|Sam Leak. Photo Credit: Barbara Bartz|
Two sorts of wishes. First, writers pick musicians whom they want to hear more of. Second there are some more general wishes relating to the scene:
WOULD LIKE TO HEAR MORE OF IN 2015
Callum Au’s recent big band album Something’s Coming combined rich arrangements of Bernstein with great original compositions. Also with an acclaimed quintet to his name, 2015 should be a great year for Callum. (Jon Carvell)
Theo Croker’s Dvrk Funk. The young American trumpeter and his quintet with Irwin Hall (alto), Kassa Overall (dr), Eric Wheeler (b) and Michael King (p) delivered a tremendous set accompanying the brilliant Dee Dee Bridgewater at Jazz on 3’s live EFG London Jazz Festival broadcast at Ronnie’s could not fail to impress. More!
Barry Green. He recorded not one but two trio albums on a trip to New York earlier in 2014 (one with Chris Cheek and Gerald Cleaver, the other with Drew Gress and Tom Rainey). Fingers crossed 2015 brings the release of the albums and some live performances.
Horse Orchestra are a young Danish band, whose CD I heard for the first time last month, and have an irreverent and slightly anarchic approach to some of the great jazz tunes. (Peter Slavid)
Pianists Frank Harrison and John Turville, who have performed individually with Gilad Atzmon’s and Tommaso Starace’s ensembles, combined their musical talents in a delightful 23 March 2014 two-piano concert during the Pizza Express Steinway Festival. It would be great to hear more from them – and other piano duos – in 2015.
Sam Leak is developing a voice as one of the UK’s fine creative jazz pianists – both of his ‘Aquarium’ quartet albums are treasures. The recent debut performance of his progression into big band writing was hailed enthusiastically, and it now feels important that this new suite is recorded and released.
James Brandon Lewis..A 32-year old American saxophonist …he’s most definitely got it.
Perfect Houseplants (an oft promised return) would be first equal with a gig by Steve Buckley back playing live.
Andy Milne played piano for many years with M-Base saxophonist Steve Coleman. Milne’s own band is Dapp Theory. Their new CD Forward in All Directions wraps M-Base nerviness and urban poetry in lyrical gentleness. Some UK gigs would be a treat!
More from Max Luthert, the bassist with Partikel, who released his solo album this year.
Bucket list: to see clarinettist Perry Robinson, bass player Richard Davis, trumpeter/saxist Ira Sullivan and piano/vibes player Karl Berger during 2015.
Martin Speake and Douglas Finch. I’d like to hear more from this newly-established saxophone and piano duo who create free improvisations live and on CD. Each work is a breathtaking journey, drawing on classical and jazz influences with awesome craftmanship.
Helen Sung. The pianist’s first album for Concord, Anthem For A New Day was an astonishing calling card for her sheer range of expression. The first impression is one of the velocity of her ideas and fingers, but there’s a lot more. I’ll be first in the queue for her next album, or, ideally, London gig.
Tom Waits: This report of him performing live whets the appetite to hear him in London!
|Ping Machine (in “Paris” – below)|
JAZZ WISHES FOR 2015
Musicians who give away streamed music or CDs for next to nothing aren’t helping our case for jazz music to be valued. Perhaps they could consider streaming only one track, not the whole album, and charging a bit more for their music?
Communicating…. The inclusion in jazz education the idea that music should try to communicate with an audience other than fellow musicians. (Donald Helme)
Edinburgh. My wish for the next year… that Edinburgh’s Playtime, a musician-run regular club night that put local musicians on in a variety of line ups and provides space for experimentation and improvisation continues to be able to provide so much entertainment. Oh, and a new midsize venue for Edinburgh would be good!
– That the Jazz Promoters’ Network can begin to mature into an effective lobbying, and tour organising, presence.
– That Arts Council England raise jazz funding to match other minority art music like, I don’t know, opera…
Jump Jiving, Swing Dancing and All That
There’s a buzz about bands in the UK like Kansas Smittys, Basin Street Brawlers, Dixie Ticklers, the Brass Funky’s from Cambridge, and Man Overboard Swing. It’s growing. They play music which establishes a connection directly with the feet (and the hips) of a young audience. More please. (Sebastian Scotney)
Paris. Bring it closer.Twenty years since the birth of the Eurostar made it easier to get to Paris then to Cardiff, I’d love to see further cross-pollination across the channel from the likes of Akalé Wubé, Ping Machine (above) and Surnatural Orchestra (Dan Bergsagel).
Venue. I wish that central London had a venue like Brussels’ Music Village: international musicians, modest admission price, 100 seats, appreciative audience, dining optional.
Women Instrumentalists. Only 6% women instrumentalists at the London Jazz Festival (excluding ensembles led by singers). This is not a judgement on the LJF, but on the state of the scene. My wish for 2015 is seeing female desires, expectations and views inform our music; hearing the other half of the story – More on this important issue on my blog, HERE
OUR FOUR 2014 YEAR -END LISTS
LIST 1 THE BEST MOMENTS OF 2014
LIST 3 JAZZ MUSICIANS OF 2014
LIST 4: JAZZ WISHES FOR 2015