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The Wayne Shorter Quartet – Illustration by Naiel Ibarrola © 2013

It's been yet another bumper year for jazz as last week's festive roundup of 2013's best releases revealed. This week however, we turn our ears to highlights from the bandstand, looking back at some of the most memorable gigs and sessions recorded for Jazz on 3 from the past 12 months. Of course we've also some previously unbroadcast treats, and as a final gift to you this season we've a brand new recording from one of jazz's greatest living legends – Wayne Shorter, recently captured in performance with his quartet at the London Jazz Festival.

But first, we kick off the show with something to get you in the spirit for New Year – Tom Challenger's octet Brass Mask bring carnival flavours and the celebratory sounds of New Orleans to the party. Heading next to the studio, we revisit two standout sessions. The first is from dub-infused group Hello Skinny, who stick groove, improvisation and twisted electronics all into the pot. In contrast, the Alexander Hawkins Ensemble exploit the richness of acoustic instruments in a Baroque-inspired suite commissioned by Jazz on 3 earlier in the year. We've a previously unbroadcast track from Rudresh Mahanthappa's Gamak, who stunned the audience at Ronnie Scott's with their indo-prog virtuosity. And to round things up, one of the breakthrough artists of the year – young trumpeter Laura Jurd – whose quintet featuring vocalist Lauren Kinsella certainly left their mark at Maida Vale Studios. 

You might say we saved the best until last. At 80 years old, saxophonist Wayne Shorter shows no signs of slowing and as he explains in conversation, continues to live by the philosophy 'to dare'. And dare, his quartet does. You may have heard their performance with the BBC Concert Orchestra broadcast on Jazz Line Up this past Saturday, but we've the first half of that gig at the London's Barbican, stripped back to the line up of Danilo Perez on piano, John Patitucci on bass and Brian Blade on drums. Beautiful open sections of bowed bass and rolling piano meet with turbulent drum climaxes and searing sax cries in an intense and free-flowing set. If anything, Mr. Gone and the band are at their most inventive and explorative yet.

Join me for these fantastic performances from 11pm on Monday 30 December or listen online for seven days after broadcast. 

Best wishes for 2014,


If you have comments about the show, or requests for music you’d like to hear, do get in touch at or on Twitter @BBCJazzon3.



















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  • Comment number 1. Posted by Charlie

    on 30 Dec 2014 19:26

    Best wishes to you, too, Jez, and everyone reading the Radio 3 Blog! Happy New Year!

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