Here's a young trumpet player, composer and arranger from Capetown, South Africa who plays well beyond his years. For 'Imagine Nation' (Hot Shoe Records) Darren English has written a three-track suite for Nelson Mandela [1918-2013]. English was born in 1990, the year Mandela was released from prison. Add two bebop classics, one more original and four imaginatively reconfigured tunes from the "great American songbook" and you've got one impressive debut.
Madiba left us today, age 95, after a long battle with a liver infection. A key anti-apartheid fighter, Mandela spent 27 years in prison before becoming South Africa's first black president. Read the words of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, who joined Mandela in Norway to accept his Nobel Peace Prize and sing on behalf of Africa.
Distance runner, cruise ship crooner and all-around diva Katharine Jenkins has joined the famous chef Raymond Blanc to launch Martell new cognac's series Very Special Nights. But while she ranks Blanc as part of her ideal all-time dinner party, she fares less well when it comes to his choices.