FOLLOWING HER signing to Naim Records earlier this year the trumpeter/flugelhorn player Yazz Ahmed’s first album for the label, the Rhodes and vibes-flavoured Arabic electrojazz modal La Saboteuse is set for a May release. As a composer her work ‘Polyhymnia’ has already been commissioned by Tomorrow’s Warriors and premiered by the all-female Nu Civilisation Orchestra performed at the Women of the World Festival inspired by such icons as the first Saudi female film director Haifaa al-Mansour; Ruby Bridges, the first African-American child to desegregate an all-white elementary school in the southern USA; and Nobel peace prize winner Malala Yousafzai, shot by the Taliban just for going to school.

Ahmed, a British-Bahrani who beyond jazz sessions appeared on Radiohead’s 2011 album The King of Limbs (she's on tracks that including ‘Bloom,’ see her on flugel in the Radiohead video for the track, top) on La Saboteuse is joined by vibist Lewis Wright of Empirical, Sons of Kemet’s Shabaka Hutchings on bass clarinet and Naadia Sherriff on Fender Rhodes.

Ahmed is quoted on her Bandcamp page describing the project: “I love the sounds of Arabic music. The traditional folk singing is so heartfelt, elemental and passionate. I absorbed it as a child, but only in the past few years has it come to the surface in my playing and writing. I want to embrace my culture and my British jazz heritage, the music my grandfather played to me.” Listen to album excerpts, above

Misha Mullov-Abbado has a new album called Cross-Platform Interchange featuring his own compositions to be released in May. The bassist’s second album this one is produced by Duncan Bridgeman and features in the band James Davison on trumpet & flugelhorn, Matthew Herd on alto sax, San Rapley on tenor sax and clarinet, Liam Dunachie on piano and Fender Rhodes, Scott Chapman on drums and Elad Neeman, percussion. Listen to a track above. Mullov-Abbado, a son of famous musical parents – violinist Viktoria Mullova and the conductor Claudio Abbado – debuted as a leader in 2015, his open acoustic chamber-jazz style touching on modern mainstream bop-derived stylings that tapped into various strands of jazz, with Mingus the guiding light.
Edition records label mate pianist Alexi Tuomarila also has a new record out in May (again listen above to a sample track) a trio affair called Kingdom featuring Seven Hills bassist Mats Eilertsen and drummer Olavi Louhivuori. The album includes a version of Bob Dylan’s ‘The times they are a-changin’.
Here’s a tremendous slice of the studio album debut from the vibrant eight-piece Bokanté (a word from the Creole language meaning “Exchange”) due this summer. Snarky Puppy’s Michael League plays baritone guitar here as an alternative to his more usual bass guitar and on the album he is joined by a thumpingly eclectic band fronted by Montreal based Guadeloupian vocalist Malika Tirolien. And the good news, that is if you are looking to hear them and you are anywhere nearby, is that they hit England for dates this summer, playing the Manchester international festival on 6 July and Union Chapel, London the following night.