Brighton Jazz Club
Friday 2 May 2008
Dylan Howe's Unity 4 £12/£10
Dylan Howe Drums Sam Crockatt Tenor saxophone Mike Outram Guitar
Ross Stanley Hammond Organ
Dylan has become one of the most sought-after drummers across many fields of music; recent years saw his Blue Note-style quintet (featuring Quentin Collins) career around the UK jazz clubs and produce four CDs. He states that Unity 4 is his "boldest and most imaginative yet."
He began by jamming in 1979 with his guitarist dad (is he a legendary prog-rocker? Yes) and hasn't looked back, going on to gig with Nick Cave, Portishead, Paul McCartney and Damon Albarn.
He has over a decade's service with Ian Dury and the Blockheads; memorable quotes regarding Dylan's talents include "inspiring and invigorating in any genre" (The Guardian) and "you funky little bastard" (I. Dury).
He has chosen a dynamic line-up for his new band, new keyboard wizard Ross will be familiar from his piano stints with both Dylan's and Renato D'Aiello's quintets. Mike has a remarkable talent for many different styles of guitar; he managed to escape a youthful leaning towards heavy metal and exploding codpieces for the world of jazz with Tim Garland, Kate Williams and Inner Noise featuring Asaf Sirkis and Steve Lodder. Aside from his own bands, he has recorded alongside another 'prog' guitar legend, Robert Fripp.
For more information see www.myspace.com/dylanhowesunity4.
Friday 9 May 2008
Jean Toussaint Trio £14/£12
Jean Toussaint Saxophones Mike Janisch Bass Troy Miller Drums
Jean was one of our gigs chosen to launch our first season at Komedia, and it did not disappoint; this most dynamic performer is one of the most exciting and imaginative soloists. Hailing from St Thomas in the Virgin Islands, Jean studied at Berklee, becoming a major presence on the US scene with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, Max Roach, Gil Evans, McCoy Tyner, Cedar Walton and Chico Freeman. Luckily he has seen enough promise in UK jazz to base himself here since 1987.
His band has won Best CD at the BBC Jazz Awards, and he currently has the recording Jean Toussaint Quartet Live In Paris available on Spacetime Records.
His bandmates will no doubt add to the energy levels; virtuosic US emigré Mike studied with Ray Brown and has played with Joe Lovano, Roy Hargrove and Clark Terry. Troy is a member of Soweto Kinch's band, calling upon him, Jean and Jason Rebello to perform on his CD 40 Days.
For more information see www.myspace.com/jeantoussaint.
Friday 16 May 2008 (8pm start)
Iain Ballamy's Anorak £14/£12
Iain Ballamy Saxophones Gareth Williams Piano Steve Watts Bass Tim Giles Drums
This quartet comprises a powerhouse of creativity, driven by one of the most fertile, perhaps furtive brains in jazz. Iain is known as a hugely imaginative soloist and composer, from years with Loose Tubes, Bill Bruford's Earthworks and his own bands. He's worked with musicians in Norway, Hungary, Brazil, India and the Sudan; he has scored several films, including the magical, award-winning Mirrormask. Fittingly, Anorak's music is decidedly eclectic, with that the tunes are often given at least two names.
The band are some of the most dazzling players around, and lead their own groups; they've variously played with James Moody, Norma Winstone and Us3. Gareth is a virtuoso on piano, guitar and voice; musical influences include Big Bill Broonzy, Mahler, Coltrane and Thin Lizzy. Most of these not being available, he's played with similarly epic performers Bud Shank, Jim Mullen, Claire Martin and George Coleman. Brilliant bassist Steve is currently a professor of bass at four music colleges; Tim's wide range of gigging includes Hungry Ants and Perfect Houseplants, two fine bands rather than a call for insecticide.
For more information see www.myspace.com/iainballamy.
Friday 23 May 2008 (8pm start)
Gilad Atzmon's Orient House Ensemble £14/£12
Gilad Atzmon Saxophones, clarinet, vocals
Frank Harrison Piano Yaron Stavi Basses Asaf Sirkis Drums
Having created such a memorable and electric atmosphere for last September's launch night, Gilad returns, having continued his Refuge tour across the UK and into Europe. His first appearances for Brighton Jazz Club were suitably jaw-dropping for their sheer intensity, invention and verve; he has continued to confound expectations with his fresh approach to the classic jazz repertoire.
A peerless postbop virtuoso on clarinet and saxophones, he weaves influences from myriad Middle Eastern cultures to produce something original and spectacular; ever restless, he has been exploring further musical influences, including Arabic elements, to add to the already tumultuous brew.
He also has a new project which explores his own musical past - the moment when he heard Charlie Parker on the radio, performing with strings, impelling the young Gilad to hoover up every bebop record on sale in Jerusalem (he reckons, about two at that time). Gilad is currently touring his own live version, with a string quartet added to his substantial team of Frank, Yaron and Asaf.
For more information see www.gilad.co.uk.
Friday 30 May 2008
Matt Wates Sextet £14/£12
Matt Wates Alto saxophone Martin Shaw Trumpet Mark Hanslip Tenor saxophone
Leon Greening Piano Julian Bury Bass Sebastian de Krom Drums
This sextet has been gigging and recording solidly since the mid 1990s, and is as tight an ensemble as that would suggest. Berklee alumnus Matt puts together the finest players to recreate the feel of the classic bands of Art Blakey, Horace Silver and other Blue Note staples, and has produced a mammoth nine CDs with this group alone. All bear the above influences, though he declares that 80% of the material will be original compositions - but it is all guaranteed to swing.
His band have all the right qualities, being seasoned players in straight ahead and beyond; Martin's sensational soloing has been heard with everyone from Stan Tracey to Jamiroquai. A stalwart of big bands including the Michael Garrick Orchestra and Hans Koller Ensemble, Mark is due here in July with the quartet Outhouse. Leon also gigs with Christian Brewer and Damon Brown, his deft playing recalling great pianists such as Wynton Kelly and Bobby Timmons; Julian is also a regular in Matt's trio, and with Tommaso Starace's band, while Sebastian has appeared with the brilliant Killer Shrimp and Jamie Cullum.
For more information see www.myspace.com/mattwatessextet.