Brighton Jazz Club
Friday 6 February 2009
Mick Hutton Group £12/£10 (NUS £8)
Mick Hutton Bass Andy Panayi Saxes Barry Green Piano Paul Robinson Drums
Mick Hutton has been one of the most popular musicians in the UK since the early 80s and is certainly one of the most experienced, across a wide range. As the house bassist at Ronnie Scott's, he performed with Pharoah Sanders, Mark Murphy, Charlie Byrd, Tal Farlow, Johnny Griffin and Joe Henderson, and he's played a major part of bands led by Gordon Beck, John Taylor, Harry Beckett, Django Bates and Tim Whitehead.
He played under the direction of Gil Evans for the soundtrack of Absolute Beginners, and recorded several times for ECM. In recent years he's gigged with various performers including Humphrey Lyttleton and Jack Bruce, and diversified into playing steel pans and other instruments.
Naturally his new band are also of the highest calibre; one highlight in a long career for Paul is drumming for Nina Simone, from 1984 to 2003. Alongside many pop and rock sessions have been tours with Mose Allison and Van Morrison. Andy and his multifarious reed-based gifts will be familiar from his recent gig here with Mark Nightingale; he returns soon in the Alan Barnes Octet. Barry is one of the most sparkling new piano talents, as heard on last year's gig here with the Spike Wells Trio. He has a solo album Introducing… on Tentoten Records, featuring his regular playing partners Ingrid Laubrock, Seb Rochford, Christine Tobin and Anita Wardell.
For more information see Mick's MySpace page.
Friday 13 February 2009
Anita Wardell Quartet £12/£10 (NUS £8)
Anita Wardell Vocals Robin Aspland Piano Jeremy Brown Bass Steve Brown Drums
Here is a chance to hear one of our favourite singers at the height of her considerable powers. Anita's talents can be gauged from the plaudits of fellow vocalists; Mark Murphy praised her abilities in both ballad and scat singing. Norma Winstone spoke of her "unexpected vulnerability, which makes her reading of ballads both beautiful and touching."
She has always worked with the best musicians, recording Straight Ahead in 1998 with Jason Rebello. Her longstanding musical relationship with pianist Robin Aspland started with the release of Until the Stars Fade in 2001, also featuring Jeremy on bass; she has also worked with powerhouse saxophonist Benn Clatworthy, recording If You Never Come To Me.
Now a BBC Jazz Award winner she is signed to Specific Jazz Records, and has produced Noted, a collection of Blue Note classics to which Anita has added many of her own lyrics, receiving 4 and 5 star reviews from UK and European jazz publications. Her latest album Kinda Blue features Robin, Jeremy and Steve, plus special guests.
For more information see www.anitawardell.com.
Friday 20 February 2009
Alan Barnes Octet Harlem Airshaft
£15/£13 (NUS £11)
Alan Barnes, Tony Coe, & Andy Panayi Saxes and clarinets
Bruce Adams Trumpet Andy Woods Trombone
John Horler Piano Alec Dankworth Bass Mike Smith Drums
This is a group that pretty much speaks for itself; all of the band are world class performers, playing perhaps the finest music that jazz has to offer. The band play Ellington and Strayhorn, with many of the pieces being lesser known classics from Duke's catalogue, as heard on their CD, Harlem Airshaft, which features special arrangements by Tony Faulkner. Early testimony from their performances suggest that these eight matchless players have no difficulty in evoking the big band sound.
The soloists will all be familiar; Andy wowed us with his quartet a couple of months back; Bruce is a too-rare visitor to these parts, being based in Scotland. He's recorded many times with Alan's Woodville label, Carol Kidd and performed alongside Steve Waterman in the latter's jazz orchestra.
Tony is simply one of the most gifted musicians Britain has produced, able to decline an offer to join the Count Basie Orchestra (in 1965); brilliant enought to perform with Pierre Boulez, he was the first European musician to receive the Jazzpar Prize.
Andy is the trombone soloist for the BBC Big Band and many others, including Michael Parkinson's house band. With the solid gold rhythm section of John, Alec and Mike, we are assured of another candidate for "gig of the year".
Friday 27 February 2009
Jim Mullen Organ Trio plus Stan Sulzmann
£12/£10 (NUS £8)
Jim Mullen Guitar Stan Sulzmann Saxophones
Mike Gorman Organ Matt Skelton Drums
Two UK legends, favourite performers for decades, here team up with a pair of rising stars. Jim's status stems from his epic days with various jazz and rock pioneers including Brian Auger and Vinegar Joe with Elkie Brooks, to his own immortal, eponymous band with the late lamented Dick Morrissey, and appearances with the Average White Band. Several albums with Claire Martin and his own bands have followed.
Stan's pathway to this group takes in work with many major composers since the 1960s, including Gil Evans, Kenny Wheeler, John Taylor, Gordon Beck, Mike Gibbs and Michael Brecker. He's most recently worked in acclaimed line-ups with Nikki Iles, Marc Copeland and the trio Ordesa with Kenny Wheeler and John Parricelli, and has also led his own big band.
Mike has appeared for us in many guises as a straight ahead player, and also brings a deep vein of funk to the band, having worked with AWB's Hamish Stuart on tours as far as Japan, and with Us3. Matt brings richness of experience from work with Harry 'Sweets' Edison, Scott Hamilton, the Pizzarellis, Claire Martin and the Britten Symphonia. After their first CD Gig Bag, the band have been introducing their new recording Make Believe with a national tour including a run at Ronnie Scotts.
For more information see Jim's MySpace page.