Jazz in Europe
Jazz in Europe
Latest News
See you @ jazzahead!
I hope to have some One-on- one time with...
In Depth CD Review of Trialogue by the Marco Marconi Trio
I reviewed Marco’s last album, Nordik (33JazzRecords 2015) and...
Avishai Cohen (the trumpeter) Best With Fine Wine & Tour Dates
All fine trumpeters are going to be influenced by...
Celebrating Ella Fitzgerald: First Lady of Song
Recently dubbed “the Superman of the Bay Area jazz...
“Swing in the name of perfection”
The band plays live like there is no tomorrow:...
Honoring Abbey Lincoln – a Woman of Love & Protest
Abbey Lincoln (1930-2010) was a prominent American jazz vocalist...
Uli Beckerhoff, Artistic Director of jazzahead! – Shares some key benefits of attending in 2017
Listen in on part 2 of my informative podcast...
5 Questions to Georgia Mancio, asked by Erminia Yardley
1.  The Mancio/ Broadbent co-operation has shown itself to be...
Georgia Mancio & Alan Broadbent @ Ronnie Scott’s – “Songbook”: the album launch
Georgia Mancio steps on stage with a beautifully elegant...
David Helbock Trio | Tapping into Austrian Soul Jazz | Review & Tour Dates
But European jazz pianists taking on the Classical masters...
“When Soweto came to Ronnies”
Performing from his latest album, Nonagram, and together with...
The Inimitable Uli Beckerhoff – Part 1
When presented with the gift of spending one-to-one time...
‘Hank Mobley in Holland’ is a nice new chapter in Dutch jazz history.
He had his first gigs in The Netherlands and...
Oran Etkin Trio at Jazz Dock, Mladi Ladi Jazz Festival, Prague, Czech Republic
During the first two weeks of April, the multifaceted...
Master Musicians of Joujouka led by Bachir Attar | European Tour April 2017
Here’s some supporting background on the well-known musicians and...
“Charlie Parker is alive and well”
Uhm, how those words ring true!  With arrangements by...
Native French, Gabrielle Ducomble | La Chateuse délicieuse
As part of the “French Fest” at Zédel, the...
jazzahead! 2017 April 27-30 U.S. Jazz Industry
Jeff Levenson is a highly respected voice in the ongoing...
Chris Standring and Mica Paris Concert Review
His attire, a very relaxed one with flares and...
Dot Time Records Launches Louis Armstrong Legacy Series.
By: Peter McLaren | Photos Courtesy of the Louis...
Paul Jost at Cornelia Street Café
On the first Tuesday of every month, the iconic...
Logan Richardson | On Blue Note | Late March EU Tour Dates
So it is always with much anticipation and high...
Carlo Muscat | CD Review | “explorations”
His first album ‘The Sound Catalogues Vol.1 – Extraordinary...
Typhanie Monique ‘Call It Magic’ CD Release Show Old Town School of Music Chicago, IL.
Typhanie Monique is a skilled performer. This was on...
Hazmat Modine – A Weird American Post-Modern Blues & World Music Fusion Experience
Tom Waits at his roots has the same offbeat...
Louis Hayes @ Ronnies – An 80th birthday celebration gig!
In the words of Jeremy Pelt, trumpet player, entertainer...
CD Review | “Bomb” by Blurt
Ted Milton – poet, puppeteer and musician – founded...
The Alex Skolnick Trio | Europe Unbound Tour (presented by Guitar Magazine) in March.
Alex Skolnick is the veteran guitarist of Testament, a...
An Evening with Ola Onabule…RAW
Text: Lori I. Huutie | Photos: Rolf Schoellkopf On a...
SAVE & WIN a Jazz Weekend Getaway in Andalucia, Spain courtesy of JazzinEurope
Well, Jazz in Europe and Club Jazz @ Casa...
Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation partners with Dot Time Records
Dot Time Records is proud to announce its license...
Zhenya Strigalev’s Never Group on its Seemingly Never-Ending Tour
The Never Group album begins with an odd introduction...
The Eternity of Dexter Gordon | Dexternity CD Review
Dexter Gordon was born on 27 February 1923. He...
Jazz Guitarist Chris Standring ~ A Live London Recording Session with special guest artist Mica Paris
1) Chris, at the end of this month, we...
New Video Premiere February 18. Exclusively at All About Jazz!
“I feel it is my responsibility as an artist...
Meddy Gerville, Tropical Rain – CD Review
During his career Meddy has built an impressive discography...
Daniel Zimmermann | CD Review – Montagnes Russes
‘Au temps Otant’ opens the CD and is just...
Paola Vera – Addicted to My Love – Jazz groove for Valentine’s day and beyond…
Paola’s music blends her passion for Jazz with a...
Made In New York Jazz Announces Competition Winners
Judges and committee members worked hard through the holiday...
Star Names For Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2017
“One of the UK’s classiest and most eclectic jazz...
Grammy Nominated Ben Wendel – Jazz Torn between Two Coasts: Brooklyn & La-la Land
Meanwhile, another saxophonist and composer, born on the West...
Konstrukt – Molto Bene – CD Review
‘Mercan’ strikes up an atmosphere at the top of...
AKI RISSANEN – Winner of the Best Jazz Album @ Emma Awards
Listen to Amorandom and follow on Spotify Buy CD Listen to Aki talk about...
Jacqui Dankworth presents |“Shakespeare and all that Jazz” | special guest: Simon Callow
A graceful and feline Jacqui Dankworth steps on stage...
North Sea jazz 2017 | Top Global Artist Confirmed
“This is one of the greatest events in music…in...
Violinist Tim Kliphuis: ‘Jazz musicians should think out of the box more’
The Tim Kliphuis Trio is combustion of talent. The...
West Of The World – Debut CD Review
Ashley visited West Africa in 2013 and it proved...
Curtis Stigers – the perfect crooner
“Let it snow” opens the show and at the...
Carl Hyde’s world of fantastical photos…
This guy has done well: truck-loads of passion, a...
We free queens (Rhoda Scott Lady Quartet)
The opening track is ‘We Free Queens’, which harmonic,...
Changes “1983” | CD Review
By Peter McLaren | Sidebar photo’s by Zbigniew Lewandowski...
Dinosaur – Chamber Jazz From Another World
Their second release on Chaos Collective, “Human Spirit” (2015)...
London Jazz Platform 2017 – Ten Artists and Counting!
Writer Sammy Stein was recently on the influential Jazz...
Mike Casey | ‘The Sound Of Surprise: Live at The Side Door’
‘Hydraulics’ opens the CD with a strong, stomping drums...
Bobby Selvaggio – Quantum Man
Over the last few years, there have been a...
Gigi – “Invisible Ink” – Ltd. edition LP
After an incredible reception and success of the EP...
Jochen Rueckert Quartet – the “Charm Offensive” Tour
Rueckert’s debut album “Introduction” was released in 1998, and...
Threestyle | Road to Monterey | 4 weeks at No.1
Road To Monterey is the new single from chart-topping,...
Book review | ‘Graphic Works 1959-2016′ | Peter Brotzmann
