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Bristol Jazz Week, March 29

March 28, 2015

Reverting to previous routine this week, and giving you Tony Benjamin‘s weekly rundown in full – with thanks!

Jazz pick of the week: March 30 – April 5

A pretty thin jazz week looms, so hoorah for the Canteen for laying on nearly half of the gigs  – three out of eight, in fact. The bad news, however, is that a similar proportion of events are all happening on the same night – Wednesday 1 (and I promise this isn’t an April Fool gag).

On that night Canteen offers paint-stripping jazz/funk sax energy from Matt Sibley’s Quartet (also featuring fellow Code Red veteran Andy Christie on guitar, Andy Novak on keys and Eddie John drumming) while John Pearce’s full-toned jazz violin stars at Future Inn and violin-led manouche outfit The Schmoozenbergs will be turning No 1 Harbourside into a Parisian Gypsy swing cafe.

The Canteen jazz week begins on Monday 30 with their fortnightly jazz jam session and ends on Sunday 6 with the Bruce/Ilett 6, a pocket selection of their big band line-up led by Jonny Bruce’s trumpet and Denny Ilett on guitar – a masterful pairing of talents. If you find the hurly-burly and lateness of the Canteen’s evening gigs off-putting, the Sunday afternoon sessions have a much more relaxed vibe.

And that just leaves two: James Morton’s regular Groove Den session at the Gallimaufry (Thursday 2) and Dave O’Higgins debut visit to the Bebop Club (Friday 3) … though you might want to check out the Old Fish Market Facebook page for a last minute update on their Sunday evening jazz trio slot.

Gig pick: Dave O’Higgins Quartet (Bebop Club, Friday 3) With a CV that embraces both Brubeck brothers, Ray Charles and Mr Bean he’s clearly respected worldwide yet, amazingly, this is the first visit to the Bebop for one pf the country’s top post-bop sax talents.


Afterthoughts: It may be a quiet week, as TB says, but still some good gigs there. Audiences at some recent ones I’ve managed to get to have been small (twice last week – maybe everyone had their minds blown by Sun Ra on Monday). From what I hear, this may be happening more often than it should at Future Inns. I’m all for jazz in pub rooms, but it is great to have this excellent, well-appointed space where jazz is treated just a bit better and one can listen in comparative comfort. It deserves a better regular crowd: use it or lose it, people.

Afterthought 2. Dakhla‘s crowdfunder to pay for printing their next (already recorded) CD is still running. As I write they need just £675 more to reach their modest target, and have 8 days left. Why not subscribe now and get the CD and a ticket to the launch gig, now in the diary at Future Inns on June 18th? Worth it, I promise! I have never left a Dakhla set without a smile on my face.

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