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Bristol bank holiday jazz – and beyond

August 23, 2016

Here’s the Bristol247 listing from Tony Benjamin for this week, with the Old Duke Jazz festival featuring over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Looking further ahead, as per previous post, The Fringe have now passed on their gig list through to  mid- November. The chance to hear Ian Ballamy with Percy Purseglove stands out, but there’s lots of other good stuff on offer in the coming weeks up in Clifton.

Check out the full list:


32 Princess Victoria Street
Clifton Village


Every Wednesday at 8PM

in association with TREBLEROCK Guitar Shop
31 Aug     SILVERADO – £10

A Tribute to Horace Silver

Andy Hague – Trumpet
Ben Waghorn – Tenor Sax
Kevin Figes – Alto Sax
Jim Blomfield – Piano
Greg Cordez – Double Bass

                Simon Gore – Drums


                   Andy Sheppard – Saxophones
                   Dan Moore – Keyboards
                   Tony Orrell – Drums
21st Sept  JON DALTON TRIO – £10
                   Jon Dalton – Guitar
                   John-Paul Gard – Hammond Organ
                   Paolo Adamo- Drums

28th Sept  MOSCOW DRUG CLUB  – £12

Katya Gorrie – Vocals
Andy Bowen – Guitar
Mirek Salmon – Accordion
Jonny Bruce – Trumpet

                 Andy Crowdy – Bass
5 Oct   Jonny Bruce’s BROTHER HUBBARD – £9
            A Tribute to Freddie Hubbard
12 Oct  DAVE NEWTON TRIO – £10

             Dave Newton – Piano
             Nat Steele – Vibes
             Luke Steele – Double Bass
              Iain Ballamy – Sax
              Percy Pursglove – Trumpet & Double Bass
              Jim Blomfield – Piano
              Mark Whitlam – Drums
26 Oct    JAMES MORTON BAND – £10

James Morton – Alto Sax
Jerry Crozier-Cole – Guitar
Jonny Henderson – Hammond Organ

              TBA  – Drums
           Josh Kemp – Saxophones
           Steve Fishwick – Trumpet,
           Liam Dunachie – Hammond Organ
           Tim Giles – Drums
            Trevor Watts – Saxophones
            Stephen Grew – Piano
              Phil Robson – Guitar
              Ross Stanley – Keyboards / Hammond Organ

Gene Calderazzo – Drums

Dates for the jazz diary

August 17, 2016

A quiet month on the blog, and on the Bristol jazz scene. The regular Bristol247 listing will tell you what’s on offer –  note that the Fringe are keeping their regular Wednesday night programme running through the Summer, with a return visit for the excellent Jazz Defenders next week.

If you, like me, are beginning to miss the gigs where we can enjoy interesting visitors to the city, don’t worry, there are plenty coming up when things liven up again in the Autumn. Here are a few highlights.

The BeBop club returns, as ever, in September (with the Jazz Defenders, as it happens), and then has a terrific sequence of three gigs by bands touring to support notable new recordings. Danish bass player Henrik Jensen‘s band is on 16th September, with drummer Corrie Dick up the following week. Then the brilliant sax player Tori Freestone brings her long-running trio with Dave Manington and Tim Giles on 7 October – their second release on Whirlwind records is a great set, and their last visit to the BeBop was a memorable evening so glad to see them back.

Micheal Janisch‘s Whirlwind label combines a superb catalogue of releases with a policy of making sure their bands tour – and a few more of their signees will have exciting things on offer. Trumpeter Andre Canniere (also in Henrik Jensen’s band) visits Future Inns toward the end of a long tour, way ahead on December 1, with a line-up that includes Freestone, Janisch, Andrew Bain on drums, and John Turville on piano, with vocals from Brigitte Beraha. Ivo Neame‘s quintet at the same venue the week before, Nov 24, has Freestone again, along with Jim Hart on vibes. Both are pretty remarkable line-ups. Before then, the Futurists’ autumn season opens on September 1 with a splendid sax/piano duo of Paul Towndrow and Steve Hamilton down from Scotland. I heard them in Manchester the other week, and they make a great pairing.

Also eagerly awaited here is a yet another Whirlwind tour, featuring Andrew Bain and Janisch but this time with the superb US saxophone exponent John Irabagon – who I think has only been to the UK once before, and George Colligan on piano. Another mouth-watering line-up, who should be at the Hen and Chicken for Ian Storror on November 6, and also play Dempsey‘s in Cardiff a few days before. Andre Canniere’s lot have a date at Dempsey’s, too, by the way, in late October, and they have an amazing gig before then, September 6, when another Janisch project features the stellar pianist Geoff Keezer, in a band led by trumpeter Ryan Quigley and energised by Clarence Penn on drums. Anyone who, like me, heard Penn play the Cardiff room in 2014 will need no persuading to go back for more…

The larger Bristol venues have goodies on offer too. Colston Hall’s Lantern will see shows from jazz funk legends Headhunters (Sep 23) , and contemporary heroes The Bad Plus (7 Nov)  and Robert Glasper (19 Nov). Equally notable, to my mind, is the date headlined by Keith Tippett on 5 October. It’s a bill shared with Tippett’s long time musical soulmate (and Fringe regular) Paul Dunmall, fronting a quintet due to include the inspirational Chicagoan drummer Hamid  Drake.

