Bristol jazz week, 21 Feb

Two truly mouth-watering prospects on successive evenings (hurrah) next week – Partisans and Tim Garland. And a wide choice of other stuff, as highlighted below by the ever-vigilant Tony Benjamin.


If you’d been planning to catch the Cube’s enterprising double bill of the film Whiplash with a live music set from The Big R Big Band (Thursday 26) it’s well sold out, which will probably leave you heading for St George’s for Tim Garland’s glorious ‘Songs To The North Sky’ music with Messrs Rebello, Sirkis and (Ant) Law among many delights. You’ll probably still be buzzing from the previous night’s Partisans gig at the Fringe @ Mall (Tuesday 25), mind you – a real coup for the session. And, of course, the actual Fringe pub still hosts its monthly free jazz blow-out which this month welcomes Kevin Figes (Monday 23), a player whose formal compositions only hint at his great improvisatory skills, joining the regular house trio.

Good to see pianist Martin Jenkins Latin Descarga session pop up again, this time at Plantation (Saturday 28) while full-tilt fusion guitar merchants Bad Hands appear at Golden Lion the same night. Jenkins appears in swing mode with Paper Moon at Canteen earlier in the week (Wednesday 25), while the equally ubiquitous James Morton takes to that stage on Friday 27 having led his Groove Den at the Gallimaufry the night before (Thursday 26). Blues fans can catch the Will Edmunds Band’s jazz grooves in the Jimmy Smith mode at the Coronation Tap (Thursday 26) and the rootsier hokum blues of Swansea’s excellent Rumble Strutters at Left Bank (Friday 27). But do you know about United Vibrations? The young Sun Ra inspired quartet from London will bring their joyful brassy jazz-hop music and Last Poets style conscious declamations to Canteen (Saturday 28) and if you can get in it’ll be another treat. Their gig is the first of next week’s scattered ‘fringe’ flagging up  the  impending Jazz and Blues Festival weekend (from Friday 6).

PS – One before the festival: the fiery (in several senses) Gilad Atzman makes a welcome return to the Hen And Chicken on March 1, with material from his new album with the excellent Orient House Ensemble (4* Guardian review here).

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