A quiet month on the blog, and on the Bristol jazz scene. The regular Bristol247 listing will tell you what’s on offer – note that the Fringe are keeping their regular Wednesday night programme running through the Summer, with a return visit for the excellent Jazz Defenders next week.
If you, like me, are beginning to miss the gigs where we can enjoy interesting visitors to the city, don’t worry, there are plenty coming up when things liven up again in the Autumn. Here are a few highlights.
The BeBop club returns, as ever, in September (with the Jazz Defenders, as it happens), and then has a terrific sequence of three gigs by bands touring to support notable new recordings. Danish bass player Henrik Jensen‘s band is on 16th September, with drummer Corrie Dick up the following week. Then the brilliant sax player Tori Freestone brings her long-running trio with Dave Manington and Tim Giles on 7 October – their second release on Whirlwind records is a great set, and their last visit to the BeBop was a memorable evening so glad to see them back.
Micheal Janisch‘s Whirlwind label combines a superb catalogue of releases with a policy of making sure their bands tour – and a few more of their signees will have exciting things on offer. Trumpeter Andre Canniere (also in Henrik Jensen’s band) visits Future Inns toward the end of a long tour, way ahead on December 1, with a line-up that includes Freestone, Janisch, Andrew Bain on drums, and John Turville on piano, with vocals from Brigitte Beraha. Ivo Neame‘s quintet at the same venue the week before, Nov 24, has Freestone again, along with Jim Hart on vibes. Both are pretty remarkable line-ups. Before then, the Futurists’ autumn season opens on September 1 with a splendid sax/piano duo of Paul Towndrow and Steve Hamilton down from Scotland. I heard them in Manchester the other week, and they make a great pairing.
Also eagerly awaited here is a yet another Whirlwind tour, featuring Andrew Bain and Janisch but this time with the superb US saxophone exponent John Irabagon – who I think has only been to the UK once before, and George Colligan on piano. Another mouth-watering line-up, who should be at the Hen and Chicken for Ian Storror on November 6, and also play Dempsey‘s in Cardiff a few days before. Andre Canniere’s lot have a date at Dempsey’s, too, by the way, in late October, and they have an amazing gig before then, September 6, when another Janisch project features the stellar pianist Geoff Keezer, in a band led by trumpeter Ryan Quigley and energised by Clarence Penn on drums. Anyone who, like me, heard Penn play the Cardiff room in 2014 will need no persuading to go back for more…
The larger Bristol venues have goodies on offer too. Colston Hall’s Lantern will see shows from jazz funk legends Headhunters (Sep 23) , and contemporary heroes The Bad Plus (7 Nov) and Robert Glasper (19 Nov). Equally notable, to my mind, is the date headlined by Keith Tippett on 5 October. It’s a bill shared with Tippett’s long time musical soulmate (and Fringe regular) Paul Dunmall, fronting a quintet due to include the inspirational Chicagoan drummer Hamid Drake.
Equally good things are happening at St George’s, where you’ll be able to catch Tim Garland‘s powerful new quartet with Jason Rebello and Ant Law (20 October) and the interactive wonder that is piano trio Phronesis on 15th November. Also sure-fire seat-fillers will be GoGo Penguin (8 November) and The Darius Brubeck Quartet (8 December).
And that’s just the out-of-towners. There’ll be scores of gigs featuring the leading lights of the Bristol scene too, as usual – but I’ll note those from week to week when things pick up again. Not long now.