Over the last 18 months a new wave of young trendy jazz musicians has been sweeping the UK. The leaders of this new group are rapidly turning into a new Jazz Rat Pack - winning awards, selling out concerts, crossing over into national newspapers, national TV and Radio and international sales. Singers Jamie Cullum and Clare Teal are the most high profile, while Dennis Rollins, Dylan Howe, Ben Castle, Soweto Kinch and others are all challenging the conventional underground jazz business, breaking out and making jazz popular, cool and trendy to a new younger market.
Things are really hotting up within the new UK Jazz Rat Pack. Jazz sensations Clare Teal and million pound Verve signing Jamie Cullum have been pitted against each other in the nominations for the annual BBC Jazz Awards - both are nominated for "Rising Star", however Clare Teal is breaking new ground by also being nominated in a second catagory "Best Vocalist". Luckily there will be no hard feelings however comes away with an award as it is a well known fact that Jamie and Clare are close friends. In fact, news has just reached me from Clare's management that Jamie has recorded a duet with Clare for her new album which should be in the shops on September 8th. Clare is the first vocalist to be nominated for anything other than a vocal award at the BBC Jazz Awards. Another young "Rat Pack"musician Dylan Howe, son of legendary "Yes" guitarist Steve Howe, is rumoured to have signed a multi album deal with a new UK jazz label while leading funk tromboneist Dennis Rollins is receiving massive critical acclaim for his new album "Make Your Move".