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The global tracks followed in this year's London Jazz Festival made for a memorable 10-day extravaganza
The jazz world was literally centred in London over the last few weeks, with the London Jazz Festival featuring some of the global greats.
Septuagenarian Yorkshire guitarist and Miles Davis alumnus John McLaughlin played the Barbican with fellow Tyke keyboardist Gary Husband, Cameroonian bassist Etienne Mbappe and Indian drummer Ranjit Barot.
They were prefaced by the Lancashire Bengali Arun Ghosh with the youthful "twin tenors" Idris Rahman and the Caribbean-rooted Wayne Francis, while at Ronnie Scott's there was a pulsating band led by Azerbaijani pianist Amina Figerova followed by John and Alice Coltrane's son Ravi and, at the Royal Festival Hall, Norwegian saxophonist Jan Garbarek was accompanied by Mumbai-born percussionist Trilok Gurtu.
Cafe Oto in Dalston provided a peak moment in this carnival of improvisers. There the Chicago Tentet, led by the rasping, adenoidal saxophone of Peter Brozmann gargling out his unfettered sound, included a band of Norwegians, Danes and US veterans with their mighty multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee blowing tempests from his pocket trumpet.
At Ronnie Scott's Ravi Coltrane's quartet memorably delivered Charlie Haden's Song For Turiya. Dedicated to the saxophonists's mother, it was a slow-burning tribute in which Coltrane's horn resonated movingly with intimate memories, followed by a blazing rendition of his father's stomping opus Countdown.
A stand-out too was the 82-year-old Sonny Rollins, the blood of his Virgin Islands forebears coursing through his veins, who hobbled onto the Barbican stage blasting out Sly Mongoose on his tenor horn.
It was an astonishing performance. Rollins's improvisatory powers and huge sound are still intact and when he moved on to Once In A While, his saxophone complementing his long-time bass companion Bob Cranshaw, their jazz comradeship radiated through to the final coda. At that point, the horn slipped inadvertently from Rollins's mouth - even the legends are human - and as he surged on to a brave and beautiful conclusion we heard the murmur "Oh Sonny, Sonny!" muffled into his reed.
Over at the Southbank, Egberto Gismonti told some arresting sonic stories of Amazonia and its aboriginal inhabitants. "All my music comes from the people," he declared and his long sojourns with the Xingu people of central Brazil chimed out with every note.
Samba, the blues, classical guitar, Hendrix and Reinhradt were all present as if the flowing waters of the Thames outside the hall were moving back to the Americas, taking us on an auditory odyssey.
Another 82-year-old, Toronto-born trumpeter and composer Kenny Wheeler, led a 19-piece big band for his suite A Long Waiting at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Here were stalwarts of British jazz - veteran masters Evan Parker and Stan Sulzmann, vocalist Norma Winstone and young pretender Gwilym Silcock - who have played with Wheeler during his 60-year residency in Britain.
Wheeler's fugelhorn solos were stunning, racked with power, beauty and narrative. The final tune, Upwards, with Wheeler's notes striking the sky, crystallised the meaning of a brilliant and ever-creative jazz life.
At the Bishopgate Institute, where Marx's inspirational words informing us that the point is not only to interpret the world but change it adorn the walls, Mississippi trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith was accompanied by his English pianist partner John Tilbury.
With his long locks shaking and his horn seething Smith blasted the nearby City banks, well within earshot, with rampaging notes and timbral patterns.
He dedicated his last piece to the beat of the human heart - and how it rang out across the soulless City blocks and towers, telling every listening soul of the sound that really matters.