renown teaming up with We Want Miles-period ex-Miles jazz-rock force-of-nature guitarist Mike Stern in their co-led quartet completed by saxophonist Bob Franceschini and drummer Derico Watson. A big feature of the Sligo programme this year is the pairing of the Janek Gwizdala Trio, with fusion hotshot Gwizdala joined by guitarist Mike Nielsen and Human drummer Steve Davis, in a double bill with exciting new Celtic-alt.rock fusion trio The Olllam, featuring the great Belfast uilleann piper John McSherry (Lúnasa), the Detroit-born guitarist/keyboardist/piper Tyler Duncan, and drummer Michael Shimmin. Also for Sligo: pianist Kenny Werner with his trio; and an appearance by the Dublin City Jazz Orchestra plus guests Ian Shaw, Marshall Gilkes, and Jean Toussaint.


Three Fall
ACT ***
Widely travelled German reeds/trombone/drums trio Three Fall return with their second album following on from their Red Hot Chili Peppers-themed outing On a Walkabout. This new album, recorded as recently as late-February, features a combination of their own tunes and rock and pop numbers including songs by Rage Against the Machine, Coldplay and Nirvana. Saxophonist Lutz Streun injects a great deal of energy into the band sound and in his interplay with trombonist Til Schneider and drummer Sebastian Winne there’s an obvious rapport. So it’s easy to imagine these three in party mode with their lively funk and chunky riffs livening up the place. But the album could do with a bit more light and shade that covering Coldplay, however imaginatively, is never really going to achieve. 
Released on 1 July