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Jazz in Bristol – Jan 18-24

January 16, 2016

Haven’t been to much yet this year, but good reviews of 2016 jazz in Bristol are already in evidence – Moonlight Saving Time at the Hen and Chicken written up here and here, and Rebecca Nash’s Atlas (of which I caught the first half, but found the sound a little difficult to get into when the electric piano and electric bass folded in together, although the band’s potential is clear) here

Now looking forward to Andy Sheppard’s Hotel Bristol tomorrow night at the Hen and Chicken again, which is sure to be crowded. And then, there’s this lot, as compiled by the ever-obliging and well-informed Tony Benjamin. That clash between Three Cane Whale and Baaba Maal is irksome, but I’m voting for the home team, whose new CD has had some cracking reviews in the posh papers.

Jazz week Jan 18-24

Things are definitely warming up, despite the weather, and there’s plenty of jazz to pick from this week. There’s also a lot of great music jazz-lovers might enjoy that doesn’t fit the definition – like neo-folkers Three Cane Whale (St George’s Thursday 21) blessed with Pete Judge’s incisive trumpet playing or world music stars Baaba Maal and Vieux Farke Touré (Colston Hall, Thursday 21 & Friday 22 respectively). Word is that Brazilian outfit Bloco Dos Sujos (Exchange, Friday 22) are on fire these days, too.

Jazz-wise, however, the stand-out gig is at the Hen & Chicken (Sunday 24) when jousting reedsmen Gilad Atzmon & Alan Barnes lead Gilad’s Orient House Ensemble in the third brilliant gig in a row for Ian Storror’s Jazz At The Albert programme. Fiery modernist and dazzling hard bopper Barnes is a fine match for Atzmon’s powerhouse playing that can recall Charlie Parker or John Coltrane for both technique and passion. Book early – these nights are selling out!

But the week also offers the return of swinging Fringe favourites the John Pearce & David Newton Band (Wednesday 20) – also featuring Kasabian drummer Ian Matthews and highly rated bass player James Agg – while Canteen has the filmic pianist-led Daan Temminck Quartet on the same night. Thursday (21) sees the duo of Sefriel’s alto sax leader Sophie Stockham & Ruth Hammond’s keyboards at No 1 Harbourside and new, blues-heavy quartet The Sneakers at Future Inn. Ruth figures at the same venue on Friday (22) as part of the New Orleans street-beaters Brass Junkies but you might catch that on the way back from the Bebop Club who have an interesting night of Italian jazz, with local ex-pats Paolo Adamo and Pasquale Votino providing the rhythm section for Fabio Lepore’s Pausa Caffe, with veteran vocalist Lepore and alto saxophonist Carlo Fraccalvieri covering some 80 years of Italian jazz history. The Friday night wild card is, unsurprisingly, at The Exchange, with a bill of ‘sludgegaze’ and ‘groovescape’ that includes the Iceman Furniss Quintet, led by eclectic cornet player Harry Furniss making ‘post-punk art jazzscape’ music. Wowsers!

If you don’t get into Gilad’s Sunday gig you might want to check FlatEarth at the Alma Tavern, a quartet fronted by vocalist Victoria Klewin with Andy Christie (guitar), John-paul Gard (Hammond) and Eddie John playing New Orleans inspired blues, jazz & soul, or guitarist Will Edmunds’ regular Sunday Jazz & Blues trio evenings at Leftbank.

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