Thursday, August 20, 2009

Launch of Kevin Le Gendre Now's the Time ll

A special launch event for the new CD compilation 'Now's The Time II' (Vortex Records) will take place in the Clore Ballroom at the Royal Festival Hall next Friday 21 August starting at 5.30 p.m.

Loz Speyer, Babel artist Julie Sassoon and Jason Yarde are amongst those performing live and Kevin Le Gendre, who compiled the album, spins the tunes for this extended night of top free music.

The album features a superb set of contemporary jazz that covers everything from fusion to avant-garde and all points in between. As John Fordham wrote in the Guardian: "...... a rich contemporary mix with strong dancefloor underpinnings. **** "

This is the second Vortex release, following the successful Mercury-nominated Knee Deep In The North Sea by Portico Quartet, and is in the Vortex tradition of encouraging people towards what they might not know so well!!

Admission is free!!!!!!

The album has been compiled by broadcaster, jazz journalist and DJ Kevin Le Gendre from the best of his sadly missed 'Now's The Time' BBC London contemporary jazz radio show. AS he writes in the sleeve notes: "Improvisation, the overwhelming desire to pass comment on a given musical statement, to subtitle the title, has its place in any jazz school of thought - be it bebop, avant-garde, third stream or fusion."
Full tracklisting:

1/ William Parker Quartet - The Watermelon Song
(originally featured on 'Raining on the Moon', 2002)

2/ Lafayette Gilchrist - Unsolved, Unresolved
(originally featured on 'Towards the Shining Path', 2005)

3/ Leon Parker - Every Day
(Originally featured on ('The Simple Life', 2001)

4/ Loz Speyer's Time Zone Cuba - Katakusi
(Previously unavailable, 2005)

5/ Ron Blake - Sonic Tonic
(Originally featured on Sonic Tonic, 2005)

6/ The Bloomdaddies - Captain E
(Originally featured on Mosh for Lovers, 2002)

7/ Lost Brother - Departure
(Originally featured on Lost Brother, 2005)

8/ Steve Lehman - Vapors
(Originally featured on Demian as Posthuman, 2005)

9/ David Gilmore - Music Revolutions
(Originally featured on Ritualism, 2000)

10/ Lan Xang - Day of Fear, Night of Truth
(Originally featured on Lan Xang, 1997)

11/ Robert Glasper - Maiden Voyage
(Originally featured on Mood, 2003)

12/ Julie Sassoon - 44
(Recored at the Vortex club, 2008)

13/ Jason Yarde - Where Will it Take You
(Originally featured on

Friday, August 07, 2009

New releases on Babel - Golden Age of Steam, trioVD, Twelves Trio, Triptych, Paula Rae Gibson

Lots of names, but many of the musicians we know and love.
First will be trioVD. With a launch at the London Jazz Festival in November
Then, in early 2010, Triptych (Richard Fairhurst, Jasper Hoiby, Chris Vatalaro); Golden Age of Steam (James Allsopp, Kit Downes, Tim Giles), Twelves Trio (Riaan Vosloo, Mark Hanslip, Tim Giles, Rob Updegraff. Yes, it's actually got 4 musicians but 12/4 = 3.)
Paula Rae Gibson. Title and format not yet confirmed.

More news soon.

Vortex on The Thames

Vortex on The Thames

Thursday 17 September

From Butler's Wharf Pier on board a luxurious paddle steamer


Liane Carroll and Barb Jungr

Bringing the sound waves of British contemporary jazz to the currents of the Thames, the Vortex is proud to announce the start of a new venture: Vortex on the Thames.

For one special evening take-in the world famous views of London's skyline from onboard a beautiful paddle steamer.

The cruise will take place on Thursday 17th September and features two of the UK's finest jazz vocalists – Liane Carroll and Barb Jungr.

Liane Carroll

Having picked up just about every British jazz award going in the last few years, Liane Carroll has been recognised by critics and fans alike as one of our very finest jazz singers.

‘...gigs featuring singers are generally hugely enjoyable, informal affairs, and in Liane Carroll, the tradition finds one of its most skilful exponents. Humourous banter slips imperceptibly into medleys of originals, material by the likes of Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits...’ (Chris Parker).

Barb Jungr

Britain’s premier song stylist, Barb has recently returned from a sellout run at New York’s prestigious Cafe Carlyle for which she received rave reviews – ‘One of the very best nightclub singers in the world’ (Time Out New York).

She returns to play Vortex on the Thames with a stunning programme of songs featuring material from Yip Harburg to Leonard Cohen, Cole Parter to Marc Cohn.

Tickets & booking

Tickets £32.50

Book by phone on 020 7254 4097

Book online

50% of the profits will go to the Vortex Jazz Foundation, the charitable arm of this world-renowned jazz club, set up to promote jazz in London.


19.30 – 20.45: Boarding for ticket holders on the steamer at Butler’s Wharf Pier (South Bank near Tower Bridge).

0.45: Steamer departs Butler’s Wharf Pier and sails under Tower Bridge up to London Bridge before returning and heading downstream towards Canary Wharf.

21.15 – 22.00: First set
22.15 – 23.00: Second set

23.00: Steamer returns to Butler’s Wharf Pier – guests to disembark

This will be a spectacular evening of jazz in a spectacular setting and will hopefully be the first of many great evenings of music with Vortex on the Thames.