Trini-born Miami-based Steel Pan player Leon “Foster” Thomas made a welcome return to the UK with a sell-out night of breathless virtuosity at London’s Jazz@PizzaExpress on August 3rd. Leon is the go-to guy for his instrument in the U.S and recently released a superb album called ‘Metamorphosis.’ Leon is steadily building a reputation for pushing […]

This week there’s new music American trumpeter Keyon Harrold, drummer Ulysses Owens Jr, Scottish trumpeter Colin Steele, vibes man Ben Gillece and NOLA drummer Stanton Moore who’s new album sees him serving up Allen Toussaint compositions. I rounded things off with an absolutely steaming live version of ‘Softly As In A Morning Sunrise’ from Eric […]

Hard to believe it’s 30 years since Prince released his landmark recording Sign O’ The Times. I’ll be back at the beautifully designed Spiritland in London’s KIng’s Cross on the evening of Bank Holiday Sunday August 27th with my good friend Kyri R2 for a full set of music from Prince and associated groups and […]

This week there’s new music from British vocalist Zara McFarlane, D.C trumpeter Harold Little, John Beasley from Vol.2 of his ‘Presents Monk’estra’ project, Christian McBride Big band, Meg Morley Trio, Cecile McLorin Salvant live, free jazzer Dan Phillips and British saxophonist Dave O’Higgins. Playlist: Zara McFarlane – In Between Worlds [Arise] Harold Little – Stomp […]

Pianist Andrew McCormack joins me in conversation about his new album ‘Graviton’ and also in session. There’s also new music from guitarist Rob Luft, pianist Robert Mitchell and saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom. Playlist: Antonio Sanchez – Challenge Within [Migration] Dan Montgomery – Laila [Story Teller] Rob Luft – Beware [Riser] Terri Lyne Carrington – Jazz […]

New music this week from Zara McFarlane’s 3rd album, new Courtney Pine featuring Omar, Gareth Lockrane Big Band, veteran Afro-Funk drummer Tony Allen in collaboration with Damon Albarn, bassist Eric Revis, and poet Yusef Komunyakaa. Playlist: Dianne Reeves – Mi Vida Zara McFarlane – Peace Begins Within [Arise] E Scott Lindner – Nonce [E Scott […]

New music this week from British outfit Ill Considered ahead of their September release, vocalist Zara McFarlane, All Angles Orchestra, guitarist Rob Luft, veteran pianist Stanley Cowell, and bassist Olie Brice. Playlist: Tenderlonious & the 22archestra – SV Disco Lionel Loueke – Aziza Dance [Gaia] Ill Considered – Building Bridges [Ill Considered] Glenn Astro & […]

I saw this ahead of release. It’s a lovely documentary about the life of John Coltrane confirming what I already believe – that he was a prophet for our times. I felt quite emotional in all honesty. Trane’s music is different because his dedication to the instrument, deep intellect and faith in the human spirit […]

This week new music from saxophonist Alex Han, produced by Marcus Miller, British pianist Robert Mitchell, Danish outfit Elektrojazz, Yisrael Trio from NOLA, French bassist Henri Texier live, trumpeter Farnell Newton and some lovely new spiritual jazz emerging from the London scene from Wildflower and in New York from Brooklyn Raga Massive. I was also […]