Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

Welcome To B&S




The Snoyboy Column
The Snoyboy Column

It’s great to kick off this column with such encouraging news...

Radio Bracknell Forest and UK Jazz Now combine to launch specialist Jazz radio station

UK Jazz Now, founded by jazz performer and broadcaster Brian Soundy, produces jazz radio shows, and promotes live blues and jazz music events across the south of England. Radio Bracknell Forest was founded earlier this year by marketing and public relations consultant John Hicks with the aim of broadcasting a range of jazz, blues and world music, and talk shows. The response to Brian’s flagship jazz show on Radio Bracknell Forest exceeded expectations; feedback from listeners was extremely positive, so the pair undertook extensive research and found there was a huge demand for a British jazz radio station which just played jazz.

UK Jazz Radio was soft launched on Saturday 1 August 2009. The success of its pilot shows - Jazz Guitars, Voices of Jazz, London Jazz, Smooth Jazz, New Jazz, and Modern Jazz - was such that it is now confident of fulfilling its ambition of becoming the leading jazz radio station. Station Director, John Hicks, explains: As a highly popular destination for listeners, musicians and jazz enthusiasts from all over the world, UK Jazz Radio will provide visitors with rich, original content, such as programming and membership information, interviews, event schedules, playlists, sound bites, and of course, UK Jazz Radio’s own live stream. In this way, and by bringing you jazz, jazz and yet more jazz, the station will be distinctively different from anything else previously available on the radio.

UK Jazz Radio is firmly focused on new, emerging, artists in all jazz fields’ he continues, ‘not only will we support and encourage new talent, we will seek out showcase and performance opportunities to enable new talent to reach a whole new audience.

For full schedule go to

Empirical Tour Dates

Multi award-winning jazz outfit Empirical perform tunes from their second album Out 'n’ In
Wednesday 4 November: The New Tavern, Wigan
Thursday 5 November: Old Town Hall, Gateshead
Thursday 12 November: Band on the Wall, Manchester
Friday 13 November: Jazz on 3 stage, Ronnie Scott’s (London Jazz Festival, live on Radio 3)
Saturday 14 November: Recital Room, Glasgow City Halls
Sunday 15 November: The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen, Scotland
Monday 16 November: Perth Concert Halls, Perth, Scotland
Wednesday 18 November: The Tolbooth, Stirling, Scotland
Saturday 21 November: The Forge, Camden (London Jazz Festival)

Snowboy at The Boatyard

My enthusiasm for this new massive venue in beautiful Leigh-On-Sea, Essex was not unjustified. Very reminiscent of London’s ‘Jazz Café’ - but larger in actual fact – new local promoters Tongue And Groove managed to draw in 470 people to see my band play my yearly concert. Not only was it sold out, they could have sold it out twice over they told me. I know that they have hooked up with major UK Jazz, Funk and Soul promoters and agents so I’m expecting big things of this fantastic venue. It’s about time we, in Essex, had a venue to rival anywhere else in the UK for Jazz.

Congratulations Caister

I’ve just attended the 30th anniversary of the Caister Soul Festival to do a book signing. The twice-yearly event still sells out in advance each time with 3,500 people in attendance. The great thing about this weekender is that as well as it’s commercial Soul-anthems main room it still has the smaller, edgier (and very well supported) alternative room playing a lot of Jazz-based music. I saw a lot of very satisfied jazz fans there.

I still can’t believe this institution has been going for 30 years so congratulations to Brian Rix and Chris Hill.

Jazz Returns To The Southport Weekender

Yes, at long last the Saturday afternoon Jazz Dance Session returns to the largest dance music event in the world – The Southport Dance Weekender. After an absence of a decade Gilles Peterson, myself, Bob Jones, Kevin Beadle, Bob Jeffries and Simon Mansell will be dropping the toughest Jazz to the very best dancers. The weekender is November the 6th – 8th.

Acid Jazz is 21 Years Old

Acid Jazz Records are about to celebrate their 21st anniversary in some style at a venue just a hundred yards around the corner from the east London label's legendary and late lamented Blue Note club in Hoxton Square!

The label, founded by Eddie Piller and Gilles Peterson back in 1988, became a buzz word in itself and provided an antidote to the bleeps of Acid House that swept all asunder in late 80’s club-land. Artists like Jamiroquai, Galliano, Terry Callier, Paul Weller, JTQ, Corduroy and a whole host of others found a natural home at the indie label.

