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Bristol jazz this week – March 13

March 13, 2017

Here’s the usual run down of local gigs from Bristol 247. There’s more going on than just the Jazz Festival, you know…

Bristol jazz this week

March 7, 2017

Here’s the regular pointer to Tony Benjamin’s preview on Bristol247. Plenty to choose from, all styles…

And a couple of extras from me:

The free music sessions at the Greenbank in Easton have a date this Thursday (9th), with line-ups as follows –

Vostok 5 – Matthew Grigg guitar, amplifier Rebecca Sneddon saxophones, Roger Telford drums, Mark Langford reeds, Dominic Lash double bass.
Magllochi, Okamoto, Northover & Gibbs
Marcello Magllocchi drums, Maresuke Okamoto bass,    Adrian Northover sax, Phil Gibbs guitar
Other upcoming dates are listed here.
Finally, the enterprising crew that are Bristol European Jazz Ensemble have something of a mini-festival on Saturday night (11th) at the Fringe in Clifton.
Featuring the BEJE TRIO Federico Leonori bass, Knud Stuwe guitar/oud and David Mowat playing NEW COMPOSITIONS by David Mowat in the first set and the sultans of groove and swing, Pasquale Votino bass, Paolo Adamo drums, Anders Olinder piano and Len Aruliah on alto sax in the 2nd set, with David and Knud joining them.
That all starts at 6.30. Details and tickets here.

Festival highlights

March 5, 2017

Less than a fortnight to go: It’s time to start getting excited about Bristol’s own festival. I’ve already previewed it for my friends at LondonJazzNews, but here’s another helping – with comments on some personal highlights. I’m concentrating here on the sets outside the main concert hall, although there’s plenty of good stuff there, too (Bobby Shew, Macy Grey, London Community Gospel Choir, and more).

First thing to say is that the contemporary side of the programme is excellent this year. I had a mental note of two newish bands I was really hoping to catch live in 2017. One was Laura Jurd’s Dinosaur, the other Jasper Hoiby’s Fellow Creatures. And what do you know, they’re both performing in the Lantern for the festival.

Dinosaur is in fact the latest version of trumpeter Jurd’s band, which has featured these players in various combinations for some time, but seems like a fuller expression of her musical vision. The young trumpet-player has an ear for electric Miles as well as Kenny Wheeler, and can do them both justice, with an apparently endless fund of striking melodic lines in her soloing. The combination with Eliott Galvin on piano, Conor Chaplin on bass and Corrie Dick on drums – each of them leading young exponents of their instrument – is superb.

Hoiby is well-known as the bass virtuoso who has been the front man for the wonderful trio Phronesis for a decade now. Last year saw the debut of this new formation that showcases different facets of his playing and composing.  Fellow Creatures features Mark Lockheart, whose sax has featured in bands from Loose Tubes to Polar Bear, Laura Jurd again – thus uniting two of the most interesting horn voices from older and new UK generations – along with Corrie Dick and Will Barry on piano. Their first CD was one of last year’s best new recordings and it’ll be a treat to hear how the music develops on stage with such a formidable line-up of improvisers.

That would normally make a strong weekend, but there’s lots more. Jason Rebello plays a rare solo piano set on Saturday afternoon, Dakhla have a double bill in the Lantern with guitarist Remi Harris the previous evening, and the same venue also sees sets from the popular combination of Gilad Atzmon and Alan Barnes, trumpeter Yaz Ahmed and bass player Alec Dankworth’s charming Spanish Accents ensemble.

Bristol favourite (though, alas, no longer resident) Andy Sheppard has a date in the big hall on Thursday evening, when he presents a new score for Metropolis. For a 90 year old film, it’s a pretty amazing piece, with images of cities, machines, robots and mad scientists that have hardly been bettered since. It’ll be great to see how Andy and his musicians respond to them.

There’s a generously programmed sequence of free sets in the Colston Hall foyer, as usual, running all four days of this year’s festival. If you’re sampling the ticketed gigs, and you should, which free ones you can enjoy depends on where you’re headed next. But try and make time to catch Jim Blomfield’s trio (Saturday at 17.00), who are reportedly on especially good form at the moment, Andy Nowak’s trio, and Katya Gorrie’s Tom Waits project (both Sunday), or just make a point of pausing to see what catches the ear if you’re in the building. That serendipity is one of the things that makes this festival so enjoyable.

Full programme here – and some shows are selling out so bookings recommended soon.

Rotwang says: Enjoy!




Bristol jazz diary – 28 Feb

February 28, 2017
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Here’s the link to Tony Benjamin‘s regular preview for Bristol247, with an excellent sequence of gigs from Wednesday through Sunday evening this week…  Ian Storror’s Sunday date at the Hen and Chicken looks best of the bunch, as is often the case, but Roberto Manzin at the BeBop club two days before sounds pretty interesting, too.

Bristol jazz week – Feb

February 20, 2017
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Need to make sure this goes up today as there’s a notable early gig this week – namely Led Bib at the Canteen tomorrow (Tuesday). The rocking, raucous outfit are back with a new CD after a three year break from recording, and touring all over – congrats to the Canteen for booking them in.

Other things of note this week include ace bass and trumpet player Percy Purseglove‘s Perdato (think the Pushy Doctors with Percy substituting for Andy Sheppard) at the Fringe on Wednesday, Denny Ilett’s quartet at the BeBop club Friday. (I’m still cross to have missed John Law last week through illness – must see him again soon).

Finally, Alex Monk’s Flying Machines should be a memorable night at Future Inn on Thursday. I don’t know the band, but they have a very promising personnel, including the ace rhythm team of Conor Caplin on bass and Dave Hamblett on drums.Haven’t made it down to Future Inn yet this year, either, but their programme still looks as if it is going strong.

Bristol jazz week – Feb 13

February 15, 2017

A late posting this week, following Bristol247 – who have now provided Tony Benjamin’s essential guide to this week’s jazz offerings. Which is good, as there’s more going on than I thought.

Looking forward to catching John Law at the Bebop club on Friday, after missing his Bristol visit (with a different band) last week. Was a good week, though, with a fine evening from Quercus at St George’s and, possibly even better, a memorably high-level set from Tim Armacost’s trio at the Hen and Chicken. As ever, the latter reminded that Ian Storror puts on an extraordinarily high quality programme, often featuring visitors who we wouldn’t get the chance to hear in Bristol otherwise. If in doubt, if Ian booked them, they’re definitely worth hearing. This one didn’t have the largest audience, but those there were richly rewarded. Someone said they thought the slightly smaller crowd than usual might have been because some are wary of saxophone trios. But that’s just crazy talk.

(Bristol) Jazz listing resumed…

February 7, 2017

Following a blip last week (unless I missed something), Bristol247 has the usual knowledgeable weekly jazz selection from Tony Benjamin back on offer here.

Includes a great chance to hear John Law‘s new quartet with Sam Crockett – leader on one of 2016’s best UK CD releases – at Future Inns on Thursday, if you don’t have tickets for Quercus at St Georges (I do..). And a very promising trio at the Hen and Chicken on Sunday, with Tim Armacost from the US on sax and regular visitor and label boss Michael Janisch on bass. OK, the associated CD features Armacost with the matchless pair of Tain Watts on drums and Robert Hurst on bass, but that was a line-up feasible for a studio date, not a European tour.