Daily jazz blog, Marlbank

March festival: Martin Taylor, Azamiah and Alex Hitchcock in the line-up at 2024's Aberdeen Jazz Festival

Running from 14-24 March the Aberdeen Jazz Festival is to host more than 30 events with more than 100 artists taking part at 2024's festival. Among the line-up are guitar icon Martin Taylor, Azamiah, Alan Benzie, Brian Kellock, Alex Hitchcock, …

Published: 8 Feb 2024. Updated: 3 months.

Running from 14-24 March the Aberdeen Jazz Festival is to host more than 30 events with more than 100 artists taking part at 2024's festival. Among the line-up are guitar icon Martin Taylor, Azamiah, Alan Benzie, Brian Kellock, Alex Hitchcock, Corto.Alto, Tommy Smith and Colin Steele. Check out the full programme here

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Simon Lasky Group, For the Dreamers, Ubuntu ***1/2

For The Dreamers features British pianist composer Simon Lasky’s US octet in a recording that also includes the guest presence of top British saxophonists Tim Garland and Paul Booth. Lasky says: ''Despite the challenging circumstances of its …

Published: 8 Feb 2024. Updated: 4 months.

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For The Dreamers features British pianist composer Simon Lasky’s US octet in a recording that also includes the guest presence of top British saxophonists Tim Garland and Paul Booth. Lasky says: ''Despite the challenging circumstances of its inception, the music on this record is unfailingly optimistic. It explores notions of heroism, flight, fancy and dreaming. And it's the 'American' record I always dreamed I would make”. A jazz-rock record in many respects it reminds us of 1980s and 90s fusion. It is also notable in that the record is the first time Lasky has recorded with a full horn section and vocals - Ona K is the singer here. The band has players drawn from the Tampa Bay jazz scene where Lasky now lives. Covers include 'Bye Bye Blackbird' and Joe Sample/Will Jennings classic 'Someday I'll Fly Away' synonymous with Randy Crawford's 1980 version (the latter here the best of the vocals). The pick for us overall is when the album goes into driving mode most, for instance on the horn soaked track 'The Outsiders'. And there is also a great keyboards element from Lasky on 'Tampa Strut.' Simon Lasky, photo: Jayne Drooger

Out on 22 March - listen to and watch a live performance version of album track the tender Lasky piece 'Every Day Hero,' above.