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Bristol Jazz gigs this week – July 13

July 12, 2015

Amazing show from the massed ranks of the Westbrooks‘ big band last weekend. I reviewed it for ListomaniaBristol here, and Tony Benjamin was equally enthusiastic on Bristol247. Great to see 100+ people in the Hen and Chicken, too! Here are his notes on the coming week’s gigs, including a welcome addition to next weekend’s Harbourfest.

Jazz week July 13­-19

Well the reverberations of Mike Westbrook’s fantastic show at the Hen and Chicken will take a fair while to die down. The only shadow over the evening was the news that Pushy Doctors drummer Tony Orrell and London saxophonist Pete King have both recently suffered some pretty major health problems. Keep an eye on the Jazz @ the Albert website later in the summer for news of benefit events planned by promoter Ian Storrer.

It’s another quiet week across Bristol’s jazz scene as the seasonal lull kicks in, with most of the action bunched around Wednesday and Thursday. The first evening’s star attraction is undoubtedly Andy Sheppard & Friends at Fringe Jazz @ The Mall, with Andy still on the fine form that his recent ECM album evidenced. It’s a real local privilege that we can see this international talent in such intimate venues. By contrast there’s a grooving soul­jazz session at Canteen featuring The Triple As ­ Andrew Neil Hayes (sax), Anders Olinder (keys) and Andy Tween (drums). A few years back the latter pair of ‘As’ were one of the most ubiquitous rhythm sections around these parts, recognised for precision and versatility as well as flair, so it’s good to see them together again. The other A has been kicking up dust with his jazz­rap band Schoolboy’s Death Trio contributing both political vocals and scorching alto sax.

Thursday night sees vocalist Molly King at the Coronation Tap with her Molly & The Kings jazz and swing including pianist George Cooper, while contemporary jazz trumpeter Nick Malcolm brings a quartet to Future Inns. Inspired by the great Kenny Wheeler, among others, Nick combines a commitment to interesting and exploratory composition with a fearless improvisatory approach and has been featured on the BBC’s Jazz on 3 radio programme.

Then at the weekend it’s Harbour Festival time and Afrobeat supergroup No Go Stop (formerly Bristol Afrobeat Project) are headlining Friday’s opening party in Queen Square from 9pm. If you fancy a jazzy oasis from the dockside melée there will also be a jazz stage behind M Shed in the Wapping Wharf car park this year, showcasing some of the best local jazz and swing bands from 2-­6pm on Saturday and Sunday.


Andy Sheppard is of course always absolutely worth hearing, but gig of the week from that lot is probably Nick Malcolm‘s quartet on Thursday. It’s the fourth stop on a mini tour, and the company Nick keeps in this superb band – including the remarkable pianist Alex Hawkins on piano and Olie Brice on bass – should ensure an evening of music at the highest level of invention.

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