Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

Welcome To B&S



The Snowboy Jazz Column

The Snowboy Column - Exclusive to Blues and Soul
The Snowboy Column - Exclusive to Blues and Soul

What about the weather? I hope you’ve got your winter underwear on! I can’t bear the cold – despite being Snowboy! I’ve just updated my myspace (/snowboyandthelatinsection) and there’s lots of interesting things in the pipeline for me this year I’m glad to say. Let’s see what the year ahead holds for Jazz? It has to be better than last year! Everything’s still full on for the important Vintage At Goodwood festival that I’m involved in August (see below) and I’ve just found out about the essential Brooklyn Soul Festival that runs two weeks later. I may just treat myself to that!

Naim announce the signing of The Neil Cowley Trio

In just a few short years, pianist Neil Cowley and his band mates, bassist Richard Sadler and drummer Evan Jenkins, have carved out a reputation as one of Britain’s most exciting bands. Cowley’s music, a powerful examination of the sonic possibilities of the acoustic piano trio draws equally on trance, rock, jazz and funk, and led Mojo to hail the bands 2008’s Loud louder Stop as a “Modern Classic”, and list it in their ’50 Best Albums’ of that year.

Radio Silence , their Naim debut is released on 19th April 2010 ahead of an extensive UK tour from 5th May – dates to be announced shortly - and sees the band join one of the UK’s most exciting Indy labels, home to such diverse talents as Gwyneth Herbert, William Ftizsimmons, Phantom Limb and Empirical.

Radio Silence is the Neil Cowley Trio’s most eloquent and complete statement yet, capturing the full magic of the band’s live show and the empathy of a unit, who, with thousands of hours under their belt have learnt to breathe and listen as one. Described by Cowley as music for the ‘heart and feet’ the album moves effortlessly between moments of heart-stopping beauty, rip-roaring rock riffs and Chaplinesque ditties that remind you that for all his many influences, Cowley’s music is as quintessentially British as ‘Test Match Special’, real ale or a bacon sandwich

The Mostly Jazz Festival

This summer The Mostly Jazz Festival will be bringing two days of mostly jazz music to the beautiful surroundings of Moseley Park, Birmingham on the 3rd and 4th July 2010.

The Mostly Jazz Festival is the UK’s newest jazz festival and the only open air, one-site festival, exclusively dedicated to contemporary jazz, funk and soul.

The inaugural year will be headlined by the Sun Ra Arkestra and Courtney Pine. Other confirmed artists include Quantic and his Combo Bárbaro, Cymande All-Stars, James Taylor Quartet, Mercury Prize nominees Polar Bear, Portico Quartet and Led Bib, and Birmingham jazz legend Andy Hamilton & The Blue Notes. There will be two stages side by side at the festival, the second of which will feature up and coming talent. On the Saturday The Yardbird, Birmingham’s jazz and funk parlour, has been handed the programming of this stage and Birmingham Jazz will take over with some of their favourite acts on the Sunday. There will also be films, artist talks, music workshops, jazz dance performances, live comedy and spoken word. On the Saturday there will also be a big screen for the football fans who want to watch the World Cup between acts.

Tickets will be on sale from 1st February 2010. Adult day tickets cost £28.50+bf and weekend tickets cost £48.50+bf. For more information about The Mostly Jazz Festival and the full line-up please visit

Vintage At Goodwood Update

This is probably one of the most exciting events I’ve been involved in. Celebrating 5 Decades Of British Cool - it’s a hard festival to explain as it covers music but also fashion, culture and lifestyle from the 40’s to the 80’s (with modern acts that are inspired by vintage music). There’s US involvement too as we’re showing what’s influenced us and our scenes. There is a massive black music presence there (including a Jamaica day – with Jah Thomas, U-Roy et al). The new website is now up and running So have a browse. It’s an enormous event (second only to Glastonbury) and is on from August the 13th to the 15th. I will give you the line-up of Black interest next month.