Because he is both – Peter Brotzmann is a...
CD Review – Dave Liebman – Is seeing believing?
Each tune in this quintet’s project has the capacity...
Shirley Horn – “Here’s to Life, Here’s to Love, Here’s to You for 2017
I celebrate that song with you at the close...
Finally a worthy tribute to Don Byas in The Netherlands
Don Byas lived the last seventeen years of his...
Esteban Alvarez | ‘Tico Groove’
Esteban was first nominated as a “Steinway Artist” back...
Wanderlust by Mike Adcock | CD Review
Wanderlust features eight of Mike’s compositions and an arrangement...
jazzahead! 2017 showcase programme announced.
The four multinational juries, which select the showcase programme...
CD Review of Duncan Lamont’s – As if by Magic
Mr Benn, as some will know, is a bowler-hatted...
Ola Onabule 2016 London Concert Review
I have been blessed to have enjoyed such moments...
Marcus Strickland – London Concert Review – “Intense and beautiful”
There was a hush in the air on the...
Brazilian Bossa Nova Rosa Passos featuring Kenny Barron
Passos has been anointed the “female João Gilberto,” but...
Jason Lindner’s Now vs. Now
In an interview for Rolling Stone, in December 2015,...
“A Sardinian extravaganza” Filomena Campus
As part of the 2016 EFG London Jazz Festival,...
jazzahead! announces 2017 Gala Concert
By: Nigel J. Farmer | Photos (c) Oliver Reetz...
Rob van Bavel and son Sebastiaan keep on exploring jazz
Rob graduated in 1987 at the Rotterdam Conservatory with...
CD Review | Arctic Blues Release November 25 – 2016
Now seeing as Eero was one of the original...
Featured Gig | Ola Onabule
Ola Onabule’s distinct and highly identifiable style unites jazz,...
Ahmad Jamal – One of A Kind
Ahmad Jamal has a certain magic in his playing...
Featured Gig | Maciek Pysz – London Jazz Festival
Maciek Pysz is a guitarist and composer known for...
Angus Bayley CD Review and Q&A.
The album opens with “Alex’s song” which flows so...
Alex Jønsson | release Nov 25
To put full context to Alex and his music,...
A French Jazz Shaman is Freed
The French saxophonist Guillaume Perret (born 1980 in Annecy)...
10 X Grammy Award Winner – Eddie Palmieri
Eddie Palmieri who is known for his banging, percussive...
Amit Friedman, – Long Way To Go
The Album opens with the title track “Long Way...
CD Review | Soweto Kinch | Nonagram
He straddles different worlds in his roles as musician,...
Mother Africa – Magic in Manhattan
The rhythmic and romantic music of Africa makes its...
SUPERSILENT – a so-called Death Jazz trio
Since at least the mid 90s, with the rise...
CD Review – Sara Dowling “From Shadows into Light”
Apart from singing beautifully on the album, Sara Dowling...
Keeping Spiritual and Psychedelic Jazz Alive
They are coming back to Europe this November to...
Jimmy Heath: Life of a Legend
“As an alto player I had been given the...
Jazzahead! 2017: Deadline for Showcases.
Applications to be considered for a showcase performance at...
Phos Duo | CD Review by Sammy Stein
Since they formed Phos in 2008 out of a...
Bugge Wesseltoft’s New Conception of Jazz – 2016 Edition
In other words, Bugge Wesseltoft (born 1964) is a...
George Wein -The Life of a Legend
Wein a pianist, was joined by the Newport All...
Pimping the jazz fantastic…
Let’s do some math: five very “hyper” musicians, one...
Lars Fiil | CD Review from Sammy Stein
‘Why Search For Common Ground ‘ opens the CD...
Jazz Goes to Town in Hradec Kralove, East Bohemia
On Tuesday, Oct. 18th, the opening night’s headliner at...
Monty Alexander & Friends: Sinatra at 100
Frank Sinatra was born December 12, 1915.  One hundred...
Paul Jost | Re-imagining Bruce Springsteen
Michael Kline, who founded and produces the Exit Zero...
Nils Petter Molvaer—a true jazz explorer from the North
Molvaer’s newest recording “Buoyancy” was recorded and released in...
Joe Smith and The Spicy Pickles | CD Review.
The Spicy Pickles have re-introduced swing and big band...
Kenny Garrett Interview
“Marcus Belgrave still makes it possible for musicians like...
Swing in Breda
Jan Learbuch is one of those people in the...
John Scofield ponders
Mainly, I’ve been a big fan of his music...
Magnus Öström – Has Landed Safely
On his debut release, “Thread of Life” (2012), the...
Kosi | CD Review
It opens with an introduction to Cohen’s Introduction (Hallelujah)...
Binker & Moses interview – The super London duo!
On the last day of the Love Supreme Festival,...
Ola Onabulé | Podcast Interview
Ola is a meaningful musical artist, warm-hearted and gracious....
CD Review | Ben Webster meets Piet Noordijk – Johnny Come Lately
Shortly after his death, an LP was published with...
Mars Williams & Switchback
The Chicago-based free jazz saxophonist Mars Williams may be...
Zurich Jazz Festival “jazznojazz” | Exciting mix of urban jazz, soul and fusion
Sponsored by the Zurich Cantonal Bank and co-sponsor, Migros...
Maria Schneider – Two 2016 Grammy Awards
Born November 27, 1960 in Windom, Minnesota, Maria Schneider...
Harmonica Titan Toots Thielemans dies at 94
Thielemans was pre-eminently a jazz musician — and he...
Roundup – Jazz Middelheim 2016
Astonishing Artist in residence this year was the Israeli...
Interview with Alan Gorrie – Average White Band
EY -  A band who defies longevity, I asked...
CD Review – Suite Três Rios
With parents who are Portuguese and Italian, his cultural...
Chuck Israels | 80 years and going strong.
Chuck Israels was born on the 10th of August...
George DeLancey – Self-Titled Debut CD
NYC Release Gig: September 28- Smalls Jazz Club Straight Ahead...
Theo Jackson makes his American debut at Washington’s Kennedy Center.
Pianist/Vocalist Theo Jackson has a number of high profile...
Ray Gelato interview
There was glorious weather for all, people, musicians, agents,...
Lost recording’s from Joe Bushkin, Buck Clayton, Milt Hinton & “Papa” Jo Jones
Joe Bushkin, the leader, was a gifted pianist who...
ASHLEY KAHN RETURNS TO MIDDELHEIM
MORE INTERESTING JAZZ TALKS TO COME! Last year Ashley...
CD Review – Nina Baun
Straight from the horse’s mouth herself – the album...
Latin Jazz Bassist Honors Tito Puente +
Henriquez has performed with Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Eddie...
Femi Temowo interview
Nigerian born, London based, Femi is a striking guitarist...
CD Review – Benet McLean
In his early 20s he began playing keyboards in...
Wayne Shorter, Living Legend By Scott H. Thompson
Wynton Marsalis points out that Mr. Shorter has a...
FESTIVAL FLASHES GENT JAZZ 2016 – PART TWO
The second part of the festival began Thursday, July...
Featured Gig | Shez Raja with Soweto Kinch | Hideaway London – 22 July
