The Viny Factory's Chris May on Tenderlonious's The Shakedown
Sadly, the numberof self-taught jazz musicians has declined dramatically over recent decades. Most young players are college graduates. Style-setters of earlier eras, who learned their art on the bandstand, increasingly belong to the past – and the idiosyncrasies they brought are being institutionalised out. Ed ‘Tenderlonious’ Cawthorne is among those bucking the trend. He had never had a music lesson when, in his teens, his imagination fired up by a Yusef Lateef album cover, he bought a saxophone and taught himself to play. His beat-centric music grew out of London’s club culture, rather than its conservatoires.Cawthorne has to employ unconventional arranging methods. “For me it’s about describing it to the band as if I was writing for a film,” he says. “Like, ‘You’re walking down the beach and you’re trying to play it cool and puff your chest out.’ And they laugh, because they don’t hear that normally.” But it works. Cawthorne’s The Shakedown is one of a dozen or so albums made this year that are bringing rebel attitudes back into jazz. Right now is an exciting time to be a jazz fan in Britain.
Journalist (The Vinyl Factory)