Bristol jazz week – 29 Oct

I’m always curious to see what gets the various jazz tribes out of their living rooms. Something’s definitely working in Bristol at the moment, with a slew of varied gigs selling out. As Tony Benjamin points out in his weekly preview, you’re already too late to grab a ticket for Moscow Drug Club at the Fringe on Wednesday or Sons of Kemet tonight (Monday) at The Fleece. No surprise in either case, I guess. The former’s stylish cabaret jazz is popular, the venue small, and Sons of Kemet are the state of the art contemporary outfit who almost won the Mercury Prize. If I was better organised I might even have braved the venue to catch that one myself, though I’d really rather sit down (they’re mesmerising either way). Still, the impressive Morpher, playing to a smaller crowd at the Hen and Chicken last night, had moments where they explored very similar territory, albeit with only the one drummer.

Also heavily sold is St George’s favourite Tord Gustavsen, visiting Brandon Hill tomorrow (Tuesday) – though there are still a handful of seats left as I write. I’ve been in two minds about previous gigs of his: some worked, some didn’t, but you can see why his devotional, atmospheric keyboard work appeals to the St George’s crowd. I’ll be going along to try and get in the sort of quiet, attentive mood that’s essential to appreciate his music.

There’ll be a different crowd again, I imagine, for one Tony doesn’t mention – bass legend Stanley Clarke, who saw a big turnout at the Fleece on his last Bristol visit but is playing this week (Thursday) at the Fiddlers. And it looks like there’ll be a decent turnout in Cardiff on Wednesday for Jason Moran (see previous post for details), but still tickets left there.

All of these may leave some of the other regulars in the shade, so here’s hoping there are listeners left over for Future Inns on Thursday and for a slightly larger crowd than last week at the Bebop club, where Adam Glasser played a storming piano and harmonica set (sometimes simultaneously) for a rather select audience. Tony has details of this week’s bookings at those venues and more, too. As ever, I marvel at the range of music on offer in or around a small city in a single week.


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