New Signings

We are extremely proud to announce the signing of the following artists to Edition Records;

Secret Quartet

Martin Speake (alto saxophone), Nikki Iles (piano), Duncan Hopkins (bass) and Anthony Michelli (drums)

On 1st March 2010 the Secret Quartet will release their long awaited second album Bloor Street. Since the release of their last album Secret in 2002, this international quartet (featuring musicians from both Canada and the UK) has continued to develop a truly masterful group sound. Following Martin Speake’s internationally acclaimed ECM album, released in 2006, this extraordinary quartet reunites with an album of 9 beautifully crafted originals by Speake], Iles and Hopkins, that firmly confirms their reputation as one of the most formidable quartets on the international jazz scene. As some of the most in demand and respected musicians on the British and Canadian Jazz scenes, this new addition marks a pivotal moment in Edition’s history and we are extremely excited to be working with such remarkable musicians.

Spin Marvel

Martin France (drums), Nils Petter Molvaer (trumpet),John Parricelli (guitar), Tim Harries (bass), Terje Evensen (percussion / sound-audio editor)

We are extremely proud to announce the signing of the improvised electronica group Spin Marvel and the release of their second album Spin Marvel II due for release on 24th May 2010. Led by Martin France, Spin Marvel released their first album in 2005 to huge critical acclaim recognising them as one of the most compelling groups on the national scene. Praised for their use of textural soundscape and colour, their new album, Spin Marvel II not only captures the essence of the first album but takes a giant leap forward and looks set to firmly launch Spin Marvel as one of the leading bands working on the European scene.


Jasper Hoiby (bass), Ivo Neame (piano) and Mark Guiliana (drums)

Since their first album Organic Warfare in 2007, London based trio Phronesis have won praise from both the national and international press for their intense, high-energy originals as well as their infectious and accessible sound. Their second album, Green Delay, released in June 2009, confirmed their promise and has since been hailed as one of the most exciting and interesting piano trios to emerge out of the UK Jazz scene in recent years. Their third album will be recorded live in concert on 3rd and 4th March 2010 at the Forge in Camden, London as part of a nationwide tour and we are extremely excited to announce that US drummer Mark Guiliana, who has been described by Modern Drummer magazine as “at the forefront of an exciting new style of drumming” will be joining Jasper Hoiby and pianist Ivo Neame for the duration of the tour and recording.


Tammy Payne (vocals), Jim Barr (bass), Dan Moore (Hammond), Neil Smith (guitar) and Dylan Howe (drums)

Edition Records are extremely proud to announce the signing of Tamco and the release of their debut album Don’t think Twice due for release on 24th May 2010. Led by singer Tammy Payne (Smith And Mighty, Jukes) and bassist Jim Barr (Portishead, Get the Blessing) Tamco states their influences as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Waits and Bob Dylan to Wayne Shorter, Hermeto Pascoal and Miles Davis, yet have captured a sound of breathtaking orginality. Don’t Think Twice is a truly beautiful album and covers re-interpretations of songs such as Screaming Jay Kawkins’ I Put a Spell on You, Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood’s Summer Wine, Leonard Cohen’s 1000 Kiss Deep and traditional song Henry Lee. With this set, Tamco look set to launch a truly remarkable journey of discovery through their own interpretations of songs by some of the greatest songwriters.


Secret Quartet - Bloor Street

EDN1019 / Release Date: 1st March 2010

From the UK, you have Martin Speake and Nikki Iles, two of our finest improvisers and composers. Joining them from Canada, Duncan Hopkins and Anthony Michelli are two of North America’s most virtuosic rhythm players. On their own, each one of these four musicians ranks in world class but as Secret Quartet they become one of the most empathic and musically articulate groups on the planet.

Bloor Street is their long-awaited follow-up to Secret from 2002. Dare we say that it is even better? Somehow, the playing and writing is even more intense and authoritative. Somehow, the group’s identity is still more clearly defined and more firmly embedded. This is a record that stands comparison with Martin Speake’s exceptional ECM debut, Change of Heart, with Bobo Stenson, Paul Motian and Mick Hutton.

