Bristol jazz week

Late to this, but as the Bristol247 listing that I tend to rely on remains elusive* this week here are a few quick notes on what’s on offer. Already too late to recommend Maya Youssef at St George’s (last night) but never mind as it was almost a sell-out, and very good. Andy Sheppard, showcasing his latest collaboration with the excellent Espen Eriksen trio will be equally crowded on Thursday but you can probably still get a seat if you’re quick.

Thursday night sees another top-drawer tenor player at Future Inns, in the shape of regular visitor Simon Spillett. He’s a prodigious player with more than a touch of the late Tubby Hayes in his style, and is backed by local ad hoc rhythm team of Andy Nowak, piano, Al Swainger, bass and ​Tony Orrell on Drums.

Still wistful about missing Jeff Williams quartet at the Fringe last week (but I did get to meet our first grandchild instead so, you know, just about a worthwhile trade). And there’s another excellent prospect in Clifton this Wednesday with the three trumpets, who this time are Percy Pursglove, Jonny Bruce and Andy Hague, backed up by an equally tasty rhythm section that emphasises the strength in depth of Bristol jazz at the moment – George Cooper, piano; Riaan Vosloo, bass and Andy Tween, drums – to ensure a good time is had by all.

And finally, the Bebop club on Friday has another, up and coming, sax player – Greg Sterland, who I’ve not heard so I’ll pass on the club’s info:

Greg Sterland is a Bristol based tenor saxophonist who graduated from the Royal Welsh College a few years back. A fluent and adventurous improviser, for this concert Greg has teamed up with pianist Toby Boalch, a fairly recent and very welcome addition to the Bristol jazz community. Toby is a Birmingham Conservatoire graduate who still works a lot in the Midlands, and has recently formed a group with acclaimed vocalist Brigitte Beraha which we hope to present next year. Greg’s long time collaborators Aeddan Williams – double bass and Paolo Adamo – drums complete the group. They will be playing mainly Greg’s originals with influences from jazz, pop, Indian and African music.

Sounds promising.

There may be other stuff elsewhere but no time to look it all up – apologies to the regular reader. But do note the upcoming Keith Tippett benefit at St Stephens church next week – Three Stephens for Keith, on Sat Oct 20th, features a solo piano set from Stephen Grew and the Blazing Flame Quintet. Details below. Keith still needs support, and making music seems the most appropriate way to do it, so do get along to this if you can. Promoters’ details of the gig below and here or here

STEPHEN GREW – SOLO PIANO Stephen Grew is an exceptional solo improviser, as well as one of a handful of pianists to have recorded duets with Keith Tippett. This is a rare opportunity to hear the Lancashire based pianist performing in Bristol – “intense solo keyboard extemporisation, often rhythmically dense against a masterful double handed linear narrative” Sandy Brown Jazz What’s New
BLAZING FLAME QUINTET PLUS Steve Day, voice, percussion; Peter Evans, electric violin; Mark Langford, bass clarinet, tenor saxophone; Julian Dale, double bass, voice; Marco Anderson, drums, percussion plus special guest David Mowat, trumpet. This performance will feature two short Keith Tippett compositions never previously played live. Steve Day has written sleeve notes to four of Keith’s key recordings; all of these musicians have worked individually and collectively with Keith Tippett, except Marco Anderson, who has played with Paul Dunmall (which almost counts!) “The blending of the music, vocals, poetry really works… a joy to listen to from beginning to end.” Jazzman Magazine
Note: No one involved in this concert will be taking a fee from ticket sales for this performance. “May music never just become another way of making money.” KT.
*It’s up now (16.00) of course. Here you go.


  1. Congratulations on your new status, Jon and indeed the whole family. Thanks for finding time to provide information on yet another great week of unmissable local jazz. Tough decisions.

  2. I’m sure there’s some sort of tenor conspiracy whenever I visit the Future Inns! 🙂
    First, a few years back, I was on the same night as Courtney Pine appeared at the Colston Hall. Then, a few months later, when I returned, I was on the same evening as Kamasi Washington was playing in the city. Tonight, I’m on at the same time as Andy Sheppard and his new project.
    So, in anticipation of tonight’s turn out I’d like to thank both of my audience for coming along.
    Simon Spillett

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