@ the Love Supreme Jazz Festival
7 July 2013
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Desert Island Discs
Which 2 albums would you take with you to a desert island?
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
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
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.