Curios - The Other Place

EDN1019 / Release Date: 1st March 2010
Album Launch: Purcell Room, London - 28th April 2010

Led by pianist and composer Tom Cawley and featuring bassist Sam Burgess and drummer Joshua Blackmore, Curios just get better and better. Winner of ‘Best Band’ at the last BBC Jazz Awards, they are a trio in their prime. With several years together and two acclaimed albums under their belt already, they share an empathy and collective insight that makes them one of the most brilliant piano trios in the world. The Other Place, their third album, and debut for Edition Records, marks the next leap forward in a remarkable creative journey that shows no sign of slowing.


1st March - Secret Quartet Bloor Street - EDN1019
29th March - Curios The Other Place - EDN1018
26th April - Dave Stapleton Quintet Between the Lines - EDN1017
24th May - Tamco Don't Think Twice
24th May - Spin Marvel Spin Marvel II

Other releases for up until August include Phronesis, Neil Yates' 5 Countries Trio - Release dates TBC



What a year 2009 was for Troyka - the highly succesful release of their debut album, praised by both national and international press, sell out performances at London Jazz Festival as well as being voted No. 8 in Jazzwise's best album of 2009 chart. And 2010 shows no sign of slowing down as they recently featured in the BBC Radio 'Jazz on 3' live broadcast celebrating British Jazz playing alongside the greats in British Jazz including Kenny Wheeler and Django Bates.

Geoff Eales

Geoff Eales' trio record Master of the Game continues to sell very well and has recently been awarded with a very good review in the Sydney Morning Herald in Australia. Nice one Geoff - read here

Geoff Eales gigs over next few months include:
Mar 13 Geoff Eales Trio (Geoff's Birthday Concert ) - Pinner Parish Church
Mar 16 Geoff Eales Quartet - Southampton Jazz Club


February 2010

11th Feb – Troyka - Band on the Wall, Manchester
12th Feb – Troyka - Derby Jazz.
21st Feb - Ivo Neame Quartet - Vortex, London (Loop Festival) – ALBUM LAUNCH
24th Feb – Dave Stapleton Quintet – Vortex, London
26th Feb – Curios - Holland

March 2010

2nd Mar – Phronesis - Dempseys, Cardiff
3rd Mar – Phronesis - The Forge, London (Live Album Recording)
4th Mar – Phronesis - The Forge, London (Live ALbum Recording)
5th Mar – Phronesis - the Komedia Club, Brighton
5th Mar – Troyka - Vortex Jazz Club, Dalston, London
6th Mar – Phronesis - the Edge Arts Centre, Much Wenlock
9th Mar – Dave Stapleton Quintet – Dempsey’s, Cardiff
10 Mar – Phronesis - Matt and Phreds, Manchester
11 Mar – Phronesis - The Spin Off in Leeds, London
18th Mar – Curios – Spalding, Lincolnshire
19th Mar – Curios – Lincoln
24th Mar – Troyka - Rainbow Jazz club, Birmingham
26th Mar – Curios – Wakefield Jazz club
26 Mar – Phronesis - AMR in Geneva, Geneva
27th Mar – Troyka - Canterbury Jazz
28 Mar – Phronesis - Sage Jazz Festival – Triple bill with the LOOP Collective!

April 2010

6th Apr – Curios - Stables Jazz club, Milton Keynes
8th Apr – Curios - Band on the Wall, Manchester
9th Apr – Curios - Shefield Jazz
10th Apr – Curios - Bristol
11th Apr – Curios - Swansea
15th Apr – Mark Lockheart’s In Deep – The Watermill, Dorking
16th Apr – Mark Lockheart’s In Deep – Sheffield Jazz
18th Apr – Curios - Lichfield.
19th Apr – Dave Stapleton Quintet – Forge, London
20th Apr – Curios - Cardiff.
23rd Apr – Dave Stapleton Quintet – CBSO Centre, Birmingham
23rd Apr – Mark Lockheart’s In Deep – CBSO Centre, Birmingham
23rd Apr – Curios - Cambridge
25th Apr – Curios - Kenton Theatre, Henley-on-Thames