“Entertainment was always on the cards at the Gurutopia...
Ibrahim Maalouf interview with Erminia Yardley
Erminia Yardley and Carl Hyde attended this years Love...
The Love Supreme Festival Report by Erminia Yardley
So here follows my réportage of one of the...
Festival Flashes Gent Jazz 2016 (part one)
NO SIGNATURE Terence Blanchard provided the opening concert. He...
Antwerp to celebrate 35th edition of Jazz Middelheim
The jazz festival begins Friday, August 12. That day...
FESTIVAL FLASHES ZEELANDJAZZ (part two)
The boat trip was intended as a connection between...
Bohemia Jazz Fest 2016
By:Tony Ozuna And this year is no exception. “Charles...
FESTIVAL FLASHES ZEELANDJAZZ (part one)
The Festival Orchestra played for the first time in...
Concert Review | The Hot Sardines – Ronnie Scott’s
By: Erminia Yardley | Photo’s Carl Hyde Uhm, that’s an incredible amount...
Prague Proms—a summer mix of Jazz, Classical, and Film Scores
Prague Proms opens this season, Saturday, June 18th with...
Tomas Doncker interview with Sammy Stein
By: Sammy Stein Tomas was born and bred in...
Maciek Pysz – Podcast Interview
  Maciek Pysz – is now an established musician...
Interview | Martie Rikhof & Claudio Dauelsberg
I felt I need to know more: How does...
Ola Onabule | Love Again
Love Again is the new Single from Ola Onabule’s...
Moon June records celebrates 15th Anniversary
Since the launch of the label MoonJune has built...
Jazzwise appointed Becomes Apple Music Curator
Source:  Jazzwise Magazine Jazzwise is now an official curator on...
CD Review | Event Horizon, Mark Wade
Text by: Sammy Stein | Photos by: Jesse Winter...
Electric Swing Circus
“Swingamajig was awesome!,” says Tom Hyland, the guitarist of...
Exclusive preview | Daniel Bennett Group, Sinking Houseboat Confusion.
They describe their music as, ‘quirky, modern jazz fused...
St Germain Completes Line-Up For Love Supreme Jazz Festival 2016
The latest addition to the bill is acclaimed jazz-house producer...
What every aspiring music artist should consider embracing.
A recent article from Mark Stryker, staff writer for...
CD Review | Valentine’s Eve, Kitty La Roar
By: Sammy Stein | Photo’s courtesy of Artist Available: Amazon | iTunes...
Deborah J. Carter & Millennium Jazz Orchestra headline Hengelo Big Band Festival
On 15 may the 3rd annual Big Band Festival...
Catching up with Greg Osby
This saxophonist has established himself as an influential professional...
Concert Review | Jazzahead Showcases and Clubnight.
After making my rounds at the exhibition, I headed...
CD Review | Elliot Galvin Trio, Punch
‘Punch and Judy’ opens the album and, maybe as...
Two famous Belgian jazz festivals celebrate their birthday in New York
This year two the most eminent jazz festivals in...
Kurt Rosenwinkel and his new project with Tim Motzer, Bandit 65
Bandit 65 is a collaboration with the guitarist Tim...
Two jazz festivals in Zeeland join forces
By Peter Beije | Featured Image: Roberto Cifarilli The...
The Hague International Jazz Days brings live jazz to Bijenkorf The Hague!
The first 100 customers can buy The Hague International...
JAZZAHEAD! TURNS BREMEN INTO A JAZZ METROPOLIS
The 11th  jazzahead! was opened early this evening in...
Tom Ibarra Podcast Interview
Recently I came across a young great sounding jazz...
Featured Gig | Shez Raja – 606 Jazz Club London
The 606 gig is the official launch of Shez...
CD Review | Magnus Thuelund “First Song”
Thuelund, a former resident of New York and now...
Simona Parrinello launches new CD in Milan
Con Alma was released in February this year and...
Vs Interpretation | A New Festival of Free Improvisation
Kerbaj recorded the 40 minute improvisation and later released...
Chuck Israels | Podcast Interview
The first in the series has Nigel J. spending...
Kris Bowers headlines Teens Tunes (Mladi Ladi) Jazz Festival.
The title of Bower’s new album “Heroes + Misfits”...
CD Review | Mac Gollehon & The Hispanic Mechanics
At 13, Mac met bandleader and cornet player Merle...
jazzahead! an American perspective
Recently, US Jazz Journalist, Scott Thompson sat down with...
Contemporary Jazz Piano Summit – Prague, April 16
By: Tony Ozuna Although Gerald Clayton has recently been...
Gent Jazz Festival: 28 major concerts in seven days
This July (7th to 16th) 2016, marks the fifteenth  year...
CD Review | Simona Parrinello – Con Alma
The album opens Beatrice, a haunting version of the...
Finnish pianist Joonas Haavisto releases new trio album “Oku”
Haavisto on piano is joined by Antti Lötjönen on bass and Joonas...
Concert Review | Wynton Marsalis, Wayne Shorter and the Jazz@Lincoln Centre orchestra
The Barbican Centre, Mr Wynton Marsalis with Mr Wayne...
Cd Review | Avishai Cohen – ‘Into the Silence
Tragedy and drama are often a good breeding ground...
EP Review | Skylark – Kitty La roar (Featuring Nick Shankland)
Kitty uses it as a vocal vehicle on which...
Nigel J. Farmer appointed Editor in Chief of Jazz In Europe
Nigel will take over from Peter McLaren who stepped...
Swing Club Breda – A mix of famous and young talent on the same stage!
Jan Learbuch continues his historical support in boosting the...
JazzAhead announces 2016 showcase program
On 21 April, the showcase program begins with the...
Rony Verbiest honors accordionist Johnny Meijer
By Peter Beije | Photo’s by  Eddy Westveer Johnny...
CD Review | Maciek Pysz “A Journey”
A Journey is a collection of eleven original compositions...
Interview with Knoel Scott – Part 3
Read Part 1 & Part 2 of the interview...
Interview with Knoel Scott – Part 2
Read Part 1 of this interview here. How did you get...
Interview with Knoel Scott – Part 1
Interview by: Sammy Stein | Photo’s courtesy of Dawid Laskowski...
London’s Most Diverse And Innovative Jazz Ensemble Release Debut Album.
Driven by a plethora of styles and disciplines, combined...
Pianist Philip Clouts tours England and Scotland
It’s an album that confirms the Cape Town-born Clouts’...
Featured Gig | Norbert Kögging | Rabotheater Hengelo
This coming Saturday dutch vocalist Norbert Kögging will launch...
Phil Woods dies age 83
Jazz legend Phil Woods died Tuesday morning, according to...
Featured Gig | Shez Raja Collective live at the 606 Jazz Club | 1 October 2015
Since the formation of his collective in 2007 his...
Evan Christopher’s Django à la Créole Tours Europe
Evan Christopher’s Django à la Créole spices up the...
MPS Presents The Definitive Collection Of Recordings By The Legendary Oscar Peterson Trio
This definitive collection of classic albums and undiscovered material...
CD Review | Ola Onabule: “It’s The Peace That Deafens”
