Brighton Jazz Club
Friday 5 September 2008
Byron Wallen's 'Indigo' £14/£12
Byron Wallen Trumpet and flugelhorn Tony Kofi Baritone, alto and soprano saxes Larry Bartley Double bass Tom Skinner Drums
Byron's always absorbing music genuinely draws in the disparate elements of African and Eastern cultures, while retaining true jazz spirit. Work this year has included a trip to Mexico to develop music in the Callejoneada tradition and a performance in Paris with Jack de Johnette, playing a new score to the film Jack Johnson. He has also gigged with Andrew Hill, David Murray, Billy Higgins, Eddie Henderson, Wynton Marsalis, Freddie Hubbard, McCoy Tyner and Bheki Mseleku.
His front-line partner is another formidable creator; Tony's skills as soloist and composer can been heard on his CDs Future Passed and the multi-award-winning All Is Know Monk project, and when appearing with the orchestras of Andrew Hill and Sam Rivers.
Larry and Tom complete the Indigo line-up with a great breadth of experience; they have worked variously with Denys Baptiste, Ingrid Laubrock, Christine Tobin, Jean Toussaint and Stanley Turrentine.
The whole team appear on the CDs Meeting Ground, and the new release Revelations in Small Steps, both on Byron's own Twilight Jaguar label.
For more information see www.byronwallen.co.uk.
Friday 12 September 2008
Killer Shrimp £14/£12
Damon Brown Trumpet, flugelghorn, vocals Ed Jones Saxophones, bass clarinet
Ben Hazleton Double bass Troy Miller Drums
Killer Shrimp's gig here last year was, as expected, a full-tilt riotous blowing session. Famed for their time with international funkateers such as Incognito and Us3, this quartet somehow contains a mass of explosive creative energies from every extrovert genre imaginable.
Killer Shrimp took the gong for Best Ensemble 2007 from those new boys in the bestowel business, the Parliamentary Jazz Awards; the band's CD Sincerely Whatever was also nominated, featuring several compositions from Damon and Ed.
Rooted in straight ahead blowing, they promise tasteful touches of latin and drum & bass, with influences from Dolphy, Mulligan, the Art Ensemble of Chicago and Brian Eno.
Ben will be familiar from barnstorming gigs with Tony Kofi's quartet, and Troy from Jean Toussaint's trio; he has toured worldwide with Roy Ayers, and appears on Soweto Kinch's two albums.
For more information see www.myspace.com/killershrimpjazz.
Friday 19 September 2008
Howard Britz & Jonathan Gee's
'New York to London Express' £14/£12
Howard Britz Bass Jonathan Gee Piano
Quentin Collins Trumpet Will Vinson Alto saxophone Sylvia Cuenca Drums
This genuinely transatlantic collaboration celebrates a new band with a hugely impressive pedigree, each member being a bandleader in their own right.
Howard has been based in the US since 1991, arriving on a Berklee scholarship; as a well-established player, he's worked with Jon Hendricks, Annie Ross, Paquito d'Rivera, Sam Rivers, Julius Hemphill, Jeff 'Tain' Watts and Uri Caine. Before New York beckoned, he was a respected player around the UK with Tim Garland and tonight's co-leader Jonathan. He was here most recently with another international outfit, his UK/Italian collaboration, represented by his CD Cream of Mandarins.
Sylvia is a born-and-bred Californian who is based on the New York scene; having spent several years with players such as Joe Henderson, Clark Terry and Eddie Henderson, she co-leads bands including Exit 13. Another collaborator offers this unmatchable testimonial:
"What really impressed me is that Sylvia is not bombastic. Her playing is very, very tasty. She has good time, good imagination. This tour was a real pleasure. Michael Brecker kind of put some fire under her and she came through with flying colors." ~ Kenny Barron
The horn players in the band are also top-rated; Will has been based in New York since 1999, leading several bands and producing the CDs It's For You and Promises. His dynamic playing has been compared with that of Bobby Watson and Greg Osby; he recently gigged in London with US guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel.
Quentin is a member of another US/UK unit, the Transatlantic Collective, and has gigged around Europe with Kyle Eastwood's band; he played BJC this year with Renato d'Aiello. His debut CD as a leader, If Not Now, Then When has been well received.
For more information see www.myspace.com/howardbritz.
Friday 26 September 2008
Chris Laurence Quartet £12/£10
Chris Laurence Bass Frank Ricotti Vibraphone
John Parricelli Guitar Martin France Drums
This quartet could hardly be bettered for its collection of like-minded musicians, all world-class players in many fields. A rather churlish reviewer heralded the quartet's CD New View with "Jazz Great Finally Releases Album", suggesting perhaps that Chris had been idle, when he is by some stretch one of the busiest bassists in jazz and classical circles. All reviews, of course, recognised the eloquence and sophistication of the playing, featured in pieces by Steve Swallow, Kenny Wheeler, Stan Sulzmann and the band.
Chris's range is possibly unmatched, covering the UK greats such as Wheeler and Surman, US stars Sarah Vaughan and JJ Johnson, classical artists with the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, a squillion film soundtracks including Amadeus and Leaving Las Vegas, and popular types such as Sting and Elton John.
One who matches this work-rate is Frank, dubbed the country's busiest percussionist. Everyone has heard his playing on numerous pop albums; his compositions earned him a BAFTA for Best Original Television Music for The Beiderbecke Connection, while his film work includes Harry Potter, Shakespeare in Love, Captain Corelli's Mandolin and The Beach. We will all know his jazz playing from many years with Stan Tracey, John Taylor, Mike Gibbs, Norma Winstone, Gordon Beck and others.
John's guitar skills are also world class, and much sought after in the session world, but jazz-wise he's been very busy playing with Andy Sheppard, Mark Lockheart's Scratch Band, the trio with Norma Winstone and Iain Ballamy, Gerard Presencer, Colin Towns Quintet and Mask Orchestra, Martin Speake Quartet; a current favourite is the trio Ordesa with Stan Sulzmann and Kenny Wheeler.
Martin worked of course with John in Loose Tubes, going on to Delightful Precipice and Human Chain; his career as composer and bandleader has been a whirlwind of international work with Dave Holland, Maria Schneider, Arild Anderson, Bob Mintzer, Nils-Petter Molvaer, Bugge Wesseltoft; his own band Spin Marvel produced a fine CD.
For more information see www.chrislaurencebass.com.