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Andrea Vicari interviewed jazz great Peter Erskine in London to discuss his latest projects, new CD and career to date. May 2018.
Andre Vicari interviewed trumpeter Yazz Ahmed to discuss her projects and career to date. May 2018
Andrea Vicari interviewed Bad Plus pianist Ethan Iverson to discuss his career to date and recent tour of Britain. May 2018
Andrea Vicari interviewed saxophonist and educator Martin Speake, to discuss his latest CD called Intention and upcoming tour. May 2018
Andrea Vicari interviewed pianist Bruno Heinen ahead of his UK tour, March 2018.
Jazz London Radio unleashes a new DJ to the internet waves. DJ Timbo will play music fusing house, techno, lounge and other forms of electronic music every weekend between 10pm and midnight plus occasionally during weeknights. See Timbo’s bio below
Timbo (Tim Burrell) started DJ’ing in the mid 90’s. He soon started playing warm up sets at London’s legendary ‘The Cross’ nightclub, along with a Saturday night slot at a pirate radio station in North West London. Tim juggled his DJ’ing with a sound engineering career, training in some of London’s top recording and mixing studios. He later moved onto CD Mastering, where he mastered some of the first DJ mix CD’s such as the revered “Journeys By a DJ” series. In 1996 Tim also mastered, DJ’d, and compiled one of the first DJ mix albums from CD using a Sony CD Player with varispeed (well before Pioneer came on the scene). Tim progressed onto vinyl cutting at London’s Townhouse studios where he mastered The Orb’s 1997 album “Orblivion”, Lily Allen’s 2006 debut album “Alright, Still”, and remastered all of Pulp’s back catalogue. Tim has released some of his own creations and remixes under the DON(1) and Yaqui Tribe moniker.
Tim’s DJ style has it’s roots in the original house sound of Chicago, the Balearics, and the New York Garage of the early 90’s. Tim will play anything from a 1991 Garage classic to a contemporary Deep or Tech House track. Many of the Deep House records currently released continue to tip their hat to that original Chicago style. Tim uses a combination of Technics SL1210’s and Traktor.
Jazzlive At The Crypt, St Giles Church, Camberwell Church street, London SE5 8JB
Trumpeters Chris Hodgkins and Kevin Davy, guitarist Deirdre Cartwright, vocalist Emily Saunders and pianist Andrea Vicari – the Jazz London Radio presenters take to the bandstand.
Jazz London Radio believes in playing quality music 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Presenters share that passion and they bring that mentality to the station on a daily basis. They are significant figures on the jazz scene, either in jazz administration or as important composers who have released great records over the years. The Presenters will get together for a night of top class jazz, performing their best compositions together for the delight of The Crypt and the EFG London Jazz Festival.
Get your tickets here
2017 is turning out to be an interesting year for new music. I feature the latest releases to arrive at Jazz London Radio on a weekly basis and some quality stuff has been coming through so far.
An album I received with great anticipation was the new release by singer songwriter & guitarist Juliana Hatfield called Pussycat on the wonderfully named American Laundromat record label. This is Juliana’s second release on American Laundromat after “Whatever, My Love” by the Juliana Hatfield Three was released in 2015.
My first impression when the CD hits the deck is how live it is. From the first track “I Wanna Be Your Disease”, the record has a first take feel to it, which is a good thing because it means these tunes can easily be interpreted in a live performance. This is the classic Juliana sound, her voice is in great shape, I would say slightly an octave lower from the early 1990s when I discovered her music; but with that lively bounce we’ve come to expect and love.
The early 1990s was a great time for music. There were two strands to the indie scene, over in England (Britain) we had groups like Blur, Oasis, Lightning Seeds, Cranberries coming through, and lesser known but interesting bands like Blueboy, Stereolab, Elastica and Inspiral Carpets. Whilst in America they were ahead of the curve, Jane’s Addiction was already making waves by the late 1980s, followed quickly by Nirvana and R.E.M.
However, the indie scene was a varied one, which included bands like Don Caballero and Tortoise who made instrumental music which progressive jazz people could get into. What made the indie scene was that whatever the style of music, it was raw and could be easily reproduced on stage; and melody was often paramount. That might sound contradictory to the term “raw” but go back and listen again and it becomes clear how much melodies were going on.
Juliana was instrumental in that scene; being part of The Lemonheads and Blake Babies; releasing her debut “Hey Babe” in 1992 then forming the Juliana Hatfield Three in 1993 releasing “Become What You Are” on Atlantic Records. Since then Juliana has released an incredible array of music both electric and acoustic but always with melody and great riffs at the heart of it. “Pussycat” definitely follows the trend of not only well produced tuneful rock, but with hard hitting subjects which Juliana is so good at writing; Juliana is not afraid to tackle issues or put the boot in if she feels it’s necessary! I have read that Pussycat is an angry album, even her “angriest ever”. I see it as a mix of social commentary on the state of the American political scene and some angst, something that has been disappearing from music in recent times in the mad scramble to sound conformist and make as much money as possible.
In the 1980s bands like Big Audio Dynamite turned social commentary into an art form, tackling complex issues with wit and humour, in the manner of the old great calypsonians from Trinidad. On the track Impossible Song Juliana asks “Why Can’t We Get Along?” That doesn’t sound angry to me, more of a plea for getting together and showing some unity in the world, acknowledging differences and overcoming them, being more tolerant of each other.
But for sure, it is a hard hitting record; “Short Fingered Man” a damming verdict on “vulgarians” who have come to prominence and power in recent times. “Everything is Forgiven” is perhaps the most hard hitting track, whilst Good Enough For Me and Kellyanne is classic Juliana, punchy lyrics and great guitar riffs.
One thing that always amazes me is Juliana’s gift for writing pretty dark lyrics with a verve and melody which is almost ironic in itself, Patti Smith and Suzanne Vega are two other prominent female icons who manage to pull off the same trick, Nina Simone was a great artist who brought intensity during the civil rights movement of the 1960s.
There might not be as big an alternative or indie scene as there once was but there is still some great music and artists out there making something creative and of value for people who want to check that out. “Pussycat” is definitely an album of calibre; independent of mind and thought, outside the mainstream but radio friendly.
Check out my chat with Juliana about her latest release.
By Laurie Burnette
Laurie Burnette interviewed pianist Fabian Almazan, who was on a whistle stop tour in Poland with trumpeter Terence Blanchard. May 2017.