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Month

April 2019

letters@jazzwise.com (Mike Flynn)

This year’s Jazz FM Awards ceremony took place at Shoreditch Town Hall, London on Tuesday 30 April (UNESCO International Jazz Day), with the winners reflecting the strength and vibrancy of the UK and US jazz scenes. Among those taking home gongs were emerging London-based saxophonist Cassie Kinoshi, who is making waves with her SEED Ensemble, winning Breakthrough Act of the Year, while fiery fast-rising tenorist Nubya Garcia won the public vote for the UK Jazz Act of the Year.

More established artists among the winners included expat US saxophonist (and former Jazz Messenger) Jean Toussaint, who won Instrumentalist of the Year, while Shabaka Hutchings’ incendiary four-piece Sons Of Kemet won the public vote for their all-conquering Your Queen Is A Reptile in the Album of the Year category. Transatlantic triumphs included drummer/producer Makaya McCraven winning International Jazz Act of the Year; tenor titan Kamasi Washington’s spontaneous appearance at south London’s Steam Down venue helped it and its live jazz collective scoop Live Experience of the Year and leading US guitarist and singer Eric Bibb was named Blues Artist of the Year.

The Blue Note record label’s 80th anniversary this year was also recognised with its president, Don Was, receiving the PPL Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to him by old friend, and The Beatles drummer, Ringo Starr. The night’s other special award saw Quincy Jones’ vocal protégé Jacob Collier collect the PRS for Music Gold Award. Hosted by Jazz FM presenters Chris Philips and Jez Nelson, there were live performances from singer Beverley Knight, who paid tribute to late-great soul-jazz vocal legend Aretha Franklin, while the high-energy Steam Down Collective closed out the show in emphatic style with a guest appearance from Makaya McCraven on drums.

Mike Flynn

For more details visit www.jazzfmawards.com

The full list of winners is as follows:

Breakthrough Act: Cassie Kinoshi

The Digital Award: Louis Cole

The Innovation Award: Steam Down

Instrumentalist Of The Year: Jean Toussaint

International Jazz Act Of The Year: Makaya McCraven

Soul Act Of The Year: Poppy Ajudha

Blues Act Of The Year: Eric Bibb

Vocalist Of The Year: Cherise Adams-Burnett

UK Jazz Act (Public Vote): Nubya Garcia

Album Of The Year (Public Vote): Sons Of Kemet – Your Queen Is A Reptile

Live Experience Of The Year (Public Vote): Steam Down featuring Kamasi Washington

PRS for Music Gold Award: Jacob Collier

PPL Lifetime Achievement Award: Don Was and Blue Note Records

 

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letters@jazzwise.com (Mike Flynn)

This year’s Jazz FM Awards ceremony took place at Shoreditch Town Hall, London on Tuesday 30 April (UNESCO International Jazz Day), with the winners reflecting the strength and vibrancy of the UK and US jazz scenes. Among those taking home gongs were emerging London-based saxophonist Cassie Kinoshi, who is making waves with her SEED Ensemble, winning Breakthrough Act of the Year, while fiery fast-rising tenorist Nubya Garcia won the public vote for the UK Jazz Act of the Year.

More established artists among the winners included expat US saxophonist (and former Jazz Messenger) Jean Toussaint, who won Instrumentalist of the Year, while Shabaka Hutchings’ incendiary four-piece Sons Of Kemet won the public vote for their all-conquering Your Queen Is A Reptile in the Album of the Year category. Transatlantic triumphs included drummer/producer Makaya McCraven winning International Jazz Act of the Year; tenor titan Kamasi Washington’s spontaneous appearance at south London’s Steam Down venue helped it and its live jazz collective scoop Live Experience of the Year and leading US guitarist and singer Eric Bibb was named Blues Artist of the Year.

The Blue Note record label’s 80th anniversary this year was also recognised with its president, Don Was, receiving the PPL Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to him by old friend, and The Beatles drummer, Ringo Starr. The night’s other special award saw Quincy Jones’ vocal protégé Jacob Collier collect the PRS for Music Gold Award. Hosted by Jazz FM presenters Chris Philips and Jez Nelson, there were live performances from singer Beverley Knight, who paid tribute to late-great soul-jazz vocal legend Aretha Franklin, while the high-energy Steam Down Collective closed out the show in emphatic style with a guest appearance from Makaya McCraven on drums.