Equally good things are happening at St George’s, where you’ll be able to catch Tim Garland‘s powerful new quartet with Jason Rebello and Ant Law (20 October) and the interactive wonder that is piano trio Phronesis on 15th November. Also sure-fire seat-fillers will be GoGo Penguin (8 November) and The Darius Brubeck Quartet (8 December).

And that’s just the out-of-towners. There’ll be scores of gigs featuring the leading lights of the Bristol scene too, as usual – but I’ll note those from week to week when things pick up again. Not long now.




August lull

July 29, 2016

Well a bit of a lull on the blog, anyhow. Apologies to my reader(s?) for failing to post the weekly link to Tony Benjamin’s Bristol247 jazz roundup this week. Hope you found it anyway – I was distracted by 3 pleasant days in Manchester, including a jazzfest sample of which more anon.

Various impediments mean I probably won’t manage to post the new link next week, although you’ll be able to read it somewhere here.

There is, in any case, a bit of an August lull in prospect at our jazz venues. Future Inns have a nice Thursday date this coming week, then a short break, the BeBop club are off ’til September, and Ian Storror says he’s nothing to offer for the next few weeks, not intentionally but just because there wasn’t anyone to book…

So you’ll all have to go to the Fringe and the Canteen, won’t you? Details of their coming dates from links on the right.

And there are plenty of good things getting into the diary for the Autumn – preview of some those when normal service here resumes in a week or two.


Bristol jazz this week – July 18

July 19, 2016

Bristol247 held over their jazz listing this week – probably because Tony Benjamin has been writing so much other stuff, notably this review of Michelson-Morley‘s album launch on Sunday and this one of James Morton also launching a CD a few days before.

However, it’s up now – here – and rightly highlights a hometown show for a Bristol band who, like both of the above outfits, are attracting attention more widely in the UK, and beyond. In fact the splendid five-piece version of Dakhla Brass have recently been in Montreal for the jazz festival. Their always joyful shows are catching on, it seems, so it’s worth making a point of seeing them in Bristol while you can, I reckon.


Bristol jazz this week, July 11

July 11, 2016

Here’s the weekly link to Tony Benjamin’s preview of forthcoming jazz for Bristol 247, this week featuring a welcome visit from Ed Jones on Wednesday and an annoying clash next Sunday night…

Bristol jazz this week – July 4

July 4, 2016

Here’s the regular rundown from Tony Benjamin. Nothing quite as spectacular as Ernest Ranglin’s rather wonderful show last week, to my mind, but plenty of local variety…


Bristol jazz this week – June 27

June 28, 2016

Can’t seem to find the Bristol24/7 round-up on their website this week, so here are a few quick notes from me.

Andy Sheppard injected some extra magic into the second set from ace Swiss piano trio Vein played at the Hen and Chicken on Sunday night. He’s at it again on Wednesday (June 29), when the Pushy Doctors return to the Fringe, with a fighting fit Tony Orrell back in the drum chair. Mark Whitlam did a fine job last time I saw them, but Orrell’s infectious, loose swing is perfect for this trio.

Thursday (30th) sees another formidable sax exponent, Simon Spillett, return to Future Inns. His regular quartet also features John Critchinson (piano), Alec Dankworth (bass) and Clark Tracey (drums) – which is impressive. However, the saxophonist’s own website indicates he’s playing a guest spot with a trio “TBC”, so expect his accomplices this time to to be no less worthy players from nearer home*.

Friday (July 1) has the unmissable Bristol date for guitar legend Ernest Ranglin‘s final tour at Colston Hall, with the excellent Eyebrow – the duo of clever improvisers Pete Judge on trumpet and loops and Paul Wigens on drums – enlivening the foyer beforehand.

If you don’t fancy any of these, you could try Mark Lawrence‘s guitar/organ trio Groovelator (Canteen, Weds 29th) or New Yorkers with a new angle on trad, The Tin Pan Band at the same venue on Thursday. FInally, Altoist James Morton, recently featured in Jazzwise, leads his regular full steam ahead funk session at the Gallimaufry in Bishopston on Thursday, and pops up again at No 1 Harbourside the following night.

*update – yes, it’ll be Andy Nowak on piano, Riaan Vosloo on bass and Ian Matthews on drums: fine players all🙂


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