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Brstol jazz week – 3 Jan

January 3, 2016

First weekly preview for 2016. Tony Benjamin writes:

Bristol Jazz Week January 3-10

So – the new year blows in, quite literally, with a handful of excellent saxophonists, a brace of vocal talent and a couple of contrasting guitarists. The first blast of reed power is the return of The Three Tenors project to the Fringe (Wednesday 6) – itself returned to the Fringe pub in Princess Victoria Street. This absolute treat brings Ben Waghorn and Nick Dover together with Andy Sheppard and the incomparable rhythm section of Blomfield, Vosloo and Whitlam and is guaranteed to burst the walls of the Fringe’s compact theatre. Though there’s just One Alto at the Colston Hall Foyer drivetime slot (Friday 8) it is Kevin Figes and he’s likely to have a very similar rhythm section to those tenors. Kev’s been working on new material as well as numbers from his Tables & Chairs collection and his longstanding playing partnership with Jim Blomfield’s piano is always rewardingly empathetic and creative.

And then, sax-wise, there was one … but quite a big one, as it goes, when the Hen & Chicken presents Moonlight Saving Time & Jason Yarde (Sunday 10). First encountered as a Jazz Warrior, Yarde is an established star on the UK scene, with a distinctively passionate Afro-tinged style who recently collaborated on the new Moonlight Saving Time album being showcased at this gig. MST is itself an all-star affair, with singer Emily Wright a true vocal artist in the manner of Norma Winstone and others, and it will be fascinating to see Jason Yarde’s interaction with lively improviser Nick Malcolm’s trumpet as well as the impact (sic) of the twin percussion team of Mark Whitlam and Rory Francis.

The other vocal-led jazz gig will be the soulfully swinging partnership of Molly King & George Cooper at No 1 Harbourside (Wednesday 6). The first of the guitarists mentioned crops up at the Bebop’s inaugural 2016 gig (Friday 8) when the John-paul Gard Organ Trio brings Matt Hopkins alongside drummer Toby Perrett and J-p’s own flying feet on bass. John-Paul has an ear for talent and left-hander Matt’s deft guitar has already been heard to great effect in bands with Andy Sheppard, John Pearce, Emily Wright. By contrast the Alma Tavern (Sunday 10) will feature the fusion pyrotechnics of guitarist Mark Lawrence’s Band .

And, finally, there will probably be a session at the Future Inn on Thursday 7 but as yet there are no details on the website as to who it might be so check that out nearer the day.

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