• by Edward Helmore in New York
    Smith, who died in California on Wednesday, has been credited with blazing a path for women in what had been a male preserveViola Smith, a pioneering drummer and original “hep girl” of the swing and big band era, died on Wednesday in Costa Mesa, California. She was 107. Related: Tommy DeVito: Four Seasons founding member […]
  • by Neil Spencer
    (Strut)The Arkestra’s first album in 20 years is an intoxicating, cosmic tribute to Sun RaFor much of his long, prolific career, the late Sun Ra (born plain Herman Blount) found his music marginalised. Though rooted in jazz tradition, its atonal tunings and proto-electronica, along with its space-age themes and gaudy costumes, were too way out […]
  • by Ammar Kalia
    (22a Records)Ed Cawthorne and the Jaubi quartet blend improv with Indian classical music on this free-flowing collaborationEver since the likes of John Coltrane, Yusef Lateef and Don Cherry came upon the tantric mantras of India and the harmonic and rhythmic forms of Indian classical music, the field of improvisatory music that became known as spiritual […]
  • by Ammar Kalia, Graeme Virtue, Ellen E Jones, Jack Seale and Paul Howlett
    The newly discovered material sheds light on the swing king’s inner life. Plus: Bruce Springsteen joins the chat on The Graham Norton Show. Here’s what to watch tonightA recently discovered trove of family videos and letters brings this account of the big band leader and “swing king” Count Basie to life, in his own words. […]
  • by Imogen Tilden
    This documentary about the beloved London music venue brings us sterling performers, atmospheric footage, and a sad heartIn the early 1980s, jazz club Ronnie Scott’s was facing financial ruin. “If you’d been better businessmen, this wouldn’t have happened to you,” co-founders and managers Ronnie Scott and Pete King were told. “If we’d been better businessmen […]
  • by Ammar Kalia
    Ronnie Scott’s plays host to musical luminaries for a one-off programme highlighting the continued power of music by Nina Simone, Billie Holiday and more‘Jazz was born out of oppression,” the pianist Ashley Henry says, from a velvet booth at Ronnie Scott’s jazz club in London. “Music was all slaves had to hang on to after […]
  • by Ben Beaumont-Thomas
    Pair of strokes in 2018 have partially paralysed American musician, who can now only play with one handKeith Jarrett, the jazz and classical musician whose album The Köln Concert is one of the best-selling piano recordings in history, has announced that he is unlikely to perform again after two strokes.The 75-year-old told the New York […]
  • by Guardian critics
    Discover all our four- and five-star album reviews from the last month, from pop to folk, classical and more Continue reading…