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Friday 4 September 2009

Peter King Quartet £14/£12 (NUS £10)

Peter King Alto sax Robin Aspland Piano
Geoff Gascoyne Bass Martin Drew Drums

Peter King

Peter King by Jamie Matthews

A perfect curtain raiser to our new season, alto saxophonist Peter King is a constant wonder; a fierce bebop survivor from the first days of Ronnie Scott's club and the modern jazz resurgence, he continues to produce brilliant music from standard bop to classical compositions.

During a fascinating career, he has worked with legends including Bud Powell, Ray Charles, Lalo Schifrin, Philly Joe Jones, Elvin Jones, Tony Bennett, James Brown, Lauren Bacall and Marlene Dietrich; his interests outside music have earned him the honorary award of Doctor of Letters from Roehampton University. Further insights will be assured when his autobiography Flying High: A Jazz Life and Beyond appears.

His totally top-drawer quartet features titanic drummer Martin Drew – another master, with years performing alongside Oscar Peterson and Ronnie Scott to his credit, plus his New Jazz Couriers band. Geoff's latest project and CD is a quartet featuring the great guitarist Jim Mullen. Robin has been described as "sensitive and intuitive, with a complete command of the piano he swings like mad."

For more information see www.peterkingjazz.com and this article on Wikipedia.

Friday 11 September 2009

Claire Martin Quartet £15

Claire Martin Vocals Gareth Williams Piano
Laurence Cottle Electric bass Chris Dagley Drums

Claire Martin

Claire Martin

Claire Martin is one of the undoubted stars of recent years, a compelling vocalist and multi-award winner. Recent appearances at the Algonquin in New York produced an ecstatic review from legendary critic Rex Reed; she also headlined a night at the O2 Arena.

She and her regular team are promoting the new Linn album A Modern Art with a run of gigs around the country, including a launch at Ronnie Scott's.

Gareth was here recently with his Power Trio; he has recorded a new CD, Shock!, also on Linn Records. His partner in that trio, Laurence is one of the greatest performers on his instrument, a dictionary definition of versatility; bassists in the audience can expect to be delighted and terrified in equal measure. He has played on movie scores too numerous to mention, and with pop stars from Clapton to Sting. In jazz, he's gigged with everyone from Nigel Hitchcock to Tim Garland, and very early in his career played with Jaco Pastorius. Another international session regular, Chris performs with the Ronnie Scott's house band and its Allstars group.

For more information see www.clairemartinjazz.com and this interview on the All About Jazz website entitled Improvisation, Inspiration, Imagination.

Friday 18 September 2009

Zoe Rahman Trio £14/£12 (NUS £10)

Zoe Rahman Piano Oli Hayhurst Bass Gene Calderazzo Drums

Zoe Rahman

Zoe Rahman by Russ Escritt

Pianist and composer Zoe Rahman was described by the Observer as "one of the finest young pianists in Europe"; she has received acclaim across the jazz world for her perfectly realised pianistic skills, with flashes of Thelonious Monk, Keith Jarrett, Bill Evans and Abdullah Ibrahim woven into her style.

She studied at Berklee in the USA and went on to win the Perrier Young Jazz Musician award, later being shortlisted for the Mercury Music Prize for her 2006 CD Melting Pot – which did win Album of the Year at the Parliamentary Jazz Awards. Her debut The Cynic has recently been re-released. She can also be heard on Clark Tracey's CD The Mighty Sas and on Reem Kelani's Sprinting Gazelle. The trio have had a busy summer, with gigs including Ronnie Scott's, the Tate Gallery and Norway's Molde Jazz Festival; Zoe also appears with the band Soothsayers.

Partisans' stalwart Gene and Curious Paradise bassist Oli also appear on Melting Pot.

For more information see www.zoerahman.com.

Friday 25 September 2009

Steve Waterman Quartet £12/£10 (NUS £8)

Steve Waterman Trumpet John Donaldson Piano
Simon Thorpe Bass Dave Barry Drums

Steve Waterman

Steve Waterman

Steve Waterman's appearances always remind audiences what a spectacular world-class talent is in our midst. A classy arranger and leader of his own big band, he has recorded with Carla Bley, Andy Sheppard and John Surman.

His own recordings feature the cream of UK jazz, and include fresh treatment of classics by Herbie Hancock, Gerry Mulligan and Chick Corea, including the recent CD Night Lights. His all-round gifts should not overshadow his quite astonishing soloing, as we heard on his recent gig with George Haslam.

His band includes superb pianist John Donaldson, well worth catching with his own trio and on his CDs Music Box and Live at Appleby Jazz Festival. Simon plays with his own bands and a variety of soloists, including Benn Clatworthy and Roger Beaujolais; he and John are back soon with US altoist Greg Abate.

Dave is one of the UK's great drummers, from his days with seminal Mike Westbrook, Tim Whitehead and Art Themen bands, and his continuing appearances with Don Weller, including his quartets and big band. Aside from his own groups, he also appears with Chris Biscoe and Dick Pearce.

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