The latest names announced for this year’s EFG London Jazz Festival, which runs from 15 to 24 November, ad include several concerts seeking fresh perspectives on the music’s past. These include a collaboration between influential promoters Total Refreshment Centre and iconic jazz label Blue Note, which marks its 80th anniversary this year, with a night featuring some of the hottest names from London’s resurgent ‘new-jazz’ scene, reinterpreting classics by artists associated with the imprint such as Elvin Jones, Horace Silver and Bobby Hutcherson (Queen Elizabeth Hall, 15 Nov). This show is complemented by north London’s imaginative monthly Jazz in the Round showcase, which presents ‘Tributes to our Musical Heroes’ with six-piece band Hexagonal playing the music of Bheki Mseleku and McCoy Tyner; Brit-jazz bass boss Dave Green saluting Oscar Pettiford and Jimmy Blanton and guitarist Rob Luft (above right) with his take on Grant Green’s distinctive style (Kings Place, 22 Nov).
Elsewhere, there’s a spiritual jazz summit featuring former Charles Mingus and Max Roach saxophonist Gary Bartz (above centre) as part of a night under Gilles Peterson’s We Out Here banner, which also includes soul-shaking vocalist Dwight Trible and rising stars Maisha (Royal Festival Hall, 16 Nov); while there’s an evening of avant-garde electronica with Brighton-based musician Gazelle Twin collaborating with ‘drone choir’ NYX, who create visceral soundscapes with an edgy operatic twist (QEH, 20 Nov). Vocalist/performance artist Elaine Mitchener (above left) also pushes boundaries with her ‘Vocal Classics of the Black Avant-Garde’, which features her group of saxophonist/MD Jason Yarde, trumpeter Byron Wallen, pianist Alexander Hawkins, bassist Neil Charles, drummer Mark Sanders and poet Dante Micheaux, all performning the music of Eric Dolphy, Archie Shepp, Joseph Jarman, and Jeanne Lee, among others (Purcell Room, 21 Nov).
Further shows just announced include rising star singer Judi Jackson (Islington Assembly Hall, 17 Nov); African cellist Abel Selaocoe and Austrian percussionist Bernhard Schimpelsberger (Kings Place, 20 Nov); Pulled By Magnets featuring Seb Rochford, Pete Wareham and Neil Charles (St John on Bethnal Green, 21 Nov); and Get The Blessing’s 20th Anniversary concert (Moth Club, 23 Nov). These shows join those already announced in Jazzwise, who are festival media partners.
– Mike Flynn
For the full line-up and tickets www.efglondonjazzfestival.org.uk