By: Peter McLaren | Photo’s courtesy of the artist...
Swing Festival Breda features eight free concerts.
A total of 21 artists will perform including one...
Festival Flashes from Jazz Middelheim (Antwerp)
Jazz Middelheim in the Belgian city of Antwerp will...
A1 voice and piano team hit the road to Scotland
May and Iles met when the then-Leeds-based pianist’s trio...
Chick Corea, Casandra Wilson & Stanley Clarke play JazznoJazz Festival
The 17th edition of the Zurich Jazzfestival jazznojazz promises...
Award-winning Edinburgh jazz venue adds extra shows to its Fringe programme
Guitarist Graeme Stephen, saxophonist Martin Kershaw, bassist Mario Caribe...
New York Round Midnight | Netherlands largest jazz production
The show takes you back to the turbulent nightlife...
James Tormé headlines Rye Jazz & Blues 2015
The Spectrum Jazz Lounge introduced for the first time...
Featured Gig | The Majamisty Trio – Pizza Express – Aug 30
Sunday 30 August will see the London debut of...
Live Review | Ola Onabule at the Mundus Festival in Italy – July 16th 2015
The show started by looking to the future with...
Gig Review | The Blockheads Ipswich 24th July 2015
The Music Room in Ipswich was the venue. The...
Featured Gig | Jason Rebello Trio – 606 Jazz Club London
A multi-award winner and ferociously talented musician, Jason has...
Festival Flashes from Gent Jazz 2015 (part Two)
By: Peter Beije | Photos: Maurits van Hout This...
How Hugh Hefner And Playboy Changed The Face Of Music
Since the launch of Playboy magazine in 1953, two...
Davey Payne | Blockheads and beyond (Part Two)
Davey Payne – Part Two By: Sammy Stein After...
Gilad Atzmon and The Orient House Ensemble at Ipswich Jazz Club
From the start, things went well. It was one...
Festival Flashes from Gent Jazz 2015 (part one)
By: Peter Beije | Photos: Maurits van Hout Friday...
Featured Gig | Erin Dickins – Ronnie Scott’s London
Erin Dickins has enjoyed career singers dream about. After...
Maciek Pysz Announces November Tour Dates
Recorded at Artesuono studio in Udine, Italy, ‘A Journey’...
Featured Gig | Hilario Durán Trio – Bimhuis Amsterdam
Hilario Durán makes his instrument sound like an orchestra...
Becca Horne chats with Mario “El Indio” Morejon
Gillespie could have been speaking about Cuban born musician,...
Uli Beckerhoff | Everyone has heroes
By Rob Adams | 1st published by the Herald Scotland....
Interview with Ntjam Rosie
Ntjam has recently released her new album “The One”...
Featured Gig | Robert Glasper at Jazz Tibet Club – Olomouc, Czech Republic.
Glasper, bassist Vicente Archer and drummer Damion Reid—who form...
Interview with Deborah J. Carter
Carter premiered her latest release in the Canary Islands...
CD Review | Marco Marconi Trio “Nordik”
Marco Marconi is a pianist who studied classical piano...
Neil Tesser Wins 2015 Lifetime Achievement In Jazz Journalism Award
Tesser may be best known as program host and...
Copenhagen Jazz Festival 2015 | July 3-12, 2015
Copenhagen’s legendary status as one of the jazz capitals...
Ntjam Rosie performs at the Dutch Jazzday & North Sea Jazz Festival
Ntjam Rosie, Cameroon-born, Dutch-based Afro-European artist, has become a...
CD Review | Toine Thys Trio: “Grizzly”
By: Peter Bieje Toine Thys’s trio plays in a...
Rogier Telderman and Vincent Houdijk win the Dutch “Young VIP” award.
As part of the prize both musicians will perform...
Interview | Eric Ineke: “I want the swing to be alive”
By Marta Ramón | photos by Jan Klupper Eric Ineke’s musical...
Enrico Pieranunzi, Tina May, Tony Coe | Home Is Where The Heart Is
The first track, ‘Don’t Forget The Poet, Please’ is...
Ornette Coleman dies age 85
Today we received the sad news that Ornette Coleman,...
Featured Gig | Maciek Pysz Quartet at London’s Vortex
The Quartet led by Guitarist and Composer Maciek Pysz...
Featured Gig | “Hammond Eggs” feat. Randy Brecker & Bob Mintzer,
For this new production, the three musicians expanded the...
606 Jazz Club & Fulham Palace present “Jazz on the Lawn”
Now in its seventh year, Jazz on the Lawn...
Jazz Middelheim 2015 presents varied program
Dr. John & Chris Potter, Bill Frisell, Joe Lovano,...
CD Review | The Spike Orchestra – Ghetto
They have played at the Forge in Camden, The...
Ola Onabule signs international recording deal.
“It’s The Peace That Deafens” will be Onabule’s eighth...
Smith & Kellock hit the road
Saxophonist Smith and pianist Kellock have worked together extensively...
Longtime President of Blue Note, Bruce Lundvall passes aged 79
AAJ: Were there particular parts of the book that...
Matt Owens | The Magic of The Aviators’ Ball
The Aviators’ Ball is an eclectic, whimsical, magical mix...
Festival Round-up | Semana Internacional de Jazz – Tenerife
Once again the city of La Laguna on the...
Davey Payne | Blockheads and beyond
Davey was born in 1944 in London. He told...
Collective effort bridges jazz programming gap in Glasgow
Bridge promotions came to a halt at the end...
Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga’s headline Gent Jazz Festival.
Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga will be one of...
Theo Jackson launches new CD at St James Theatre London
It isn’t often that an artist comes along as...
Ola Onabule | Interview
Interview by: Becca Horne Born in Islington, London, Ola...
Jazz In Europe launches Amazon aStore
In addition we have added the Amazon store widget...
Interview with Massimiliano Rolff
By: Marta Ramon In addition to his outstanding reputation...
Sharp Sounds and Dirty Quotes from Tomasz Stańko
Tomasz Stańko is by far the most accomplished Polish...
Bert van den Brink: Magician with sound.
By: Peter Beije | Photo courtesy of the artist...
Dot Time Records announces the signing of UK based guitarist Maciek Pysz.
In 2010, he established his current trio with drummer...
SNJO swings towards its 20th anniversary
By: Rob Adams Elling has been open in his...
Live Review | Fund Raiser for UNPREDICTABLE – A film about Terry Day
By: Sammy Stein Over the course of an evening...
Raul Midón | A Chat with Becca Horne
Interview by: Becca Horne Midón was born in the...
Kitty la Roar and Nick Shankland | Live Review
By: Sammy Stein La Roar and Shankland have been...
Tom Green | Musician on a mission
By: Rob Adams | Photos: Courtesy of the Artist....
Brotzmann, Drake, Parker at Londons Café Oto | Live Review
By: Sammy Stein We met one dismal cold day...
Big Chief Bo Dollis of the Wild Magnolias dies aged 71
His voice had the sound of someone who had...
The New Orleans Jazz Beat
By: Allen Yhorst Kimble, Jr | Photos courtesy of the...