Mike Flynn

For more details visit www.jazzfmawards.com

The full list of winners is as follows:

Breakthrough Act: Cassie Kinoshi

The Digital Award: Louis Cole

The Innovation Award: Steam Down

Instrumentalist Of The Year: Jean Toussaint

International Jazz Act Of The Year: Makaya McCraven

Soul Act Of The Year: Poppy Ajudha

Blues Act Of The Year: Eric Bibb

Vocalist Of The Year: Cherise Adams-Burnett

UK Jazz Act (Public Vote): Nubya Garcia

Album Of The Year (Public Vote): Sons Of Kemet – Your Queen Is A Reptile

Live Experience Of The Year (Public Vote): Steam Down featuring Kamasi Washington

PRS for Music Gold Award: Jacob Collier

PPL Lifetime Achievement Award: Don Was and Blue Note Records

 

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Music Freelance A guide to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8

Rating: 
0

Premiere: Redoutensaal, Vienna

27 February 1814

 

Style and reception:

The Eighth Symphony was composed in 1812, when Beethoven was 42, and completed only six months after the Seventh, an unusually short gestation period for him. Sketches show that the original intention was for it to be a piano concerto, but as with all masterpieces it is impossible for us to imagine its being any different from the way it is. Its initial reception was cooler than that accorded to its predecessor, which is so much more evidently revolutionary. 

In fact, the Eighth, which is the shortest of the symphonies, has been and still often is taken to be a lightweight work compared with the others, and mentions of its 'Haydnesque' character are common. All told, it seems the most misunderstood of the symphonies, most of the others, whatever their complexities, having an evident character. The Eighth is wilfully deceptive literally from the opening bar, and continues throughout to play games with the listener's expectations. It manages to go on being surprising, even disconcerting, however often you listen to it.

 

 

 

Character: 

It opens on what seems a genial note, though the first subject is abrupt and seemingly self-contained, and it soon becomes apparent that the movement is going to be full of syncopations – open any page of the score and you'll see sforzando marks all over it. What is more surprising is the range of possibilities that brusque opening contains, with some of Beethoven's longest and most energetic stretches of development. There are strange calm passages which get dismissed, and the overall impression is of disruptive high spirits.

There is no slow movement.

The second is marked Allegretto scherzando, and is said to have been provoked by the recent invention of the metronome: it certainly ticks throughout, and there is a mock-innocent quality to it which leaves one feeling pleasantly bemused. The scherzo is followed by a minuet: another small revolution, which turns out to verge on the threatening, with a turgid string figure at odds with the horn-saturated lyricism which outweighs it. Then follows the rapid finale, the most unsettling movement of all.

 

 

 

This was Stravinsky's favourite Beethoven symphony, and one sees why: ferocious syncopations, sudden intrusions of trumpet and drum, vehement silences, the intent to disconcert in a playful, but also almost demonic way. It has the effect of a joke which one can see is funny, but still doesn't quite understand. The other symphonies we love because they affirm what we feel are, or should be, our deepest values. This one leaves us asking if we are really sure about what they are.

 

 

Recommended recording: 

Distinguished recordings of the Eighth are not rare, but to seize it in all its aspects turns out to be reserved for peculiar temperaments. An Eloquence recording from 1970 under Claudio Abbado, paired with a noble account of Bruckner's First Symphony, is a highly recommended modern-ish recording; but if you can tolerate decent mono sound, then Sir Thomas Beecham (Sony Classical) and Hans Knappertsbusch (Orfeo) are truly Jove-like.

Vienna Philharmonic/Claudio Abbado

Australian Eloquence ELQ4805952

 

 

 

Words by Michael Tanner. This article first appeared in the December 2015 issue of BBC Music Magazine.

 

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Diamanda Galás returns to digital streaming platforms and announces physical reissue campaign

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Rupert Clervaux releases his debut solo album

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“There was something about the clicking of the shutter and…

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jfl On ClassicsToday: LSO Beethoven – Great Names, Pleasant But So-So Performances

The Reasonably Splendid And The Ho-Hum in LSO-Beethovenby Jens F. Laurson
Maria João Pires is a treasure, no question, and in Beethoven’s high-classical Second piano concerto it’s great to hear her make the most of what could be considered the weakest link of Beethoven’s set of five. What works in her favor is that Pires achieves… Continue Reading

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Dogtown Records release 1973 studio session by Sounds Of Liberation

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Freya Parr Free Download: Joseph Swensen plays Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto

'Faster speeds than usual, no excess sentiment but plenty of love'

This week's free download is the third and final movement of Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto, performed by violinist Joseph Swensen with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and recorded on Linn. The disc it appears on was our Concerto Choice in the February issue of BBC Music Magazine.

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