No one better embodies the dramatic transformation in the British Jazz scene over the past twenty years than Courtney Pine. The saxophonist 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" in 1987, was the first serious jazz album ever to make the British Top 40, notching up sales to qualify for a silver disc. It was a remarkable achievement in British jazz history and established Courtney Pine as the leading figure in the British jazz scene and an inspiration to many young black musicians.
The follow-up to this in 1988, was the acclaimed "Destiny's 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's 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). The album was later re-mixed by Pine and Ingmar Kiang for release in America and the UK, reaching number 14 in the Billboard chart in America in the summer of 1992.
This success was followed by the release of "Within The Realms of Our Dreams", recorded in New York and featuring such US talents as Charnett Moffett, Jeff Watts and Kenny Kirkland. The release of the album combined with Courtney performing concerts with an All Star American band in the UK and US, finally confirmed his international status.