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Tony Benjamin’s Bristol jazz highlights this week – Dec 1

November 29, 2014

OK, forget last week’s departure from normal listing (though the Bath Listomania site is still also recommended). This is much better. After high-level discussions in various luxurious jazz venues, it turns out that the Bristol’s best music writer Tony Benjamin compiles a list of weekly jazz highlights, and he is happy for it to appear here. This is obviously the best kind of collaboration – he writes it, I post it! I’m hoping that’ll leave me more time to write the odd preview and review. So over to Tony, with much thanks.

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Big jazz names from the US will be making equally big waves in Bristol this week, starting with the great saxophonist Dave Liebman (St George’s,Thursday 4) –  a former Miles Davis protegé who once collaborated with Pierre Boulez and who appears in a well-grounded sparring partnership with bumptious Swiss piano trio Vein. Less well-known, perhaps, but greatly feted pianist Bobby Avey brings his critically acclaimed Quintet to Hen & Chicken (Sunday 7) with a Haitian-inspired suite likely to catch the ears. Friday night (5) offers some interesting trajectories: early on the highly original vocal/guitar/flute duo Bitch’n’Monk bring their anarchic jazz-pop to the Colston Hall Foyer but that still leaves time for you to get a) to the Bebop Club for US-based hard bopping tenor player Benn Clatworthy or b) hightail to the Cube’s triple bill of electro-acoustic soundscapes. This week’s featured artist at the Old Fishmarket (Sunday 7) is Ben Waghorn, another versatile and impressive reed player, who you could also catch the night before at No 1 Harbourside (Sat 6) with Andy Hague’s polished salsa septet Conjunto Gringo.

Other treats

As well as the Dave Liebman gig the Thursday night cornucopia this week offers Moscow Drug Club (Fringe @ Mall), James Morton’s session at Gallimaufry, the respected Hot Jazz/New Orleans sounds of Old Hat (Future Inn) and (not for the faint-hearted this) the Bristol University Jazz Funk & Soul Society’s Christmas bash at Canteen featuring Dixieland youngsters Rhythm Pencils and the hard bopping Hornstars. If it’s a cranked up version of their lively Tuesday night bashes at The Big Chill then Hamilton House might need shoring up afterwards.

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– P.S. Worth noting now that the Fringe Jazz sessions at the Mall switch to Wednesdays from Dec 10th, and will stay there in 2015, easing the Thursday date clashes. That’s good as there are a few good ones coming up at St George‘s next year (of which more later), which all seem to be on Thursdays…

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