Bristol jazz week – March 15

(Venue links at RH of this page)

Good prospects at all the regular weekly jazz spots, plus three standout dates at venues where jazz is more occasional…

The first of those is Renato D’Aiello at the Hen and Chicken tomorrow night (Sunday). Let Ian Storror tell you about it:

Born in Naples Italy; Renato began to study the saxophone at the age of 20, with virtuoso sax player Antonio Andolfi, then with Sal Nistico, Steve Grossman, and Tony Scott. He started his professional career playing with Giovanni Tommaso big band in 1986/87. In 1987 he received a full tuition scholarship from Berklee college of Boston.

International tours followed in 1991 with Tony Scott and in 1992 Renato toured Japan with Yoshida Masahiro trio and again in ’93 & ’95. European tours withArt Farmer and Rachel Gouldfollowed in 1996/97.

His composition credits include music for an opera entitledSeven Red Doors by writer Oberto Airaudi and several co-productions for IRMA Records as sax player and producer. In1999 became resident in UK…

For this tour he’s fronting a quartet completed by three musicians who I don’t think have been heard in Bristol before –

Bass Player Dario studied and played in the States and Italy with the likes of Lee Konitz, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Kenny Barron, Steve Swallow and George Garzone, while drummer Caroselli travelled to learn drums and percussion in probably one of the best spots to learn in the world, namely Havana, Cuba with Omar Rojas, Enrique Pla and playing with Chucho Valdez.

Renato’s forays into Europe have allowed him to form musical associations with many artists and in Paris he found Japanese pianist Hiroshi Murayama (living and working in the French capital). He plays tonight while visiting the UK for a week with Renato’s band

The competition on Sunday comes from the Arabella Sprot quintet at the Coronation Tap, as mentioned last week, and the John Pearce Band  at the Alma Tavern in Clifton.

Bristol Composers Collective have their regular session at the Wardrobe Theatre, at the White Bear, St Michael’s Hill on Tuesday Monday!, this month featuring  new compositions by bassist Jeff Spencer played by Nightjar (Jeff Spencer, James Maddren, Alice Zawadski, Joe Wright). That’s quite a line-up for such a small, informal gig.

The regularly busy night on Thursday has dates for Gary Alesbrook’s Duval Project at Future Inns and always impressive pianist Jim Blomfield at the Fringe in Clifton. It also has the other big one, the toweringly soulful Gregory Porter making his Bristol debut at St George’s. Porter has delighted crowds all over the place for the last couple of years – it is basically illegal to hold a jazz festival without booking him at the moment, it seems, and he’s already on the bill for Cheltenham, A Love Supreme and Brecon this year. So something of a coup for the folks on Brandon Hill, this. The sound of his voice ringing out over the St George’s stalls is, as they say, eagerly awaited.  Not surprisingly, it’s already a sellout. Good work, people.

In the waker of the jazz festival, the audience at the BeBop club last week was in the small but appreciative zone for the excellent Tori Freestone’s trio. Never mind, there’s another promising line-up on a jazz services tour this week. In fact, it sounds like a pretty stellar band – viz:

Portuguese guitarist Vitor Pereira has lived in London since 2004, and released his first album Doors on the F-IRE label in 2012. “Pereira merges technique and creativity to hit the target” – All About Jazz. Despite its obvious jazz roots, this music unveils a vast background of musical influences. The abundance of energetic and catchy riffs has drawn comparison to bands like ‘Led Bib’ or ‘Trio VD’ but they cover a full spectrum of textures dropping down to quieter and mesmerising atmospheres creating a unique and dynamic sound capable of captivating even the most reluctant listener. The band features some of London’s most highly regarded players. Vitor Pereira – guitar/compositions, Chris Williams [Led Bib] – alto sax, George Crowley – tenor sax, Ryan Trebilcock – bass and Dave Hamblett – drums. See

Finally, head-turner number three, the superlatively talented drummer Seb Rochford‘s Polar Bear are touring a new CD, and appear at Thekla on Saturday. Details here, for what I’m sure will be a first rate jazz/rock/new music/electronic extravaganza

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