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Friday 4 March 2011

John Law's Opt Trio £12/£10

John Law Piano Yuri Goloubev Bass Asaf Sirkis Drums

John Law

John Law by Bob Meyrick

John has been devoted to the piano trio for several years now, following his Art Of Sound format over four stunning CD volumes; the new band takes things in another direction. A classical prodigy initially championed by Alfred Brendel, his earlier groups have also ranged widely, from quartets with Jon Lloyd, Tim Garland and Julian Siegel to the large Cornucopia Ensemble with Andy Sheppard, and a duo with Jason Rebello.

The Opt Trio refers to "other peoples' tunes", with new arrangements of standards and rarer material including work by folk hero Nick Drake. The new line-up could not be bettered; Asaf's incredible career began in Israel, where he established several bands. Over a decade in the UK, he made an impact with his Inner Noise band featuring the church organ; he is a major factor in the work of the Orient House Ensemble of Gilad Atzmon. Asaf has also established a power trio with guitarist Tassos Spiliotopoulos and OHE bassist Yaron Stavi, and worked with Peter King, Dave Liebman, Kenny Wheeler and Larry Coryell.

Yuri is also an incredible virtuoso, with a distinguished classical career based in Moscow, alongside names such as Maxim Vengerov and Gidon Kremer; he was for several years principal bassist in the Moscow Soloists. He established himself simultaneously in jazz, touring festivals worldwide. One recent band was the trio with Asaf and Gwilym Simcock, which recorded SGS Group, Inc. Presents… (Music Center, 2008). He is now in Gwilym's own trio, recently touring the UK and recording Blues Vignette (Basho Records, 2009).

For more information see John's MySpace page.

Friday 11 March 2011

Christine Tobin & Liam Noble 'Tapestry' £14/£12

Christine Tobin Voice Liam Noble Piano

Christine Tobin

Christine Tobin by Brian O'Connor

Christine has emerged with a new album that cements her position as one of the finest vocalists of her generation. As a musician who has always defied easy categorisation, she was first prominent on both the jazz and folk scenes, as a major part of the band Lammas.

She has continued a solo career amassing seven CDs, each showcasing her extraordinary voice, compositions and arrangements in a range of styles, with influences from Africa to Brazil.

She has toured worldwide and been featured with Django Bates, Kenny Wheeler and Nigel Kennedy; one special project found her with the renowned Mike Gibbs, leading the BBC Big Band. Her own groups have included an adventurous septet line-up with cellist Kate Shortt and African percussionist Thebe Lipere; also in this group is pianist Liam. A brilliant bandleader himself, Liam is also touring in the quartets of Bobby Wellins, Tim Whitehead and Julian Siegel, and is in a new trio with Kenny Wheeler.

The new CD Tapestry Unravelled brings together the perfect teaming of voice and piano with one of the greatest albums in popular music; Carole King's 1971 LP holds several records, having sold 25 million copies worldwide and been at No. 1 in the US for 15 consecutive weeks. Christine's expressive tones and musical gifts partnered by Liam now seem an inevitable and unmissable experience, both recorded and live.

For more information see Christine's MySpace page.

Friday 18 March 2011

Julian Nicholas Band £12/£10
Tribute to Harry Beckett

Julian Nicholas Saxes Chris Batchelor Trumpet
Mark Edwards Piano Dudley Phillips Bass Dave Trigwell Drums

Julian Nicholas

Julian Nicholas

Postponed from a snowy December, and with fingers crossed, we present some of Julian's longest standing collaborators and the finest players of their generation, well placed to mark the passing of one of the most popular players in jazz.

Julian's performing history features several wonderful bands of his own, plus appearances with Jimmy Witherspoon, Stan Tracey, Dudu Pukwana and Claire Martin.

As a Loose Tuber, he has continued with several of these brilliant soloists including Ashley Slater, Mark Lockheart and Eddie Parker. He has played with the Brotherhood of Breath, Curious Paradise and Carmina; he appears on a new Liane Carroll CD.

Chris is the natural choice to commemorate the work of Harry, who recommended Chris for gigs with Dudu Pukwana's Zila. They were both members of BOB, and Chris continued to perform with international artists including Sam Rivers, Michael Brecker, Hermeto Pascoal and Debbie Harry. A founding Loose Tube, he was one of their major composers; he has continued to gig and record with Steve Buckley, including in their award-winning US/UK collaboration Big Air.

He co-presented the Harry Beckett tribute on Radio 3 and has featured with a revamped Nucleus; he recently appeared in BBC sessions with Liam Noble and Dave Wickens, and here with the excellent Simon Purcell Quintet.

Chris and Julian appear on a brand new Loose Tubes recording – a live CD from 1990. Dancing On Frith Street was recorded in Ronnie's, and is available from Django Bates's website.

Mark is a gifted pianist and accomplished producer, working with Carleen Anderson, Beth Rowley, Chris Rea and Roddy Frame. Recent appearances have been with Bobby Wellins and Don Weller; Mark has also produced a recording with his own Swing Gospel Orchestra, featuring Alan Barnes.

Completing the band are two familiar, brilliant players. Dudley is a massively accomplished all-round bassist, another former Loose Tubes member and leader of his own band (solo CD Life Without Trousers). He's a founder member of the great Perfect Houseplants, and has gigged with Andy Sheppard, June Tabor and Orphy Robinson. He currently plays with his own trio and that of Janette Mason.

The irrepressible Dave Trigwell is a major presence on our jazz scene, having gigged in seminal groups with Django Bates, Liane Carroll, Tim Whitehead, Iain Ballamy, Julian Nicholas and in the great band of soul-jazz singer Terry Callier (alongside Mark, and Jim Mullen).

For more information see Paul Medley's review at www.spinjazz.com
and Chris Batchelor's site at www.chris-batchelor.com.

Note: Re-scheduled from 3 Dec 2010. December tickets will still be valid.

Friday 25 March 2011

Tim Richards Trio £12/£10

Tim Richards Piano Dominic Howles Bass Jeff Lardner Drums

Tim Richards

Tim Richards by William Ellis

Tim Richards is without doubt one of the most significant bandleaders and pianists of recent times, establishing his group Spirit Level as one of the defining postbop bands of the era. It ran for twenty years, featuring Paul Dunmall, Dave Holdsworth, Jack Walrath and Jerry Underwood, before leading directly to the excellent nine-piece Great Spirit, which toured the UK four times.

Aside from his virtuosic jazz abilities, Tim has also become a leading blues pianist with the bands of Dana Gillespie, Larry Garner and Otis Grand, and published several internationally acclaimed piano tutors covering all aspects of jazz, latin and the blues.

His trio has a new CD out, Shapeshifting (33 Jazz) which gives a flavour of this encyclopaedic knowledge and skill, covering Bobby Timmons, Bud Powell, Ellington, Cedar Walton and several originals. Also on the CD are his long-standing partners; Dominic is the leader of several bands, including his octet with Gareth Lockrane. His gigging career includes work with Stacey Kent, Stan Sulzmann, Tim Whitehead and Tommy Chase.

Jeff is one of the busiest drummers in the UK, having performed with Van Morrison, Kylie Minogue, Ute Lemper, Helen Shapiro, Charlie Byrd, Spike Robinson, Don Lusher, the BBC Big Band and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

For more information see www.timrichards.ndo.co.uk.