Neo-soul songstress Corinne Bailey Rae was born in Leeds, England, in 1979 to a British mother and West Indian father. Displaying an interest in music from an early age, Rae studied classical violin until she acquired an electric guitar in her early teens. Inspired by such '90s alt-rock icons as L7, Veruca Salt, and Belly, Rae formed her first band, the all-female indie rock outfit Helen.
At his heart Joe Bonamassa is a blues player and it was for this evening at Shepherd’s Bush Empire that he elected to put on a display highlighting his true love of the genre. Backed by a full horn section, Bonamassa rolled through blues-tinged stalwarts from his vast collection.
The Borderline, a small club in the heart of London was chosen to stage a revival of Bonamassa’s early career power-trio jam nights. Armed with a Fender Stratocaster – Bonamassa along with a single drummer and bassist launched into a setlist marked with extended takes of songs from his first set of albums including some never before performed live on stage.
The premiere Cuban music group Irakere has played Ronnie Scott's club in London regularly since 1985. Their Jazz House CD starts out with a throwaway salsa vocal piece, then has two impressive showcases for German Velazco (one apiece on alto and soprano). "Stella By Stalight" (which in Spanish is "Estella Va A Estallar") is swung hard and the closing, nearly 17-minute rendition of Dave Brubeck's "The Duke" has explosive yet lyrical piano playing by Chucho Valdes and some shouting choruses worthy of the Count Basie Orchestra. Overall this is one of Irakere's jazz recordings that is easily recommended.