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Sons of Kemet make Billboard jazz top 10

It's rare for a UK jazz act to make the top 10 of the US Billboard jazz chart. It is also unusual for a record other than Kind of Blue or Frank Sinatra's greatest hits to be there! So Sons of Kemet's Black to the Future making the chart, at no, 7, …

Published: 29 May 2021. Updated: 26 days.

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It's rare for a UK jazz act to make the top 10 of the US Billboard jazz chart. It is also unusual for a record other than Kind of Blue or Frank Sinatra's greatest hits to be there! So Sons of Kemet's Black to the Future making the chart, at no, 7, is quite an achievement. Without getting too carried away the band's ranking in the nearest UK equivalent fell this week after debuting at 2 to 4. As discussed last week it also did not chart as well as expected in the main UK charts.

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One can't be naive given that Universal who own Impulse have the marketing and publicity clout to suitably promote an artist like no other which of course is a plus although the stakes are usually high and artists can and do get dropped like a stone by big outfits for reasons solely to do with one thing – the endlessly diverting pastime of amassing shed loads of that ever popular paper product of note unavailable in conventional stationery outlets, fiilthy lucre.

In the top 10 of the UK jazz charts (which also factors in the blues so you get two big genres colliding sometimes where there is overlap sometimes not at all) this week the only surprise is that again, with a major label involved (BMG) plus a lot of controversy fuelling headlines, that Van Morrison's Latest Record Project Vol. 1 has gone up. In the US that double album is no. 2 in the separate Billboard blues chart but falling and isn't counted in the jazz chart reckoning.

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Base Face Pizza

There's always a place for a feel good story especially when it involves in the backdrop some of the best things in life: jazz, quality playing, pizza, a certain ingenuity, talent, and doing something for the community that captures the imagination …

Published: 28 May 2021. Updated: 27 days.

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There's always a place for a feel good story especially when it involves in the backdrop some of the best things in life: jazz, quality playing, pizza, a certain ingenuity, talent, and doing something for the community that captures the imagination and develops a life force of its own in the process.

And did we mention a change of direction? Because for bassist Tim Thornton, stylistically Britain's very own Christian McBride, the challenge now on is starting up a pizza restaurant after a rollercoaster of a ride during lockdown. There is spookily even a feelgood mystic pizza feel to the whole thing given that Thornton put out an album called The Feel Good Place back in 2015.

Chances were back in those days that if you ever stayed over for the Late Late Show at Ronnie Scott’s you’ll have come across scene regular Thornton. Pizza wasn't necessarily what you had in mind back then. But with his big meaty tone and swinging sound with The Feelgood Place three years on from New Kid, stocked with plenty of his own compositions, you wouldn’t have gone far wrong.

Fast forward to a story on The South West Londoner website who pick up the slack mentioning how long since as a chef on the side Thornton baked pizza in his driveway during lockdown for charity and is now opening his own restaurant Base Face Pizza in Hammersmith. “I was making pizzas and giving them away to neighbours, friends and anyone who wanted one, just asking for donations to the NHS and not charging for them… over the first year I ended up doing roughly 6,000 pizzas,” he told the site's Stevie Thomas.

Thornton

So if King Street's your manor 9 June is the opening date. Show your boat race, why not. Here's a link to Tim's place in Hammersmith which punningly and aptly enough is called Base Face Pizza. And into the autumn bubbling up for a September release look for Luca Boscagin and Jason Rebello's marvellous Ghost Light (Babel) because a version of Tim's piece 'Passengers' is a tremendous highlight of the album and deserved, oh go on then, pizza-the-action.