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Coming up – The Session (Sunday) and Brecon Jazz selections

July 30, 2014

Some notable gigs coming up in or in easy reach of Bristol…

This Sunday at the Hen and Chicken down in Southville Ian Storror has an intriguing looking booking for a group of visitors from New Orleans called, somewhat unenticingly, The Session.

They are not known in these parts, but have a bunch of recommendations from the likes of Jason Marsalis (Wynton’s drumming younger brother) and Rolling Stone and sound like a hot young quintet well worth an excursion to the South of the City.

Much more detail from Ian here.

And here’s an introduction to the members.

The following weekend – Friday to Sunday – sees the resurgent Brecon Jazz Festival, marking a 30th anniversary. Actually it starts on Thursday with Burt Bacharach, a living legend if ever there was one. The jazzier end of the programming is pretty impressive this year, so here’s a note of the things I’m going to do my damnedest to fit in as part of my onerous reviewing duties for Jazzwise.

FridayMichael Wollny‘s  trio played a fairly short set at Cheltenham back in May, and were extraordinary (my review here) so going back for more.
Then there’s another (final?) chance to hear the reborn Loose Tubes, also at Cheltenham, also quite wonderful. For those of us who heard them in their original formation 25 years ago or so, it was moving as well as uplifting to see them again. One more time? Yes please.
 Saturday – Has to be worth catching Don Weller and Dave Newton, a perfect veteran pairing for the Cathedral. Then pianist Huw Warren, Brecon’s perfect artist in residence in his third year, has a new project to mark Dylan Thomas centenary in the same venue. I’m a bit tired of hearing about DT, being more of an RS Thomas man myself, but the music is bound to be splendid. (Anyhow, I don’t think the great bard of bleakness is going to be the inspiration for a jazz commission any time soon).
Also on the list for Saturday, TroykaKit Downes, Josh Blackmore and Chris Montague’s rocking electric trio in the Guildhall- and back to the cathedral for the young sax prodigy Marius Neset’s quartet.
(Others will no doubt be having an equally good time hearing Kairos4tet, Denis Rollins or the Beats and Pieces Big Band, but one does have to choose…)
Sunday  – Found it harder to choose on Sunday, actually, so seem to have listed these – we’ll see how it goes.
Huw Warren is in duo with Italian clarinettist Gabriele  Mirabassi for this year’s World Wide Wales feature, down at Christ’s College at the un jazz like time of midday. An hour later Saxophonist and composer Trish Clowes’ quintet featuring Gwilym Simcock on piano follow in the Cathedral.
Then there’s Polar Bear in Christ’s College in the afternoon, the John Taylor piano trio featuring the great Arild Anderson on bass in the Cathedral and drummer Ollie Howell’s quintet featuring in a new venue, the “Captain’s Walk”.
Finally, two sets I’m confident will be personal highlights – the Township Comets, conjuring the spirit of  the late, great Dudu Pukwana, aided by Pinise Saul‘s majestic vocals, make a very rare appearance outside London. And Christine Tobin will be doing her Leonard Cohen set after the fashion of the stupendously good new recording A Thousand Kisses Deep (which I reviewed here).
Here’s a nice film of the Comets at the  Vortex, made for the bandwidth-hungry digital arts platform The Space but now on YouTube so actually watchable. Good!

Should also mention that Gregory Porter (seen not long ago in Bristol) will have the voice to match the Market Hall on Sunday. But enough’s enough. Should be quite a weekend, with the usual fun and games on the streets and a large fringe programme of mostly fairly ramshackle local bands having a good time – which all adds to the atmosphere. Brecon is an easy day trip from Bristol, in case you’re wondering. If you want to stay, there’s no chance of accomodation now, but there’s plenty of camping for those who like that kind of thing. We’ll be in a guest house in Crickhowell…
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