Blanco returns to make Celtic connections
Blanco made a big impression on his first full...
Duane Eubanks | Things of that Particular Nature
Article by: Becca Horne | Photo’s courtesy of Duane...
Chopin Lives On! | Outstanding Polish Jazz Pianists – Part 1
By:  Wojciech Oleksiak | Coutsey of: Culture.pl  It may be...
Fat Suit produce the goods
Fat-Suit didn’t go into the music business to make...
Ole Seimetz | My Everything
“I’d never thought about playing drums until I saw...
Hailey Tuck | Jazz Darling
By Becca Horne | Photo’s Courtesy of Artist Hailey Tuck,...
Rein de Graaff: Entrepreneur in swing
By Peter Beije | Featured Photo – Eddy Westveer...
Adrienne West & Alessio Menconi present new CD.
According to West, the renowned duo of Ella Fitzgerald...
Theo Jackson plays Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar Room & St James Theater
Having recently been granted permission to set lyrics to...
Stephanie Nilles and Zach Brock tour Germany
Chicago-born jazz/punk/barrelhouse musician Stephanie Nilles has been doin’ Kesey...
Product Review | Overscore Manuscript Tape
OK, now I have your attention, what is Overscore?...
Crooner Tony Bennett Brings His Jazz Collections to Casino Rama
Bennett has recently announced the latest of his releases,...
From broomsticks to fiddle sticks story makes Bangalore dream come true
“My mother thought I’d gone mad,” says the now...
Renaud Garcia-Fons | Beyond The Double Bass
By DAN BILAWSKY | Courtesy of  ALL ABOUT JAZZ...
Sax and trumpet recreate classics – with strings attached
Alto saxophonist Paul Towndrow and trumpeter Ryan Quigley will...
An interview with Yosuke Sato
by Enrique Alonso, photos courtesy of Yosuke Sato I...
The Mozaic Jazz Festival launches Friday 14 November.
One of the most exciting developments in the European...
Estrella & Esquina 25 | Bethany’s Jazz Club
The music of Esquina 25 pays tribute to the...
CD Review | Tineke Postma – Greg Osby | Sonic Halo
It was an emphatic wish of Tineke Postma to...
Laura Macdonald & David Berkman launch new CD
he two musicians, who have worked together in various...
A Jazz Talk with Gary Burton
By: Yannick Ilunga | Courtesy of The Jazz Spotlight Citing pianist Bill...
International contest for young musicians in Belgium
For 35 years it was called Jazz Hoeilaart. Next...
The Jazz Spotlight Festival Guide | November 2014
This month, Australia celebrates jazz combined with good wine...
Phil Markowitz – Zach Brock Quartet | Perpetuity.
Dot Time Records | D9031 Perpetuity is the second...
Jazz Jantar | Robert Glasper, James Carter and Avant-garde
By: Wojtek Oleksiak | Courtesy of Culture.pl From : 4...
Featured Venue | Fasching Jazz Club – Stockholm
This Manhattan-style jazz club is a vibrant music hub...
South African Clouts hitting the road to Scotland
South Africa-born Clouts, who takes his new quartet on...
Millennium Jazz Orchestra | Safety Zone
By JACK BOWERS | Courtesy of All About Jazz...
Made In New York Jazz Competition | Special Offer
To all our loyal readers, Recently we published an...
Paul Jost | Breaking Through
Paul Jost | Breaking Through Dot Time Records Paul...
Jazz Near You launches House Concert Series.
Ricci will kick off the first Jazz Near You...
Made in NY Jazz Competition
Contestants enter the Made in New York Jazz Competition...
36th. International jazz festival Praha
User News By: Filip Bršťák The festival opens on October...
Bimhuis At 40 | Older, Better, Business As Usual
By JOAN GANNIJ  | courtesy of  ALL ABOUT JAZZ The Bim’s roots...
Artist Interview | Mike McKoy
Ludwig Manhattan’s Germaican Blues (Sedajazz Records, 2014) is his...
Alan Broadbent releases new album on Vinyl.
StageIT.com is a new platform that allows artists to...
CD Review | Eric Ineke, Cruisin’
The new cd, ‘Cruisin’, simply confirms that. With trumpeter...
Swing Festival Breda
The Dutch town of Breda has a long tradition...
Featured Venue | The 606 Jazz Club London
By: Rob Adams Rubie and “the Six,” as it’s...
jazznojazz 2014 | 16th Zurich International Festival
The programme with true musical pearls features no less than 19...
The drummer who floored “Q” takes his exciting young band to Scotland
Howell “floored” Quincy Jones, the legendary film soundtrack composer...
Summer Jazz Cycle Tour 2014 | Groningen, The Netherlands
Text and Photos by: Eddy Westveer Traditionally the tour...
Colianni, Bancroft, Mullen & Molley take it from the Bridge in Scotland
New York-based pianist John Colianni’s big swinging quartet leads...
Jazz Spotlight – Festival Guide (September 2014)
By Yannick Ilunga | Courtesy of  The Jazz Spotlight Even...
Festival Flash | Jazz Middelheim 2014, Day 3&4
Text Peter Beije | photo’s Eddy Westveer Day Three...
Edinburgh venue The Outhouse wins Herald Angel award
By: ROB ADAMS The Outhouse, which is home to...
Festival Flash | Jazz Middelheim 2014, Day 1&2
Text Peter Beije | photo’s Eddy Westveer Day One...
Umbria Jazz Festival 2014
By THOMAS CONRAD | Source All About Jazz What...
Fusion collective Fat-Suit hit the road in Europe
Scottish fifteen-piece fusion collective Fat-Suit have announced their first...
Kora Band Signs to ‘Whirlwind Recordings’ For Release of New Cities in Spring 2015
Founded by London-based, American pianist and composer Andrew Oliver...
Tommaso Starace: Italian Short Stories (2014)
By: BRUCE LINDSAY, | Source : All About Jazz ...
Blue Note Records Launches New Blue Note 75 App For IPad
Source | All About Jazz Now available exclusively on...
The Music Never Dies
Presently, all the massive names have released a flood...
Day of mourning in the Netherlands
It was almost one week ago that the tragic...
Festival Flashes | Gent Jazz 2014 | Day One
By PETER BEIJE | Gent Jazz 2014: seven days...
Dave Holland’s Prism At Copenhagen Jazzhouse
By JAKOB BAEKGAARD, | Courtesy of All About Jazz...
Jeff Beck In Cologne
By PHILLIP WOOLEVER, | Courtesy of All About Jazz...
Alita Moses wins 12th Shure Montreux Jazz Voice Competition
Jazz in Europe congratulates the winners of the 2014...
Legendary jazz bassist Charlie Haden dies age 76
Source : USA TODAY Haden’s record label, ECM, released...
Zbigniew Seifert Jazz Violin Competition Draws World’s Greatest Upcoming Violinists To Kracow
Source: All About Jazz The first edition of the...
Music Sales Continue Slide As Streaming Soars
SOURCE: HYPEBOT, Nielsen SoundScan and Nielsen BDS has released...
A Foreigner’s Guide to Polish Jazz
By Wojciech Oleksiak & Cezary Lerski| Courtesy of Culture.pl Polish...
London pianist, Theo Jackson signs with US based label.
By: PETER McLARREN | Photo Credit: BEN AMURE Jackson has...
