Recordings by the award-winning British jazz label Dune Records, founded in 1996 by bassist and Jazz Warrior alumnus Gary Crosby and his partner Janine Irons, will begin being distributed in the US this fall with the September 7th release of Conversations With The Unseen (DUNECD08) by alto saxophonist/rapper Soweto Kinch and Massive (DUNECD06) by the Jazz Jamaica All Stars, an expanded version of the "skazz" (ska/jazz) band Jazz Jamaica Crosby has led since its inception in 1991. Dune is distributed in the US by Synergy Distribution (www.synergydistribution.com).
SOWETO KINCH - Winner of the 2004 BBC Jazz Awards for Best Instrumentalist and Best Band, Soweto Kinch launched his solo career with the April 2003 release in the UK and Europe of his recording debut as a leader, the critically acclaimed and entirely self-penned Conversations With The Unseen (Dune CD08) which seamlessly blends Charlie Parker with Q-tip in an original fusion of straight ahead jazz with funky hip-hop and rap. The British publication Jazz Express hailed the recording as " one of the best and most original British jazz albums ever made."
An exceptionally gifted, self-taught musician who was born in London in 1978, Kinch started playing clarinet when he was eight and switched to the alto when he was nine. Like many of the rising stars of British jazz, he is a graduate of the Tomorrow’s Warriors youth jazz development program. Though his music is firmly rooted in jazz and has a strong respect for the tradition Kinch is often compared to the late great Jamaican alto saxophonist Joe Harriott he is constantly exploring his own relationship with the music while integrating other styles. Other recent awards in the UK include the Mercury Music Prize (UK) for An Album Of The Year, the MOBO Award (UK) for Best Jazz Act in 2003, and the BBC Rising Star Jazz Award and Montreux Jazz Festival International Young Saxophonist of the Year Award (White Foundation Prize) in 2002.
One of the few jazz artists with a degree in Modern History from Oxford University, Kinch cites Courtney Pine, Denys Baptiste and Gary Crosby as his main mentors and made his recording debut in 2001 with Crosby's Jazz Jamaica All Stars. He performed with the legendary Jamaican guitarist Ernest Ranglin (Crosby’s uncle) at the 2003 WOMAD festival and moonlights as a member of Pop Idol’s backup band The Big Blue. Kinch continues to push the envelope with the August 2004 release in the UK and Europe of his first single, Jazz Planet (DUNESD001), a hip-hop take on what the world be like if jazz ruled the planet made possible by Dune Records and the 2004 Peter Whittingham Award for Jazz Innovation.
WHAT THE BRITISH PRESS HAS SAID ABOUT SOWETO KINCH:
This dynamic young altoist with his tight, dynamic band has won just about every prize the British jazz world offers. His debut album Conversations With the Unseen successfully mixed post bop acoustic jazz with hip-hop beats and some witty rap action with an ease few have managed to date. The recording remains one of the most promising debuts of recent years in any genre. BBC Jazz
A wonderfully vibrant rewriting of jazz as up-to-the-minute British music. Mercury Award Jury
A new British original with the confidence, skill and vision to take the music far. The Guardian
A spectacular musician. The Observer
The buzz about saxophonist Soweto Kinch has reached deafening proportions. Jazzwise
JAZZ JAMAICA ALL STARS - Founded in 1991 and led ever since by bassist Gary Crosby, this incredible skazz (ska/jazz) ensemble returns to the international stage with a brand new album and an expanded world-class all-star line-up including such luminaries on the British jazz scene as saxophonist Andy Sheppard and trombonist Annie Whitehead.
Inspired by the rhythms of traditional Jamaican music and the largely improvisational nature of jazz, original Jazz Warrior, and veteran jazz double bassist, Gary Crosby turned a musical concept into a joyful reality. Crosby’s concept was to create a quintessential fusion of mento, ska, reggae and jazz, playing classic and modern jazz standards like Wayne Shorter’s "Footprints" and Herbie Hancock’s "Dolphin Dance" alongside Jamaican pop songs like "My Boy Lollipop" and "Confucious." The result was Jazz Jamaica. Since its inception, Crosby has developed the Jazz Jamaica concept by introducing a stream of talented young jazz musicians like saxophonists Denys Baptiste and Soweto Kinch, increasing the size of the pool of "Jazz Jamaicans" and enabling him to extend the boundaries of the music played. Collectively, Crosby and his musicians represent the finest exponents of this unique musical fusion known as skazz.
UPCOMING DUNE RELEASES IN THE US:
Let Freedom Ring! (DUNECD010) by the Mercury/MOBO award winning tenor saxophonist and composer Denys Baptiste, an uplifting and inspirational suite composed in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s historic "I Have A Dream" that combines modern jazz, gospel and blues elements and Afro-Cuban rhythms with the poetry of Ben Okri.
Motown Reloaded (DUNECD012), by Jazz Jamaica’s core 10-piece group that includes Crosby, Baptiste and Kinch, pay tribute to the legacy of the famed Detroit based label and its enormous contribution to the world of great music with "skazz" covers of Motown classics. Jazz Jamaica’s first ‘small band’ format CD since 1998, this album promises to get you "Dancing In The Streets"!
Jazz Warrior (DUNECD011) is the recording debut as a leader of trumpeter Abram Wilson, a graduate of the New Orleans Center For Creative Arts who currently lives in the UK and is the first non-British artist signed to Dune who is featured on voice and trumpet on Kinch’s and Baptiste’s CDs. Set for release in the UK and Europe in September 2004, the recording returns dance to jazz with a blend of improvisation, hip hop, R&B and New Orleans grooves that resoundingly demonstrates Abram’s acute sense of both tradition and the "now."