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Soweto Kinch and Jazz Jamaica on Dune Records

Albums by saxophonist-rapper Soweto Kinch (pictured) and the Jazz Jamaica All Stars will be released in the U.S. by the British jazz label Dune Records on September 7. Dune was founded in 1996 by bassist and Jazz Warrior alumnus Gary Crosby, who leads the Jazz Jamaica All Stars, and his partner Janine Irons.

Kinch’s album, Conversations With the Unseen, came out in the UK and Europe in April 2003 and was hailed by the England’s Jazz Express as “one of the best and most original British jazz albums ever made.” The album’s music is a fusion of straightahead jazz with funky hip-hop and rap. Charlie Parker meets Q-Tip, if you can hear that in your head. The 26-year-old Kinch won the 2004 BBC Jazz Awards for Best Instrumentalist and Best Band. He’s often compared to the late Jamaican alto saxophonist Joe Harriott and is a member of Crosby’s Jazz Jamaica All Stars.

The All Stars’ album, Massive, features Crosby’s 20-piece band 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” in a style that fuses mento, ska, reggae and jazz. Normally a 10-piece outfit, the band heard on the new album is filled out with special guests, including luminaries of the British jazz scene like saxophonist Andy Sheppard and trombonist Annie Whitehead.

More info on these releases and a sampling of some of the music can be found at

Dune has also informed us about these upcoming releases:

Winter 2005

Let Freedom Ring! 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” speech that combines modern jazz, gospel and blues elements and Afro-Cuban rhythms with the poetry of Ben Okri.

Motown Reloaded, by Jazz Jamaica’s core 10-piece group that includes Crosby, Baptiste and Kinch, pays tribute to the legacy of the famed Detroit-based label and its enormous contribution to the world of great music with ska-jazz covers of Motown classics.

Spring 2005

Jazz Warrior is the leader debut 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 and 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 blends improvisation, hip-hop, R&B and New Orleans grooves.

Originally Published