Buzz grows as Sultan Stevenson track streams ahead of the pianist's debut album

One of the most anticipated debut releases by a UK pianist in many years arrives next month. And ahead of the 24 March release for Faithful One album track 'Guilty by Association' is streaming. The work of the McCoy Tyner influenced Sultan Stevenson…

Published: 13 Feb 2023. Updated: 15 months.

One of the most anticipated debut releases by a UK pianist in many years arrives next month. And ahead of the 24 March release for Faithful One album track 'Guilty by Association' is streaming. The work of the McCoy Tyner influenced Sultan Stevenson, a pianist and fine writer who has been impressing all who have heard him on the London grassroots jazz club scene over the past few years, features guesting UK tenor saxophone icon Denys Baptiste - the last artist to have an album released in 2011 on the fabled Dune label - on 5 of the album's tracks which is rooted by Stevenson's trio double bassist Jacob Gryn and drummer Joel Waters plus on five tracks of the Whirlwind label release introducing trumpeter Josh Short.

Stevenson, from London of Barbadian and Vincentian lineage, is grounded in the church, bebop, swing and a wide range of music of the African diaspora. Sultan Stevenson photo: press is playing the Jazz Cafe in Camden on 31 March

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Diego Rivera, Love & Peace, Posi-Tone ***

Go on blow the blues away partying like it's 1959. While Mestizo released approaching 12 months ago is better (the addition of trumpeter Alex Sipiagin made all the difference) this from US tenorist Diego Rivera and an otherwise identical line-up is …

Published: 12 Feb 2023. Updated: 15 months.

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Go on blow the blues away partying like it's 1959. While Mestizo released approaching 12 months ago is better (the addition of trumpeter Alex Sipiagin made all the difference) this from US tenorist Diego Rivera and an otherwise identical line-up is pleasant and optimistic inhabiting the language of hard bop so naturally.

Rivera is big on melodic paraphrase and can do scurrying, scrabbling run in his sleep especially when behind him Stacey Kent pianist Art Hirahara, the Mingus Big Band bassist Boris Kozlov and the Frisellian drummer Rudy Royston superb this last year with JD Allen's latest Americana meditations, are so dependable in their swingmatism.

Pick of the album is easily a version of Horace Silver's 'Peace', a classic that in recent years on the live London scene Joey Curreri has delivered so well. The Love & Peace take on John Coltrane's 'Alabama' however needs even more gravity for an even greater outcome.