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Friday 7 March 2008

Julian Joseph Trio £14/£12

Julian Joseph Piano Adam Salkeld Guitar Mark Hodgson Bass

Julian Joseph

Julian Joseph

Julian is one of the most distinguished and high-profile performers in modern jazz; he has displayed his mastery across a wide range of musical fields, leading several ensembles, topped by his all-star big band. His scope covers the classical world, where he has performed Bartok, Prokofiev and Gershwin; he blazed a trail at the Wigmore Hall, being the first jazz player there, and at the Proms where his big band performed.

His opera Bridgetower (based on the life on 18th century violin prodigy and former slave George Bridgetower) premiered at the 2007 City of London Festival and has toured nationally. He has produced several commissions for symphony orchestra, and is of course an established broadcaster in radio and TV. Amongst the many major performers with whom he has worked are Branford Marsalis, David Murray and Chico Freeman. Adam and Mark have worked in his trio for several years, both being featured in his TV series.

For more information see www.julianjoseph.com.

Friday 14 March 2008

Nikki Iles Quintet £12/£10

Nikki Iles Piano Stan Sulzmann Saxophones Dick Pearce Trumpet
Dave Green Double bass Stephen Keogh Drums

Nikki Iles

Nikki Iles

As a composer and pianist, Nikki is in the first rank of UK players, with a sensitivity that brings to mind John Taylor, Paul Bley and Bill Evans. She has excelled in many fields, from several small groups to the Creative Jazz Orchestra, which saw her working with Anthony Braxton, Mike Gibbs, Kenny Wheeler and Mark Anthony Turnage. She has guested with the Julian Arguelles Octet; other ongoing projects partnered her with Norma Winstone, Tina May, Pete King, Tony Coe and Mark Lockheart.

Her quintet could not be better chosen, with the horn pairing of Stan and Dick, two of the most creative soloists in modern jazz; Stan appears with Nikki on the Tina May Trio's recent CD A Wing And A Prayer. Add our greatest double bassist and Peter King's drummer Stephen for a band of the highest quality.

For more information see www.nikkiiles.co.uk.

Friday 21 March 2008

Stan Tracey Trio £15

Stan Tracey Piano Andrew Cleyndert Double bass Clark Tracey Drums

Stan Tracey

Stan Tracey

It is always a pleasure to feature Stan Tracey; he is a figurehead for several generations of musicians for his playing and composing - and the music keeps flowing. In January 2008, as well as having his OBE upgraded to a CBE in the New Year's Honours List, he wowed the Barbican with a night of classic music, from his big band suites to the legendary duo with Keith Tippett.

Stan's life in jazz is also a history of British entertainment, beginning in the RAF Gang Show with Peter Sellers and Tony Hancock, who became good friends of Stan's. Work on transatlantic liners enabled him to hear Thelonious Monk and Duke Ellington; back in the UK, he spent the 50's with the Roy Fox and Ted Heath big bands, and recorded an album on vibes with Judy Garland. The 60's saw him as house pianist at Ronnie Scott's, playing for a succession of US stars such as Ben Webster, Roland Kirk, Wes Montgomery, Stan Getz, Zoot Sims and Sonny Rollins. Stan's recording history is massive, including his own record company Steam and several years on Blue Note; his own recording of Under Milk Wood is deservedly considered the most outstanding UK jazz album ever.

For more information see www.stantracey.co.uk.

Friday 28 March 2008

Ian Shaw £12/£10

Ian Shaw Voice & Piano

Ian Shaw

Ian Shaw by Brian O'Connor

Ian's position as the one of the UK's most charismatic singers was cemented with his second gong as Best Vocalist in the 2007 BBC Jazz Awards; his reputation as a unique interpreter of jazz, soul and pop classics extends far and wide. In the Essen Festival he was a member of a special choir put together by legendary composer Abdullah Ibrahim; this most varied of careers has also seen him produce tracks for Welsh songbird Charlotte Church. Other favourite performers with whom he has worked include Lea de Laria, Peter King, Guy Barker, Claire Martin, Liane Carroll and Marcella Detroit; an affinity with Joni's Mitchell's music produced his recent CD, Drawn To All Things.

As well as his extraordinary voice, running effortlessly from baritone to falsetto registers, Ian is also an accomplished jazz pianist.

Alongside the music, a Shaw gig may well be dosed with humour - one of his cited influences is piano legend Mrs Mills. He has also appeared as a film actor, alongside Timothy Spall and Juliet Stevenson in the Albert Pierrepoint biopic The Last Hangman; did I mention that his career was varied?

For more information see www.ianshaw.biz.