@ the PizzaExpress JazzClub & Barbican Centre
26 July 2010 / 20 November 2008
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Desert Island Discs
Which 2 albums would you take with you to a
Bob Marley - Exodus
Earth Wind & Fire - Gratitude
Courtney Pine heads a new generation of exciting
and innovative musicians who have chosen to turn their talents to
the demanding requirements of jazz music, in all its shapes and
forms. His debut album, “Journey To The Urge Within”
released in 1987, was the first serious jazz album ever to make
the British Top 40.
Pine’s follow-up to this in 1988, was the
acclaimed “Destiny Song” produced by Delfeayo Marsalis,
again making its way into the British Top 40, but also cracking
the American jazz charts, establishing the start of his international
reputation. It was this year he also performed at Nelson Mandela’s
80th birthday concert at Wembley.
His international growth continued with the release of his third
album in 1989, “The Vision Tale”, recorded in America
and produced again by Delfeayo Marsalis.
March 1990 saw a change of direction in the shape of “Closer
To Home”, a collection of reggae tunes taking Courtney back
to his musical roots. Recorded in Jamaica with contemporary reggae
producer Gussie Clarke and released on Island Record’s Mango
label, the compilation included the single “I'm Still Waiting”
(featuring vocalist Carroll Thompson. Pine continued to release
successful albums on the Island record label which featured the
likes of Charnett Moffet, Jeff Watts and Kenny Kirkland.
Pine signed to PolyGram in 1995 where he released
the critically acclaimed album “Modern Day Jazz Stories”
for Verve, with US jazz giants, Charnett Moffett (Bass), Geri Allen
(Piano) and Ronnie Burrage (Drums) as well as DJ’s Pogo and
Sparki from the UK Hip-Hop scene.
“Modern Day Jazz Stories” won the prestigious Mercury
Music Prize – ‘1996 Albums Of The Year’ and Pine
was honoured with a MOBO (Music Of Black Origin) Award for ‘Best
Jazz Act’ for two years in a row (96 and 97). Further success
followed in 1997 with the follow-up release of the album “Underground”.
Further acclaimed albums would follow as well as project collaborations
with artists such as Beverley Knight, Lynden David Hall, David McAlmont
and Kele Le Roc.
Pine was awarded an OBE in 2000. He continues to
tour extensively, compose, explore and fuse many musical genres.
In addition to his recording career, Pine is now a renowned presenter
and broadcaster, with his long running radio show for BBC Radio
2, ‘Jazz Crusade’. He also presented a weekly show The
Courtney Pine Xperience for the jazz in 2007/2008 and is a regularly
heads up profile television projects. In 2000 he travelled to South
Africa to make a documentary for the BBC on the local musicians
whose stories and music revealed a hidden chapter of apartheid.
Pine made his debut as musical director on the
Windrush Gala Concert for the BBC and led his own band performing
these arrangements with an all-star line-up at the televised ceremony
in London and composed and performed the soundtrack to the BBC’s
definitive 2 part documentary on Nelson Mandela: ‘Mandela
- A Living Legend’. As well as his flagship concert Jazz Britannia
from The Barbican which was televised as part of the BBC series
of the same name. In the same year he presented a special live concert
of the music he composed to the Paul Robeson film Borderline at
The Turbine Hall, Tate Modern. Pulling together a new line-up of
musicians to accompany the screening of the film as part of The
Tate’s Long Weekend event. The film with his music has been
released on dvd Worldwide. He also composed, arranged and produced
the soundtrack for a feature film. ‘History Is Made At Night’
for Stephen Wooley’s (Mona Lisa, Absolute Beginners) Scala
Productions and was nominated for an award for his score of ‘It
Was An Accident’ for Pathe Films.
Pine was also the subject of the prestigious South
Bank Show, with an hour-long programme, documenting his career so
far, shot in London, New York and Jamaica. Broadcast in November
2000 on LWT.