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Friday 5 February 2010

Chris Biscoe/Tony Kofi Quartet
play Dolphy £12/£10

Chris Biscoe Reeds Tony Kofi Alto sax Larry Bartley Bass Stu Butterfield Drums

Chris Biscoe/Tony Kofi Quartet play Mingus

Chris Biscoe & Tony Kofi by Jon Macey

Two of our favourite reed specialists will here take on one of the jazz world's truly unique instrumentalists and composers, a presence to sit alongside Monk and Mingus; the project is well-established, with the CD Gone In The Air released in June 2008, commemorating the 80th anniversary of Eric Dolphy's birth.

Chris is one of the busiest players on the UK scene; he links up with Jason Yarde, Dave Whitford and Eddie Prevost for one improvising group, and John Edwards and Tony Marsh for another, to name two of many. He's recorded many albums, with George Russell, Mike Westbrook, Andy Sheppard and The Brotherhood of Breath, and toured with the Hermeto Pascoal Big Band and The New York Composers' Orchestra.

His partner, in a dream front line, is one of the most remarkable soloists to emerge in recent years; after a scholarship at Berklee, Tony has been with a wide range of UK bands including the Jazz Warriors and Nu Troop.

International collaborations include tours with the big bands of Andrew Hill, Sam Rivers and David Murray, and he has played several times with the World Saxophone Quartet. His performances with Byron Wallen are always electrifying, and often feature Larry, rising star of the bass and composition. His Octet has performed his music at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival as part of the Jerwood Jazz Generation scheme.

In-demand drummer Stu appears with a range of meaty line-ups including Mingus Moves, the Henry Lowther Quartet and a trio with pianist Hans Koller; he's also produced his own CD, The Strayhorn Project with Phil Lee.

For more information see www.chrisbiscoe.co.uk and Tony's MySpace page.

Friday 12 February 2010

Dick Pearce Quartet £12/£10

Dick Pearce Trumpet, flugelhorn
John Critchinson Piano Tim Wells Bass Mark Fletcher Drums

Dick Pearce

Dick Pearce

Dick Pearce is consistently one of the finest and most exciting trumpet soloists in jazz, a fact not lost on the great bandleaders who've employed his talents over the years, including Mike Westbrook, Gil Evans and Ronnie Scott, whom he partnered for fourteen years. On one early appearance, Oscar Peterson commented:

"…look at the trumpet player with Ronnie Scott tonight, Dick Pearce. Tremendously talented – I called home to a couple of friends of mine about him…"

When not leading his own groups, he's sought after by other bandleaders, including Don Weller and Gilad Altzmon; he's appeared with Tim Richards' Great Spirit and the Tribute to Cannonball Adderley with Alan Barnes. Dick also plays in Clark and Stan's Duke project Ellingtonia.

Friday 19 February 2010

Charlotte Glasson Band £12/£10

Charlotte Glasson Saxes, flute, violin Mark Bassey Trombone Dave Holdsworth Tuba, Pocket trumpet Jason Henson Guitar Sam Glasson Drums & percussion

Charlotte Glasson Band

Charlotte Glasson Band

This is a band bursting with talent across many genres; bandleader and composer Charlotte has worked in jazz with Claire Martin, Ian Shaw, Antonio Forcione and Cubana Bop, and has been featured with US tap dancing legend Will Gaines. Her own band CDs include Charlotte's World Wide Web, Escapade, and Travels with Charlotte Glasson. In the pop world she has recorded with Oasis, Divine Comedy, Nerina Pallot, Jah Wobble and Lightspeed Champion; recently she toured with the Lost and Found Orchestra as far afield as Sydney, Australia and Philadelphia.

Also in the latter band was Mark, unquestionably one of the most gifted trombonists the UK has to offer. Even a cursory digest of his playing career includes an unparalleled collection of star jazz names, from the Dankworths to the Westbrooks, and big bands including the Jazz Warriors, Brotherhood of Breath and Loose Tubes. He has appeared on numerous CDs in varied genres, with Julian Argüelles, June Tabor, Mike Westbrook, Leon Rosselson and Renato D'Aeillo. He also finds time to be one of the country's most inspirational educators, having been a faculty member of the Jamey Aebersold Summer School since 1996. His own bands have released the CDs Bassey Plays Basie and Telling Stories.

Dave has featured with many of the most important bands in the UK, including groups led by Mike Westbrook, Barry Guy, Tony Oxley, Mike Osborne, Chris McGregor, Tim Richards and Liane Carroll, in addition to leading, composing and arranging for bands of his own; Charlotte featured in several, including Lickety Split and Sathima.

Jason is a regular playing partner of Charlotte's, and has worked with great US vocalist Joe Lee Wilson. He's a gypsy swing specialist, performing regularly with Piers Clark and Rockin' in Rhythm.

Sam is a particular expert in latin music, especially Brazilian drumming techniques. His bands include Tudo Bem, Bazeado and Chungking. The band are sure to delight with a heady mix of swing, New Orleans jazz, klezmer, reggae and more.

For more information see www.charlotteglasson.com.

Friday 26 February 2010

Geoff Simkins Quartet £12/£10

Geoff Simkins Alto sax Nikki Iles Piano Simon Woolf Bass Tristan Maillot Drums

Geoff Simkins

Geoff Simkins by Brian O'Connor

This line-up always promises and delivers excellent, classic and timeless jazz from four highly-seasoned musicians with a wealth of experience. Alongside his valuable work with Bobby Wellins, Dave Cliff and others, he's been sought by performers such as Tal Farlow, Al Cohn and Art Farmer.

His devotion to the great, occasionally unsung improvisers is matched by his sophisticated band, all of whom are busy bandleaders themselves, retaining a special affection for this quartet.

Nikki's career covers the cream of UK-based jazz including Kenny Wheeler and Stan Sulzmann, plus the rarified territories of Anthony Braxton and Mark Anthony Turnage. She says of this band, "…I really love this group; picking up after not having played together for some time is incredible. There are so many ideas and so much space in the music, with nothing forced…"

Simon is one of Geoff's longstanding collaborators in several bands, often alongside Dave Cliff, one highlight being their trio CD Conversation. Simon also produced the acclaimed CD Live @ Lewes featuring Geoff with Howard Alden; he also gigs regularly with Andy Panayi, Steve Melling and others.

Tristan is a classically-trained percussionist and pianist who has performed with the cream of world jazz, including Art Farmer, Jim Hall, Bobby Shew, Scott Hamilton, Claire Martin, Peter King, Stan Tracey, Tina May, Norma Winstone, Jim Mullen and Bobby Wellins. He appears on Jim Hart's recent CD Words and Music.

Geoff himself commented "…it's always an absolute delight for me to work with these great musicians…"

A taste of the band's repertoire might be found on their Symbol CD Don't Ask, which features music by Konitz, Tristano, Parker, Bill Evans, Brubeck, Charlie Haden and a Simkins original.

For more information see www.jazzcds.co.uk/artist_id_129/biography_id_129.