May 2010

1st May – Troyka - Cheltenham Jazz Festival
3rd May – Curios - Cheltenham Jazz Festival
6th May – Curios - Coventry
13th May – Phronesis - The Spin in Oxford, Oxford
16th May – Dave Stapleton Quintet – Leciester
22nd May – Curios - Newark Jazz Festival
23rd May – Mark Lockheart’s In Deep – Kenton Theatre, Henley On Thames

Please visit for more info



The Dutch Nu-Jazz Movement – What’s Nu? (Social Beats)

One could be negative and say Dutch Nu-Jazz/Old West London Broken Beat, but I, amongst many, was greatly disturbed when the Broken Beat scene and music collapsed abruptly and prematurely two years ago when Goya distribution – the hub of the scene – went into receivership. Most of the UK artists in that genre then went into different areas of music, so where did it leave us fans of the most important and fresh Jazz Fusion-tinged contemporary club music of the past 20 years? It wasn’t being made anymore (so I thought). For modern Jazz Dance music we’d just been left with countless paint-by-numbers rehashes of the Nicola Conte-originated’ Italian Jazz Quartet with a four-to-the-floor bass drum’ sound (think This Is What You Are). Actually, I’m glad to say Broken Beat didn’t go away, it moved to Holland and this compilation is the perfect example of where we are with it in 2010. Actually (luckily) nothings changed and this compilation just explodes with the most incredible and diverse examples of what makes this music brilliant and why it’s important it continues. It features the only other act outside West London and the UK that made it correctly at the scene’s peak – The Flowriders, plus the ever-brilliant Jazz Invaders, Monsieur Dubois and the startling State Of Monc – who steal the show with the most incredible Broken Jazz dancers.

Personally, if you love this style like I do, buy it immediately. I don’t think I’ve heard a better example. This compilation will not be bettered this year.

The Osian Roberts/Steve Fishwick Quintet with Cedar Walton (Hard Bop)

Fresh off the press. Bam!!! Incredible. These artists are the preservers of the classic Blue Note Hard Bop/Be Bop sound of the 1960’s. Every one of their albums are authentic representations of one of the greatest eras of Jazz from THE greatest Jazz label of all. As with their other CD’s, this may as well have been recorded by Rudy Van Gelder in 1964. Retro? Why not. There’s not been better Jazz made than that era. This CD captures the spirit perfectly with incredible playing from all involved. Most songs here are originals but may as well be classics. To take the CD to another height it features one of THE all-time legends of Jazz – pianist Cedar Walton (and playing better than ever!), so on all levels there are many reasons why you must not hesitate to buy this.

Ramsey Lewis – Songs From The Heart: Ramsey Plays Ramsey (Concord)

Jazz musicians never stop learning until they stop playing. The greatest criticisms of musicians as they get older is that they’re not as exciting as they used to be; they mellow with age. Frankly I was dreading listening to this CD if his peers are anything to go by, but I was absolutely staggered that he’s still playing with the energy of an 18 year old. Obviously he’s revisiting his old songs but they sound fresh and exciting and new. The overall quartet sound is immense considering it’s a trio and quartet. I’m not familiar with the originals but I can tell you that it’s a vary varied listen from ballads to Funk (yes) and Samba. Very tasty indeed.

Contemporary Jazz (Tramp)

This is what it says on the tin and it covers a diverse selection of bands and styles of the past 10 years. The excellent and consistent Tramp Records could have so easily just gone the Jazz Dance route – but judging by all the same-sounding Italian Jazz Quartet copies going on at the moment, that would be quite a boring listen. Yes, there is Jazz Dance on here anchoring the compilation but we go from Prestige-style Bossa from the Sugarman Three to Funk, Samba, Organ B-3 Bop and Afro Cuban Bembe gleaned from bands and labels carefully chosen from all over the world. It works as both a great listening CD and a party record. This could have been a disaster in other hands but this is a very intelligently put together compilation that hammers home the point that there IS such a lot of great contemporary jazz around, despite what Jazz critics say. One criticism though – there’s no Snowboy on there!

Well that's all from me - See you next month



Please feel free to contact Snowboy at with any Jazz news that you feel would benefit others - Thank you.

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

Join the B&S Mailing List

Blues and Soul on Twitter