The birthday party, hosted by Eddie Piller features DJ sets from some of the best DJ's associated with the label's long and varied history, including Chris Bangs, Ali B, myself, Dean Rudland, Richard Searle and Andy Lewis playing a mix of Jazz, Soul, Beats, Funk and Northern.

It’s at The Courtyard Theatre, Hoxton, London. Admission £10 in advance. Doors: 9.30 - 3.30am. Tickets are limited.


Milano Jazz Dance Combo – Milano Jazz Dance Combo (Record Kicks)[b]

Here’s a great way to start this months reviews. Purpose built for the Jazz Dance scene, this group go for that great swinging Samba-style quartet sound that’s become so associated with Italy (and then Finland took it and over-did it). The first thing I notice is that every track could be played out anywhere where Jazz features on the dancefloor, and some, I would say, could even instantly be put under the banner ‘classic’. After a while the formula does start to sound the same a little bit so perhaps the CD should have been shorter, but it’s a minor criticism compared to the great tunes and world-class performances that are given here. The biggest surprise, to me, is seeing a guest vocal performance from Broken Beat King - Colonel Red on Much More. He steals the show with a very soulful and jazzy performance on this flying Samba future classic. Unmissable.

Stefon Harris and Blackout present Urbanus (Concorde)

I’m already a massive Stefon Harris fan. He’s just taken the art of Jazz Vibraphone playing on to another level. I was a bit worried when I saw the title Urbanus because there’s been a plethora again recently of Jazz-meets-Rap, and I’d hoped I’d seen the back of all that with the highly overrated Guru’s Jazzamatazz. Luckily, this CD has none of that and proceeded to blow my bloody brains out. The CD starts with pile-driving authentic Washington DC Go-Go Funk mixed with Be Bop and then goes somewhere off-kilter and back to Go-Go, so I thought that I knew where the CD was going. Not so. There are no two tracks alike. All the barriers get pushed down as odd time signatures lay over other odd time signatures with solos effortlessly gliding unchallenged over the top as though it’s some primary school basic groove. Of course I hate to pinpoint any particular musician here but the drummer, Terreon Gully, is outstanding. Just when you think you’ve heard everything this man comes along twisting and turning the beat and teasing you – as only the very finest fusion drummers can. There won’t and can’t be a better Jazz album this year.

Sabrina Malheiros – New Morning ‘Deluxe Edition’ (Far Out)

A repackaging of this fantastic Brasilian Jazz vocalist’s album from last year so I’m not going to go into detail again, but some extra tracks have been added and, personally, the inclusion of the previously unreleased Jazz Funk-meets-Samba Ginga De Amor is reason enough to re-buy the CD. How incredible.

Robert Glasper – Double Booked (Blue Note)

Equally at home performing keys behind contemporary Hip Hop superstars and fronting his Jazz trio, this CD combines both styles mixed together. I’m not surprised that this young man is so rated because his playing is absolutely staggering. Whilst sounding like he has four arms, the rich harmony of his playing just bursts through and he plays with such perfect balance. It’s a very balanced CD for most of it covering all styles and forms one perhaps would expect but then it switches from the trio style to the more contemporary R&B and, to my ears, it doesn’t work (even though I like the R&B style too). If they’d have mixed it all up throughout it wouldn’t have been such a shock to the system. The one thing I will say though, music aside, is that listeners must beware because the drums are just too loud on the trio recordings and I find the constant interruption of loud cymbals and hi-hat quite off-putting and distracting on something that is quite, quite staggering.

Jazz FM: The Soul Of Smooth Jazz (Expansion)

I’m not really one to judge this fairly as I hate smooth jazz. I personally know some artists that make it just for the money (two of them are on this CD actually). On a plus-side, the thing with smooth jazz is that the CD’s often contain the odd collaboration with soul singers and the combination works well. So many of these kind of tracks are hidden away and missed so it’s great that a quality label like Expansion continues to search out great new material. It is a stellar line-up featuring the likes of Incognito, Rahsaan Patterson, Brenda Russell et al too as well as the smooth jazz artists such as Chris Standring and Snake Davis and there is even a couple of old-school winners that fit perfectly into the mix in the shape of Lonnie Hill – Galveston Bay and Lessette Wilson – Caveman Boogie. As I say, the over-all album is not to my taste but I feel that you’ve got a fairly good idea of what this very classy-sounding CD is all about to judge for yourself.

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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