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Bristol jazz week – May 15

May 15, 2016

A couple of outstanding international visitors’ gigs to look forward to this week. Norwegian bass legend Arild Andersen is at St George’s on Thursday with a trio featuring Tommy Smith on sax and percussionist Paulo Vinaccia. Andersen’s trio makes beautiful recordings for ECM, and will enjoy the setting at St G’s – a venue where Tommy Smith appeared in his enjoyable duo with pianist Brian Kellock last year, and turned in a notably livelier performance than they lay down in the studio. Anderson is a star player, last seen in this country in a London Jazz Festival show recreating a famous Charles Mingus concert from 1965, and not suffering at all from the implied comparison with the great man (even if his band did, a little).

Then it’s all eyes on Bath where the International Music Festival brings Branford Marsalis to an even more atmospheric venue – Bath Abbey – on Saturday evening (May 21). He’s playing a solo set jumping off from his latest CD In My Solitude, and adapted to each space on the tour. He’s a versatile saxophone stylist, who played a storming quartet set at Bath’s cavernous Forum a few years back, so it’ll be fascinating to hear how he responds to the Abbey, and whether he rises to the standard memorably set by Jan Garbarek and the Hilliard ensemble there a couple of years back.

If you don’t fancy either of those, there are plenty of other interesting musical happenings in Bristol this week, all detailed as usual by Tony Benjamin over at Bristol247.

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