Aaron Goldberg featured at Roma Summer Jazz Workshop 2014
The Workshop is designed for both Italian and international...
Max Sunyer Headlines Candas Jazz Festival 2014
The festival features a slightly different set-up to most...
Jazz Liège Festival 2014 | Review
By JEAN-PIERRE GOFFIN, | courtesy of ALL ABOUT JAZZ...
Preview of the July Jazz Festivals in Basque Country | Spain
By: Enrique Alonso | Photos by: Lolo Vasco Heineken...
Horace Silver Dies At 85; Pioneering Jazz Pianist And Composer
Courtesy of: All About Jazz Silver died Wednesday at...
Jan Sturiale | The journey of Electric Water
By MARTA RAMON | Photo’s courtesy of the artist...
The Passion Of Lorenzo Tucci
By ROBIN ARENDS | courtesy of  ALL ABOUT JAZZ...
Festival Flashes | Scheldejazz Festival, Terneuzen (The Netherlands)
DAY 1 – VIRTUOSO FOOTWORK Friday June 13th 2014:...
Veronica’s Tales Jazz Festival | June 18 to 21
The Veronica’s Tales festival is one of the new...
Yass | The Jazz, the Filth and the Fury
By W. OLEKSIAK | courtesy of CULTURE.PL The 1990s...
Midem Moves Cannes Conference To June, Announces New Initiatives
Source: HYPEBOT | Published: 2 June 2014 International music...
Phronesis At Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast
By IAN PATTERSON | courtesy of ALL ABOUT JAZZ Phronesis |...
Jazz Middelheim can’t do without the music of Toots Thielemans
By PETER BEIJE | Photos BRUNO BOLLAERT Since 1981,...
Kenny Werner on Toots Thielemans
‘There will never be another one like Toots’ -...
Takeshi Asai: French Trio, Vol. 1
By GEANNINE REID | courtesy of  ALL ABOUT JAZZ Choosing...
Linley Hamilton: Right On The Wavelength
By IAN PATTERSON  | courtesy of  ALL ABOUT JAZZ Trumpeter Linley...
Mai Jazz 2014 | Stavanger, Norway
Mai Jazz 2014 | Stavanger, Norway | May 6-11, 2014 Live...
Jazz In Europe’s founder, Johan van Deeg steps down.
Due to health reasons, Johan van Deeg will step...
Sun Ra | One hundred years on.
While the above statement may seem to be a...
All About Jazz release spring edition of the All About Jazz magazine
The 2nd edition of the Magazine is somewhat special...
Tim Hauser, Manhattan Transfer & Food
This is not at all surprising, in a recent...
Christine Allen steps down as Trustee of Jazz Services
Vice-Chair Christine Allen has stepped down from Jazz Services...
Veronica’s Tales present Kenny Garret Quintet | 18 May 2014
Kenny Garrett is widely recognized as one of the...
Darcy James Argue headlines Ghent Jazz Festival
The Belgian festival had the American big band on...
Marjorie Barnes with Equinox | Rotterdam 23rd May 2014
Equinox is a quintet co-led by guitarist Dan Nicholas,...
Guitar legend Jim Hall dies age 83
Back in the late 1970′s I had just begun...
An Interview with Spanish Guitarist Roc Calvet
These different influences he pours into the tunes he...
Jim Mullen receives Lifetime Achievement Award at Scottish Jazz Awards
Affleck, who appears with the bands Vieux Carre and...
Arik Strauss Trio | “Mostly Ballads” Review
The reason that this was brought to my mind...
WORLD PREMIERE OF THE OSCAR PETERSON LEGACY QUARTET
Less than two weeks ago, a spectacular new venue...
Impossible Gentlemen | UK Tour Dates
The Impossible Gentlemen will be promoting their second acclaimed...
Jan Sturiale | The new studio album Electric Water
This versatility makes of him one of the most...
Marc Halbheer and the 5th Edition release new CD
The source for his compositions is the ancient knowledge...
The Finnish Line | Finland’s finest musicians at LIFEM
The program opens with the distinctive Finno-Ugric close harmonies...
Made In New York Jazz Competition
There have been many jazz contests held through the...
Sidney Bechet | The Wizard Of Jazz by John Chilton
Both were natives of the melting pot that was...
Valencia swings
Five festivals in five Valencian towns have made the...
Tobin wins top prize at Edinburgh Festival
The concert, part of the inaugural British Vocal Jazz...
Cedar Walton dies aged 79
Cedar Walton was a prolific recording and performing artist....
James Tormé at The Rio Café, Glasgow
James Tormé had announced a low-key pop-up gig to...
The Whirlwind Festival | October 10, 11 & 12 | Kings Place in London
The inaugural Whirlwind Festival will present 18 bands, all led...
Dutch radio program Jazz Meeting reaches listeners worldwide
After 14 years Jazz Meeting has grown from a...
George Duke dies age 67
Veteran jazz, R&B, funk and fusion keyboard virtuoso George...
Europe’s first lady of jazz Rita Reys dies age 88
Known to many as Europe’s first lady of jazz...
Birmingham Town Hall & Symphony Hall invites submissions from Jazz composers
They are seeking a jazz composer and performer to...
Clamshell Records | Vector Series
The aim of this series is to publish and...
Erin Dickins | Java Jive
Hi All! My name is Erin Dickins. I am...
The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra with Dave Liebman
Dave Liebman and the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra have...
‘STREETJAZZ’ Show 712
Below is the playlist for our latest ‘STREETJAZZ’ Show...
The Dutch Jazz Day | 28 & 29 June 2013 | Rotterdam
The Jazz Day is the leading Dutch jazz network...
Leo Blanco | The Forge, London – 24 June 2013
Venezuelan Leo Blanco is a genuine piano master. Rooted...
Rusconi win Echo Jazz 2013 prize in the category “Best live act”
Swiss based, BEE JAZZ recording artists, Rusconi have won...
Review Brass Jaw | Glasgow Art Club
More recently, they’ve been entertaining commuters at Glasgow Central...
Leo Blanco embarks on first major UK tour
Blanco’s previous visits to Scotland have been nothing short...
Donnie McCaslin to teach at the Spezia Jazz Masterclass 2013
Spezia Jazz Masterclass 2013 – From 1 July through...
Video interview with bassist Harvie S
I recently followed the twitter account from the Creative...
JazzAhead, Skoda club night | Spotlight on De Liefde
First cab off the rank is the 72 meter...
Yellowjackets Tour Scotland | March 2013
Starting this Sunday, Mothers’ Day, March 10th, Grammy winning,...
Jazzahead! Skoda Club Night | April-27, 2013 in Bremen
April 27 promises to be an unforgettable night of...
Trumpet player Kenny Ball dies at the age of 82.
UK trumpet player Kenny Ball passed away this morning...
Dave Liebman & Vein | European tour 2013
Dave liebman together with Swiss Trio VEIN will be...
New Releases from French label BeeJazz
Founded in 2003 by Alexandre Leforestier and , French...
JazzNet247 Radio
Based in central Europe, the JazzNet247 Project has been...
Claude Nobs Montreux Jazz Festival founder dies
Montreux Jazz Festival founder Claude Nobs passed away Thursday...

