Tributes to Ornette Coleman champion Victor Schonfield who has died at the age of 81

A champion of Ornette Coleman in the 1960s on this side of the Atlantic the writer, promoter and political activist Victor Schonfield has died aged 81. The Wire report he died on 3 May. Tributes include this from journalist Conrad Landin who wrote …

Published: 12 May 2022. Updated: 5 days.

A champion of Ornette Coleman in the 1960s on this side of the Atlantic the writer, promoter and political activist Victor Schonfield has died aged 81. The Wire report he died on 3 May. Tributes include this from journalist Conrad Landin who wrote on Twitter: ''Sorry to read that Victor Schonfield, a key figure in the first few decades of @CLPD_Labour [The Campaign for Labour Party Democracy] and a distinguished jazz critic and promoter, has died. Like most of CLPD’s leading figures he never sought the political limelight – but his contribution to the movement was huge.''

The writer Adam Horovitz, son of the late beat poet Michael Horovitz, also recalled Schonfield on social media describing him as ''One of the great champions of experimental music and jazz in the UK who, with my father & Pete Brown, put on Ornette Coleman’s first gig in Europe, and who did so much more besides'' adding ''Our families have been connected in friendship for over 80 years now, but it’s Victor I want to remember at this moment: his gleeful enthusiasms, his avuncular kindness, his occasional thunderous sternness (at times when it was needed) which gave way always to a gentle word.''

Tributes on Faceboook also included words from Jon Lansman of Momentum renown: ''I remember Victor with great affection from his days of activity in the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy in the 1980s in which he played the crucial roles of chief trade union organiser and treasurer, and was a vital element in building the successful coalition that enabled CLPD to reshape the Labour Party in the late 70s and early 1980s… I reconnected with Victor after Jeremy Corbyn won the leadership in 2015. He was as warm and supportive as ever, delighted that his work had eventually borne those fruits. He is a great loss to us all but his work will continue to bear fruit.''

The funeral is today at 10.30am in the west chapel of the West London Crematorium on the Harrow Road in London. Photo: Ni vu ni connu

Tags: The latest jazz: right now

Emma Rawicz, Incantation ****

It's easy to hype new artists as if they are the best thing since sliced bread. You read a lot of that out there about the UK scene when there is an understandable pride among local writers about its strength. Add that to a certain lack of context …

Published: 11 May 2022. Updated: 6 days.

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It's easy to hype new artists as if they are the best thing since sliced bread. You read a lot of that out there about the UK scene when there is an understandable pride among local writers about its strength. Add that to a certain lack of context and writers trying to make a name for themselves as tastemakers. After all does this new generation negate what previous generations achieved? And actually while at it does it even compare qualitatively? The jury is out on that. However, while stepping back and being cautious from overstating I am thinking of last year hearing saxist/flautist/vocalist Emma Rawicz for the first time and listening now to her debut. Is it as good as I had thought? Certainly she can play brilliantly live. Most of the compositions here are new to me. She had played some other originals that 2021 night at the Vortex that aren't here while some are. They are strong, metrically ambitious and complicated in a structural sense but not overly oblique. I'm less sure of the Wayne Shorter comparison I made at the time. Now I'd add a certain affinity with Trish Clowes although Rawicz's approach is less pastoral and more modernistic while not throwing out melodicism. ''Rocket science'' guitarist the boffin-like Ant Law she played with that night I heard her live back in September and he is excellent soloing on 'Mantra' and when he rocks out on 'Wishbone' otherwise the rest of the band are new to me. Among these I was impressed most on Incantation by pianist Scottie Thompson. But it's Rawicz who leads from the front, injects a knowing personality that even extends to vocalese, vocalising wordlessly to instrumental lines, on 'Omen' and as at the Vortex that night also playing flute. I'll publish a list soon of the best UK jazz albums so far this year. With the coolest head on my shoulders today this will certainly be high up, guaranteed. A notable achievement so early in her career for composition especially – and then there is everything else. SG

Link to stream and download the album and which is also available on CD via Bandcamp