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Friday 6 March 2009

Simon Spillett Quartet £12/£10 (NUS £8)

Simon Spillett Tenor saxophone
John Critchinson Piano Andy Cleyndert Bass Spike Wells Drums

Simon Spillett

Simon Spillett by Christopher Love

Steeped in post bop tradition, Simon's big-toned style is proving ever more popular. The 'Rising Star' in the BBC Jazz Awards 2007, he is currently touring the UK's jazz clubs with his band; he also performs with the all-star Ronnie Scott's Jazz Orchestra, and in a quintet alongside Pete King. While seeking inspiration from all the straight ahead giants, his dedication to the work of the great Tubby Hayes is significant.

His debut CD Introducing Simon Spillett (on Alan Barnes' Woodville label) includes several Hayes favourites alongside Simon's own writing, while the follow-up Sienna Red has received rave reviews; it features tonight's stellar rhythm section, who all performed in Ronnie Scott's bands; Spike was also, of course, the drummer in Tubby's quartet.

For more information see www.freewebs.com/simonspillett.

Friday 13 March 2009

Kate Williams Quintet £12/£10 (NUS £8)

Kate Williams Piano Stan Sulzmann Saxes Gareth Lockrane Flute
Jeremy Brown Bass Tristan Maillot Drums

Kate Williams

Kate Williams

Kate's playing and compositions have brought many awards and comparisons with several choice musicians, including Lennie Tristano and Keith Jarrett. Her own music has much to offer, with Monkish turns and capricious mood swings; she also performs select material by McCoy Tyner, Chick Corea, Tristano and others.

Her touring band is a mouth-watering collection of the finest players; the great Stan Sulzmann is busy with several excellent projects. Here last month augmenting the Jim Mullen Organ Trio, (appearing on the new CD Smokescreen) he has a new band, Neon, with Gwilym Simcock and Jim Hart (new CD Here To There). He can also be heard with the Kenny Wheeler Quintet.

Gareth is without doubt the finest flautist to have emerged in several years; he has run several bands including septet, while November 08 saw the debut of his own big band in the London Jazz Festival. He was also a key member of the late Bheki Mseleku's final group. Jeremy and Tristan work regularly with all the leading players, including Pete King, Stan Tracey and Bobby Wellins.

For more information see www.kate-williams-quartet.com.

Friday 20 March 2009

George Haslam Quartet
featuring Steve Waterman £12/£10 (NUS £8)

George Haslam Baritone saxophone & Tarogato Steve Waterman Trumpet & Flugelhorn Steve Kershaw Bass Robin Jones Drums

George Haslam

George Haslam

One of the most energetic and adventurous musicians in the UK, George Haslam an undoubted world-wide reputation as a performer; highlights include being the first British jazz musician to lead groups to Cuba and Argentina. His worldwide tours have taken him across the Far East, Russia, Scandinavia and South America; over the years he has worked with several of the most creative voices in the music, including Steve Lacy, Charlie Mariano, Joachim Kuhn and Arturo Sandoval. Another highlight was his group featuring US piano legend, the late Mal Waldron, and he also had time to found and run the innovative Slam record label.

George has assembled a quartet of talents with massive experience across jazz and world music. One of our favourite trumpet players, Steve is a long-established star performer, appearing on CDs by the Carla Bley Big Band and John Surman's Brass Project. His bands include his own all-star Jazz Orchestra; he has also been lead trumpet and arranger for Robin Jones Latin Jazz Orchestra. Steve Kershaw co-leads the Anglo-Scandinavian band Stekpanna, with who he has toured world-wide; he's also worked with Jamie Cullum, Andy Sheppard and Gilad Atzmon.

Last but not least is the legend that is Robin Jones. Robin is a pioneer of salsa music in the UK, leading his band King Salsa and his Latin Jazz Orchestra since 1986. His long career includes gigs with Stan Getz, Chet Baker, Machito, Mongo Santamaria and Ben Webster.

For more information see www.georgehaslam.com.

Friday 27 March 2009

John Law Trio The Art of Sound £12/£10 (NUS £8)

John Law Piano Sam Burgess Bass Asaf Sirkis Drums

John Law

John Law

John can always be relied upon to bring dynamic and challenging bands, fired by his extraordinary soloing and compositions. A prodigy who was performing and composing at the age of six, he moved into improvised music in his twenties after extensive classical studies, with praise from piano god Alfred Brendel still ringing in his ears. Recent years brought us the storming festival appearance of his European Quartet and his Cornucopia ensemble, featuring Andy Sheppard and Chris Laurence. The dynamism continues in John's solo appearances and in his trio, which has performed to acclaim at the Clusone Festival in Italy. The international rise of the jazz trio has brought us the talents of EST, Brad Mehldau, the Bad Plus, Tord Gustaven and the Necks; John's band belongs this august company. For their Art Of Sound CD recording and tour, John, Sam and Asaf decamped to the Artesuono studio in Italy, a favourite of the ECM label.

John has recently released two solo Art Of Sound CDs, The Ghost In The Oak and Chorale, which brought comparisons with Jarrett's classic Koln Concerts. The fourth Art Of Sound CD has just been released; Congregation features the full trio and takes the band into more extrovert territory than previous recordings.

Asaf will be a perfect partner, a powerful performer who leads his own band, Inner Noise, alongside membership of Gilad Atzmon's Orient House Ensemble. Sam is one of the hardest-working players in the UK; he's recorded and toured widely with Dave O'Higgins, Tim Whitehead and Pete Wareham.

For more information see www.nday.co.uk/JohnLaw.html.