Coming up – John Law et al, St George’s. Thurs 23

Not a very jazzy week in Bristol town, in truth, but it would be remiss not to mention that you can see the matchless piano talents of John Law at St George’s tomorrow (Thurs), applied to Nino Rota’s film music. We’re not going to make it as we have a date with the Brodsky quartet at the same venue the following evening, which is a shame as any opportunity to hear Law at work is worth catching. His set will be complemented by some other folks playing Morricone, so ought to be a varied and satisfying evening.

As was last week’s recommended gig, from the impressive Centre Line at the Be-bop club. The review I linked to then gives a good impression of what they do. Hearing them in a small room certainly got the attention, and there was a definite impression that they had got their set in that lovely tight but also loose zone that comes from playing four nights on the trot. The evening reminded that Jez Franks is one of the most compelling guitar players in these isles – some of the tunes also feature in the lists for his own co-led band Compassionate Dictatorship.

Unlike some of the previous dates, sax player Russell Van den Berg got his EWI (electronic wind instrument to work). He only used it one one tune, but it sounded pretty good – it might be heard as simply allowing a sax player to make like a guitarist, but it has an impressive tonal range and introduced an interesting new texture to the sound. The kind of device that divides opinion, I imagine, but I liked it.

Finally, looking ahead again, there’s my preview of the “serious” jazz at Cheltenham this year up on the LondonJazz site. I hope to be reviewing these, come May.

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