From Luton (UK) to Valencia (Spain) in a personal and professional trip that has brought him to find his inner voice after thirty years of playing in important venues as Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club. Mike McKoy is an Englishman with Jamaican and German roots but with a universal mind, who has focused his work in creating a philosophical message to share with us through jazz and blues melted in a literary idea.  

Ludwig Manhattan’s Germaican Blues (Sedajazz Records, 2014) is his latest studio album in which this musician, besides playing the guitar, also shows his ability to write, narrate stories and sing them with his pure jazz man soul. This album and audiobook, is modest but meaningful. With this project, jazz lives to create a wide space for the story to be developed.

The attractive and captivative atmosphere of this CD is shaped by the musicians who accompany Mike McKoy in his new adventure: the great trombonist Toni Belenguer, the versatile bassist Mark Baker, pianist Vicent Colonques and the harmonica player Ignacio Aguilar. However it’s also, the audio-book that provides the listener/reader a visual experience thanks to the illustrators Luis Demano and David Salvador, who had designed the books images and projections that are shown during the concerts.

All this makes Ludwig Manhattan’s Germaican Blues a complete experience to enjoy music, literature and illustration and proves that storybooks are not just for children.

Marta Ramón: How did the idea for the project come about?

Mike McKoy: American author Mary Flannery O’Connor wrote a short story whose title resonates with me: “The Life You Save May Be Your Own”. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, this project was a response to my own visceral need for renewal and growth.

The catalyst was an opportunity to perform a tribute to Nat ‘King’ Cole with a big band about five years ago. I had chosen the repertoire, the band sounded great, and the experience was thrilling. Nevertheless, I found myself feeling quite despondent and began to examine why. I’ve spent several years imitating the phrasing of my heroes in order to learn the jazz language, but I find no honor in trivializing their art for the sake of light entertainment. I don’t want any part in the sordid proliferation of tribute acts in jazz.

I needed to articulate my own experience, and I wanted to express this in a way that is uplifting, positive and fun. I began to pen lyrics that raise questions of morality and ethics, and I wrote some melodies over my favorite chord progressions. I wanted to combine the songs into a coherent whole, so a kind of ‘concept album’ with narrative seemed like the best way to go.

My inspiration was the character from Frank’s Wild Years and Big Time by Tom Waits. I decided to use my own dual heritage as a metaphor for a journey to self-reliance, happiness and mutual understanding.

MR: At what point in your musical career did you realize that you wanted to find your own voice and way to express yourself?

MM: When I sang with the big band, it became abundantly clear to me that there is money to be made as an impersonator. That’s not for me. I immediately made the decision to start writing and sought advice from Michael Steinman (of the blog JAZZ LIVES), who recommended reading Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Self-Reliance. The central message of this essay has helped me more than anything else. It can be summed up in two words: trust yourself.

I see music not as a career but as a discipline. After reading Emerson, I began see music as a vehicle for my own inner voice. I also began to recognize the high price of using someone else’s, tantamount to silencing and invalidating oneself.

Music is fun but not frivolity. It’s also a path to knowledge of self and to emotional honesty. Unless I pursue this path without pretense, I feel I am betraying myself, my family and my community. For example, in spite of my parents’ fondness for them, I once viewed Louis Armstrong and Nat ‘King’ Cole as decidedly ‘uncool’. This was very much an adolescent association of mine, which passed as soon as I began to appreciate Louis’s and Nat’s significance in the struggle for social justice in a radicalized world.

I see social justice as a matter of dignity and honor. Finding my own voice is about finding my own way to uphold and defend those values here and now – without becoming a self-gratifying individualist who doesn’t give a fuck about others, without repressing my own opinions or beliefs, without relying on anyone else for direction, and without excessive regard for whatever materials – words and sounds – I happen to use.

MR: You are so good at imitating your idols’ playing, and you don’t try to hide it. Indeed, you always explain it. Do you think that it is the first stage to become a good musician?

