Iconic jazz keyboardist Herbie Hancock and rowdy Scandinavian trio The Thing are among the latest additions to this year’s landmark 25th edition of the EFG London Jazz Festival, which runs from 10 to 19 November. Hancock was on top-form when he appeared at the Love Supreme Jazz Festival in July and imperious on both piano and keys with his band of guitarist Lionel Loueke, keys/sax man Terrace Martin, bassist James Genus and drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, all unleashing some heavily groove-laden sounds.
Brit-jazz sax star Courtney Pine brings his soulfully funky Black Notes From The Deep set to the Bridge Theatre (13 Nov) with special guests including vocalist Omar and piano virtuoso Nikki Yeoh. Other concerts just announced include the welcome return of Jazz FM Award-winning drummer/composer Jaimeo Brown with his Transcendance trio of guitarist/producer Chris Sholar and saxophonist Jaleel Shaw, all playing music from their stirring Work Songs album with a stunning audio-visual live show (Rich Mix, 14 Nov).
Renowned Vancouver-born, Brooklyn-based composer Darcy-James Argue appears with his 18-piece Secret Society ensemble during a late-night show at Kings Place (17 Nov), while scorching Scandi jazzers The Thing – testosterone-fuelled sax titan Mats Gustafsson (above right) and his skull-crushing rhythm section of bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love – will attempt to strip the paint from the walls of Rich Mix (19 Nov). They’re not the only northern Europeans in town as a veritable army of Nordic Masters, from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, appear en masse at the Southbank Centre (19 Nov) for a daylong series of events. These include a double bill at the Royal Festival Hall featuring bewitching traditional Norwegian sounds from singer Sinikka Langeland alongside trumpeter Arve Henriksen, saxophonist Trygve Seim and the stunning voices of Trio Mediaeval, before a sure-to-be stonking electronica-jazz-prog show from the kings of crossover cool, Jaga Jazzist (above centre). Elsewhere the Clore Ballroom will host free-stage performances from former Miles Davis percussionist Marilyn Mazur with her exuberant all-female 11-piece band, plus fiery Finnish trumpeter Verneri Pohjola, who will unleash the vivid jazz-rock of his latest album, Pekka. Finally, the Swedish Tolvan Big Band will play some bold contemporary jazz that’s earnt them a rep worthy of collaborations with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie and Michael Brecker.
These shows join those already announced in Jazzwise (media partners of the festival), which include: Keith Tippett Octet with Matthew Bourne (Kings Place, 10 Nov), Michael Janisch Quartet with Rez Abbasi, Henry Spencer’s Juncture, Zhenya Strigalev Trio (Rich Mix, 10 Nov); Tomasz Stańko’s New York Quartet (Cadogan Hall, 10 Nov); Zakir Hussain’s Crosscurrents with Dave Holland and Chris Potter (Barbican, 11 Nov); Andy Sheppard Quartet (Kings Place, 11 Nov); John Surman and John Warren’s The Traveller’s Tale (Kings Place, 12 Nov); Miles Mosley and the West Coast Get Down (Islington Assembly Hall, 12 Nov); Brad Mehldau/Chris Thile (Barbican, 12 Nov); Led Bib, Schnellertollermeier and WorldService Project (Rich Mix, 12 Nov); Marcus Miller (RFH, 12 Nov); Richard Pite’s 1957: A Jazz Jukebox (Cadogan Hall, 12 Nov); Knower (Scala, 13 Nov); Trombone Shorty (Shepherd’s Bush Empire, 13 Nov); Paolo Conte (RFH, 13 Nov); Abdullah Ibrahim/Hugh Masekela Jazz Epistles (RFH, 14 Nov); Cory Henry & The Funk Apostles (KOKO, 14 Nov); Justin Kauflin Trio plus Airelle Besson and Vincent Segal (Wigmore Hall, 16 Nov); Nik Bärtsch (Wigmore Hall, 17 Nov); Jay Rayner’s Quartet (Cadogan Hall, 17 Nov); Pharoah Sanders’ Quartet, Denys Baptiste’s The Late Trane band and Alina Bzhezhinska’s Quartet with Tony Kofi (Barbican, 18 Nov) and Terrence Blanchard with the BBC Concert Orchestra (Barbican, 19 Nov), among many others.
– Mike Flynn
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