Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1084

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Column

The Snowboy Column (Oct)

Snowboy @bluesandsoul.com
Snowboy @bluesandsoul.com The Goldmine Revival Azymuth @bluesandsoul.com The Good Foot: Every Friday @Madame JoJo's Zara McFarlane: Until Tomorrow (Brownswood) Alex Wilson: Truly For Dancers Jacqui Dankworth @bluesandsoul.com Sunlight Square: Britannia Shing-A-Ling (Sunlight Square) Push: Band On A Mission The New Mastersounds: Breaks For The Border (Tallest Man Records) Sabrina Malheiros: Dreaming (Far Out) The Mighty Mocambos: The Future Is Here (Legere) The Baker Brothers: Time To Testify (Record Kicks) Randa And The Soul Kingdom: What You Need (Freestyle)

I should have perhaps entitled this ‘The Banality Of UK Jazz Festivals’. For a country with such a strong Jazz scene, we are STILL not learning the lessons of great European Jazz Festivals such as The North Sea Jazz Festival.

UK JAZZ FESTIVALS

A ‘nightmare come true’ for me is that there is a so-called ‘international’ Jazz festival on nearby soon for instance which has a similar, safe, middle-of-the-road line-up the same as virtually every other one in the UK. I see no new up and coming talent programmed, nothing edgy or experimental (not my cup of tea but it deserves to be heard), no world music-edged Jazz. There’s no hustle and bustle about it, no buzz of excitement. These festivals are ran by people just following what other people are doing. To use an American expression: there is no one prepared to step up to the plate with some gumption. Every year, again, I never cease to be disappointed by our capital's Jazz festival. We should, perhaps, have one of the best in the world in London but instead the program is a month long and when you read between the lines in the program, on the whole, they’ve just tied in all the London Jazz clubs normal bookings but put them under the banner of the festival which is immensely disappointing. Although a hell of a lot smaller, Manchester’s one has the best ideas and the most freshest and innovative approach. I’m certainly considering booking in to a little hotel there next year for four days to sample all it has to offer. Maybe even play there. Unfortunately, Manchester’s one is almost (but not quite) an exception to the rule.

THE GOLDMINE REUNION

Thanks to everyone who came to the Goldmine reunion this month. What an incredible event. It was so sold-out we could have sold-out twice over. Something positive is happening in Essex in the Soul and Jazz Funk world where I’ve never ever seen so many large events going on so regularly, all of which are incredibly well attended. Given that The Goldmine was voted the top UK club for so many years, and the Godfather, Chris Hill, voted the number 1 DJ, the appeal of that reunion night is obvious, but there are more events happening now than in what people considered the hey-day – the 1970’s. I suppose what’s happening now is what happened a few years back in the Northern Soul scene: people came out of clubbing, had a family, the kids are now adults so they’ve started coming out again. Look at the amount of weekenders going on. There’s at least one or more every weekend now. Why pay £10 to get in to a club for a night when you can pay £25 for a day pass and have the option of 15 or 20 DJ’s and you’re guaranteed to be hearing the very best music in a great, friendly environment. There appears to be no let-up and all of these events are extremely well-attended. The future of specialist clubbing perhaps? The next Goldmine Reunion will be on February the 18th at the same venue, La Quinta, Hadleigh, Essex.

AZYMUTH OCTOBER UK & EUROPEAN
‘AURORA TOUR’

Azymuth continue their 2011 Aurora World tour with a run of UK and European dates. Having wowed sold-out audiences this year in Japan, Germany, Italy and Greece, Azymuth bring their brilliant live-show back to the UK for a return to London's world famous Ronnie Scott's jazz club and Newcastle's Hoochie Coochie before shows in Istanbul, Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

October 6 - Ronnie Scott's - London (UK)
October 7 - Ronnie Scott's - London (UK)
October 9 - Hoochie Coochie - Newcastle(UK)
October 11 - Istanbul Jazz Centre - Istanbul (Turkey)
October 12 - Istanbul Jazz Centre - Istanbul (Turkey)
October 14 - Toko MC - Amsterdam (Holland)
October 15 - Bird Festival - Rotterdam (Holland)

FLORIDITA RELAUNCHES LIVE MUSIC WITH
CUBAN LEGEND CHUCHO VALDES

On Thursday 29th September, Floridita London will be launching its new live music programme with a performance from legendary Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés, his first of three London appearances on the eve of his 70th birthday.

Floridita, 100 Wardour St, London W1F 0TN. Tel: 020 7314 4000

BARBICAN CONTEMPORARY MUSIC SEASON

The Barbican autumn season is packed with real musical highlights:

Thursday 6 October - Gurrumul & special guests
Saturday 8 October - Wayne Shorter Quartet + Phronesis
Saturday 22 October - English Journey: Re-Imagined
Featuring Iain Sinclair, Alan Moore, Shirley Collins and a band of
Saturday 29 October - Another Honest Jon̢۪s Chop Up!
Featuring Damon Albarn, Tony Allen, Flea, Fatoumata Diawara, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Theo Parrish and more artists tbc
Monday 31 October - Ana Moura

CRAIG CHARLES FUNK AND SOUL SHOW

I’m very proud to be the music programmer and script-writer of 70% of Craig Charles’ amazing Funk and Soul show on BBC Radio 6 every Saturday night. It’s the number 1 show on the station with on average 100,000 listeners. Craig’s enthusiastic and passionate delivery is very addictive, which makes for essential listening. Generally the show features most American Black music from the mid-50’s to the mid-80’s and new recordings in that style. Although being in the Jazz area of this magazine, I certainly like to make people aware of the new Funk releases too, so check my reviews later in this column. There still seems to be an endless amount of Funk 45’s being released, which pleases me no end – although many are not quite there. I’m in a privileged position to hear most of all the new or reissue material weeks, if not months, in advance so if you don’t get a chance to hear Craig's show at least go to the BBC 6 site and check out his latest playlist.