MM: Yes, I do. Imitation is a means to an end, the ultimate end being complete mastery of the core language. Like a lot of musicians, I study and transcribe the language of the greats, and I can scat dozens of famous solos note-for-note, but I don’t do it in public. The value of imitation is that it shows you what technical study you need to do in order to develop facility. The aim is to increase freedom of self-expression.

There is an interesting story behind the title of a great book by Gene Lees, You Can’t Steal A Gift. When Phil Woods had been accused of ‘stealing Charlie Parker’s music’, Dizzy Gillespie told him, “You can’t steal a gift. Bird gave the world his music, and if you can hear it, you can have it.”

My goal as a musician mirrors what I seek as a listener. What matters most to me as a listener is Beauty. I perceive this as both ‘message’ and ‘feel’. Whether or not a performance happens to be my cup of tea doesn’t affect my ability to appreciate its content, but I have very little interest in displays of technical facility alone.

Playing jazz is about interaction, about intuitive choices triggered in the moment by the musical situation. Because of the vast amount of time and effort involved in learning to play intuitively, I think it’s crucial to make wise choices about what and why to imitate. Sometimes it’s wisest not to do so at all.

MR: Why do you think other musicians don’t like comparisons and try to mask their playing similarities with the big names?

MM: I can think of instances where comparison of one musician’s playing with another’s might tend to distract from the message in their work, but trying to mask it has more to do with branding than with beauty. That may be a legitimate strategy for differentiating one product from another in a competitive market, but I don’t like to think of jazz musicians capitulating to those forces. In my opinion, originality is overrated. Obsession with it is just another kind of conformism. None of my heroes hides their influences, and each of these is a conflation of other people’s playing. Why hide it? I think it’s something to celebrate, share and be proud of.

MR: Why did you choose literature as the best option to mix with your music?

MM: Among my treasured vinyl collection are several masterpieces that perfectly combine spoken word and jazz. On the other hand, their successful integration isn’t easy to achieve. I chose this option because I found myself in the fortunate position of having all the resources needed to make the idea work, i.e. the listening skills, musicianship and affinity of a great band. My prime objective was to find a way to express ideas that I normally keep under wraps, but I wanted to do so without losing the audience along the way. I just think of it as storytelling.

MR: I feel that your work is quite educational. Was that one of your objectives?

MM: Yes, it was. It’s symbolic, and was written with older teens in mind. The working title was Cultural Chameleon, referring to the ability to blend in and adapt to one’s surroundings. I drew inspiration from my parents’ struggle against taboo and stigma, but I wanted to go beyond visible layers of culture such as race, ethnicity and gender, and touch on diversity that often goes unnoticed because it’s hidden in plain sight. I think it’s folly to define oneself by membership of a social or cultural group, and holding on to anger over injustice or infringement of that group’s rights is not the best use of the heart. Besides, no-one’s life is a complete bed of roses.

MR: Reading your book it feels like society is sick. Do you think that the jazz music world is ill as well, I mean, with a lot of “copyists” and but not too many real voices?

MM: I’ve seen some of what musicians are struggling with. I know what time it is. But I have confidence in the musicians’ creative vision. I’m inspired by dialogue between the present and the past. I’m an optimist and a romantic, and I believe that collaboration will ensure that jazz survives this economy. I don’t think the jazz music world is sick. It’s just malingering.

MR: What can we find in your concerts?

MM: There are no drums; double bass and acoustic guitar drive the rhythm in the classic style of 1930′s small-group swing. Keyboards sweeten several songs, and trombone counter lines complement the baritone vocals. When the trombone wails, the exuberant joy of jazz fills the room. During the reading of the narrative, the text and lyrics (plus a translation) are projected onto a backdrop along with some original illustrations. And, of course, there is improvisation from the band – including some judicious use of didgeridoo.

MR: Do you think that the literature is necessary to understand blues/jazz?

MM: I wouldn’t say that it’s necessary, but I would say that it’s useful. Critical thinking and inferential skills will help listeners go beneath the surface and find meaning, understand and empathize. The music can be appreciated instantly and on several levels, whereas the narrative contains abstract ideas which may require reflection. The audience for jazz is relatively small, but I think it’s one that’s willing to concentrate in order to experience – hopefully – a sublime translation of feelings into sounds.

I wouldn’t want to condescend to audiences by using literature as a gimmick (the thought of which makes my eyes roll heavenward), but I do want to be a little bit adventurous. Graphic illustrator David Salvador has created some wonderful visual elements to reinforce the message and envelop the audience. I think metaphor is usually apparent to those who have sophistication, but it needn’t be offensive to those who lack it.

MR: One of your main projects is a bossa nova album. Why do you feel appealed by Brazilian music? Give me the recording info please (name, date, recording company)

MM: The Getz/Gilberto recordings were the soundtrack to my teens. Listening to Brazilian music was an exotic thing to do where I grew up, and that alone was reason enough for me to want to do it. It was a form of escapism. The lyrics resonated with me in very much the same way as conscious 70′s soul and reggae.

Once I’d learned my way around a guitar, I got to see João Gilberto perform solo and immediately began to study his way of phrasing and controlling the rhythmic pulse. I’ve had the pleasure of singing and playing bossa nova with some wonderfully lyrical tenor players such as John O’Neill, Jim Tomlinson (who sounds uncannily like Stan Getz) and Bobby Wellins, with whom I recorded the CD Mike McKoy Swings to the Bossa Nova (Zephyr, 2002). It was recorded live at the Pizza on the Park with some of the finest musicians in the UK.

MR: You have toured a lot as a musician since you started your professional career, but now you are established in Valencia and don’t travel too much, what changed your perspective about music and life?

MM: I have a family to provide for, so I can’t funnel all my energies into full-time music. I have all I need, and I’m happy and grateful. Living amidst elegance inspires me to live well. I try to do that every day, taking every opportunity to practice, study and learn.

MR: You played in the emblematic jazz club Ronnie Scott’s.

MM: That’s right. Pete King ran the club at the time. My sextet played opposite Elvin Jones Jazz Machine for a week. I even lead the house in a round of ‘Happy Birthday’ on the night of Elvin’s 70th. We made ‘a powerful impression’, according to the press – and I treated myself to a CD box set of Wes Montgomery’s Complete Riverside Recordings with my share of the proceeds!

MR: You’re an anecdotes box, any good one that still makes you laugh?

MM: I have an abundance of anecdotes about travelling to and from gigs, but my favourite stories are all about listening in awe to the formidable British jazz musicians I’ve had the chance to play with. There is one story that makes me smile. It happened at one of the major London hotels, where we were playing a Jazz Brunch. A sharply-dressed young man, who was wearing sunglasses indoors, sat right in front of the band and started talking rather loudly while the bassist was taking a solo. Saxophonist Bobby Wellins leaned towards him and – gently, but firmly – ‘shushed’ him. It was Justin Timberlake.

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>