I was pretty excited last time the great Chicagoan drummer Hamid Drake hit town. Well, he’s back, alongside Paul Dunmall again, but this time at the Fringe instead of the Lantern. They work brilliantly together and all I can say is that anyone who can get a seat for this in the, er, more intimate venue on Wednesday should consider themselves privileged. Drake always lifts any band he’s in. He’s appearing with Archie Shepp at the London Jazz festival in a couple of weeks. ‘Nuff said.
That visit is Tony Benjamin’s current highlight, too. Go here, to read his rundown of all the other delights in Bristol jazz this week. The density of good music in and around town continues to impress. I caught South African piano and harmonica virtuoso (sometimes both at once) Adam Glasser at the BeBop club the other Friday, then in the space of the next few days took in two excellent young bands at the Hen and Chicken, Tord Gustavsen at St George’s (a little more animated than usual) and Jason Moran in Cardiff (see previous post).
I commented on the division among reviewers of Moran’s project – AJ Dehany at London Jazz has come down on the positive side, and describes the show at some length. A nice way to remember an outstanding evening. Spending time in Belfast, then topping up with good music while in Bristol seems to be working pretty well, no matter when I’m here.