‘THE GOOD FOOT’ STILL GOING STRONG

As I write, last night was the second busiest Friday night Madame Jo Jo̢۪s has ever had. Madame Jo Jo̢۪s is the home of my Friday night DJ residency The Good Foot where my music policy of 60̢۪s and 70̢۪s Rhythm and Blues, Funk, Soul, Boogaloo and Rare Groove certainly seems to be offering something different in central London at the weekend. My forthcoming guests in October are:

Oct 7th - Eddie Piller
Oct 14th - Adrian Gibson
Oct 21st - Gary Dennis
Oct 28th - Si Cheeba

Madame Jo Jo’s, 8-10 Brewer Street, Soho, London W1F OSE. 10pm til 3am. £8 admission

REVIEWS

Zara McFarlane – Until Tomorrow (Brownswood)

A new British vocalist to me. As well as already releasing one album of Motown's music, Zara has featured with Denys Baptiste, Orphy Robinson, Soweto Kinch and Jazz Jamaica All-Stars to name but a few so at such a young age of 28 comes with a large pedigree.

Not that my opinion matters, but I get send loads of CD̢۪s of new Jazz singers that are all rated but sound the same. Zara is not one of those. To my ears she seems exceptional.
(FOR FULL REVIEW SEE OUR PRINTED MAGAZINE)

Alex Wilson – Truly For Dancers

A brave move for the amazing Jazz pianist Alex Wilson. This CD is only available through his website. There will be no downloads, anything. That’s Alex: full of integrity. His dedication to Afro Latin music is second to none. This is his new Salsa project ‘Salsa Veritas’ in all it’s glory. As with all of his CD’s not all of the tracks are to my liking but that’s not to say that those in question are not great. Alex is more open-minded than I and more diverse.
(FOR FULL REVIEW SEE OUR PRINTED MAGAZINE)

Jacqui Dankworth – It Happens Quietly (Specific)

I̢۪m glad they finally sent it though. I can see what the fuss is about. It̢۪s one of those CD̢۪s comparable, say, to Frank Sinatra̢۪s many albums on Capitol in the 1950̢۪s. The comparison being that those albums weren̢۪t there to break barriers, they were a classy addition to ones record collection.
(FOR FULL REVIEW SEE OUR PRINTED MAGAZINE)

Sunlight Square – Britannia Shing-A-Ling (Sunlight Square)

Sunlight Square are an international group based in London. Musically, they make a great cross between Boogaloo, Soul and Salsa and even mix in some heavy-duty Cuban Folkloric elements, and the sound works. The playing is strong and authentic throughout and the song-writing is so strong that it̢۪s hard to tell which are cover versions and which are originals.
(FOR FULL REVIEW SEE OUR PRINTED MAGAZINE)

Push – Band On A Mission (Push Records)

They̢۪re back! One of the originals in the London-based Rare Groove scene of the mid-80̢۪s is just about to deliver to you an entire CD of 13 fantastic originals as good as any of the best Funk you̢۪ve ever heard. I̢۪m not being lazy by not going through track-by-track (that̢۪s not my style anyway).
(FOR FULL REVIEW SEE OUR PRINTED MAGAZINE)

The New Mastersounds – Breaks For The Border (Tallest Man Records)

Whilst on tour in the US the band diverted to the border town of Tornillo (near El Paso), Texas to record this album. For the first time they̢۪re singing on this one too, about their experiences of their endless touring of the US. It̢۪s strange to hear the singing at first because they haven̢۪t gone for a Soul or Funk-type approach (as one might expect).
(FOR FULL REVIEW SEE OUR PRINTED MAGAZINE)

Sabrina Malheiros – Dreaming (Far Out)

With this CD being co-produced by her partner Daniel ‘Venom’ Maunick (who is the son of Bluey, of Incognito fame), and as well as being a great recording artist in her own right, she is the daughter of Alex Malheiros, (the bass player from Brasilian super-group Azymuth). It was always going to be special.
(FOR FULL REVIEW SEE OUR PRINTED MAGAZINE)

The Mighty Mocambos – [i]The Future Is Here[i] (Legere)

There̢۪s just so much new Funk around at the moment and this German band are top of the pile. Their latest single Zulu Walk (featuring Afrika Bambaataa) has kept up the anticipation for this album. It̢۪s here at last and it does not disappoint. The production has a very tough and authentic sound.
(FOR FULL REVIEW SEE OUR PRINTED MAGAZINE)

The Baker Brothers – Time To Testify (Record Kicks)

I̢۪ve lost count of how many releases this mega-talented trio have made but it seems like a lot. They̢۪re from Bournemouth on the coast of England and in such a short time seem to have established themselves all over the planet; and particularly in Japan. This CD is their usual (high) standard fare.
(FOR FULL REVIEW SEE OUR PRINTED MAGAZINE)

Randa And The Soul Kingdom – What You Need (Freestyle)

Randa has followed up her debut album very quickly, and yet again it is produced and mainly written by the hardest working man in show-business (well in Australia at least!), Lance Ferguson.
(FOR FULL REVIEW SEE OUR PRINTED MAGAZINE)

Snowboy

DON'T FORGET, YOU CAN READ MORE FROM SNOWBOY IN OUR OCTOBER/NOVEMBER PRINTED ISSUE

Please feel free to contact me with any Jazz news/event info that you feel would benefit others at snowboy@bluesandsoul.com Thank you.

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