How jazz got cool and the names you need on your playlist

I recently told a friend of mine that I had made her a playlist. “It’s jazz,” I said. I may as well have told her that I had gone full death metal, so horrified was she at the thought of having my carefully curated playlist pollute her speakers. To her, jazz was smug old boys sipping something from the cellar while pontificating about privilege, or Homeland’s Carrie Mathieson guzzling white wine to intense saxophone solos. Cardigans, slippers and a degree in elitism.

But UK jazz in 2019 is something entirely different. Whether it’s the buzz around the jazz acts nominated for the Hyundai Mercury prize (in the form of Sons of Kemet last year and Seed Ensemble this year) or jazz stars such as the…

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