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Bristol jazz week, Aug 28

August 29, 2017
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Weekly pointer to Mr Benjamin’s comprehensive jazz previews on Bristol 247, which I link to so blog followers don’t have to go looking for it. This week’s is here

Last week’s Fringe gig with Greg Cordez was a resounding success, as TB also recounts in detail here. Two of the band, drummer Matt Brown and trumpeter Pete Judge, return there this week with the excellent Dakhla, who ought to fill the place again.

And while I’m linking to reviews, Mike Collins wrote this nice notice of Sam Crockatt‘s trio the other week, which I missed last the time. Crockett will be back in Bristol soon with John Law – one to look forward to.

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Bristol Jazz this week – Aug 21

August 22, 2017
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Weekly pointer to Mr Benjamin’s comprehensive jazz previews on Bristol 247, which I link to so blog followers don’t have to go looking for it. This week’s is here.

Greg Cordez has an excellent collection of new music he’s recorded in a session in New York, so it’ll be interesting to find out what his Bristol bandmates make of it at on its first live outing on Wednesday. You can hear the new album on his soundcloud page here. Hope there’ll be a CD release at some point, too,.

Epoch/Greg Sterland – Salt Cafe Friday

August 20, 2017

A short post to review the venue as much as the music. We’re not short of jazz spots in Bristol, and they all have their pros and cons (I write as one who didn’t manage to get a seat for Andy Sheppard at the Fringe last week…). Never mind, there’s always another gig. This one featured Matt James on guitar, playing a pleasing selection of other people’s tunes (Ellington, Wheeler, Shorter, Parker and a particularly nice treatment of Coltrane’s Syeeda’s Flute Song). He’s a fluid soloist in what I think of as the Berklee School style (Mick Goodrick to Wolfgang Muthspiel), and finished with an intriguing composition of his own, Andromeda Collides (?) that took things in a slightly different direction.

I don’t know how often this trio gets together but the set was lifted by the understanding between Pasquale Votino on bass and Paulo Adamo on drums, who I think must play together pretty well every night. They also gave great support to young tenor player Greg Sterling in the first set. I missed most of that so won’t say more except that he’s obviously someone to listen to properly another time.

And the venue? Salt Cafe is a stroll from the centre, and it’s just a very nice room to relax and listen. Much as I enjoy the music in other places, they aren’t rooms you’d visit for any other reason. So it’s nice to be sitting somewhere of an evening where you think it would be a good idea to come back during the day just to grab a coffee or a snack.20245379_2032592603635388_814340919758304812_n.jpg

It only seats a couple of dozen downstairs but that doesn’t seem a problem yet. They do food when there are evening events, and seem to feature jazz every now and again, so worth keeping an eye on their events page if you fancy a change of scene from those rooms tightly packed with chairs of questionable origin, where you have to put your pint on the floor and try not to kick it over during the music…

Bristol jazz week – Aug 14th

August 15, 2017

Here’s Tony Benjamin‘s list for the coming week. Not surprised to read there that our now occasional-visitor-from-overseas Andy Sheppard at the Fringe is sold out already – but as a ticket holder I note smugly that I do enjoy seeing the Pushy Doctors in that small but perfectly formed venue. You can still get tickets to see his ECM quartet at St George‘s in November, though, but do it soon as that already looks heavily booked. It’s a measure of his deserved popularity that his London Jazz Festival show the same month sold out way ahead of time, too – and they’ve had to add an extra show at King’s Place so, as ever, it’s good he’s visiting Bristol again with that band.

If you miss him this week, you can still take in a date that Tony omits, on Thursday, when the Jazz Defenders play Future Inns. The Inns folks have confused us all by taking an August break, then having a gig in the middle of the month anyway. Hope that doesn’t confuse too many of the regular punters as it’s an excellent group, with George Cooper leading on piano and featuring Nick Malcolm on trumpet, Nick Dover (sax) and the familiar rhythm duo of Matt Brown (drums) and Will Harris (bass). Together, they have an uncanny ability to conjure up the feel of the classic Blue Note era while playing new tunes.

 

Bristol jazz week Aug 7

August 8, 2017
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Little burst of visitors this week – must all be looking for gigs to go to? Well, there are some.

Here, as usual, Tony Benjamin‘s list for Bristol 247 which I link to so you don’t have to go rummaging around for it on their site.

Tony mentions Sam Crockatt, who has joined what is becoming a little jazz colony in Frome, and his excellent trio at the Hen and Chicken on Sunday. As he says, the leader’s own compositions feature, but an early outing for this threesome at the BeBop club showed that he is also keen to search out other music to play. There were several lovely folk tunes in the set, and at least one that, as I recall, he said he came across as a set piece for one of his students. The principle at work seems to be one I’ve come to value more in recent years – if a tune has survived for a hundred years, that probably means it has something the others don’t.

It’s refreshing to find a player as good as Crockatt taking the trouble to do this. One sits through so many gigs where the music is all written by the band and – though this doesn’t apply to his – the pieces are forgotten as soon as they are over. Music graduates are almost always formidably well-equipped players these days. They have to write stuff, too, but real compositional flair is still relatively rare. It’s a great advantage for an emerging jazz player, I reckon, to recognise that there is a vast amount of great music out there to work with that is hardly ever heard, just waiting for a talented improviser to bring it back to life. Crockatt does.

Bristol jazz this week – July 31

August 1, 2017

Weekly pointer to Mr Benjamin’s comprehensive jazz previews on Bristol 247, which I link to so blog followers don’t have to go looking for it. This week’s is here.

Been too busy to get to any gigs last couple of weeks. Must try harder…

Bristol jazz – week July 24

July 25, 2017
Weekly pointer to Mr Benjamin’s comprehensive jazz previews on Bristol 247, which I link to so blog followers don’t have to go looking for it. This week’s is here.
It still has a fair few gigs, even in this summer lull, but an unusually high proportion of bands I don’t know about. I obviously need to get out more…