To a significant number of people, saxophonist Courtney Pine is the face of British Jazz. His debut album, Journey To The Urge Within, was the first real jazz album to make the UK top 40 and since then, his career and profile have continued to rise. Pine has worked around the world and with numerous artists from other countries. His style has never stayed still either, moving from conventional jazz, through reggae, soul and hip hop over the years. One of Pine's more singular achievements has been his ability to receive recognition in America, a rare honour for a British jazz musician. He has earned such respect by his work with US artists such as vocalist Cassandra Wilson and pianist Geri Allen, plus recording albums in New York. Courtney Pine is also well known as a live artist, spending a lot of time touring, not only the UK but also areas not usually associated with British jazz artists such as South America, Eastern Europe and Asia. Along with his considerable record sales, Pine has gained a number of awards such as Best British Saxophonist at the Ronnie Scott's Jazz Awards, degrees from The University of Westminster and Thames Valley University plus being awarded a CBE and an OBE for services to jazz music. Courtney Pine is source of inspiration to many musicians and his position in the firmament of British jazz is certainly assured.
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