Brighton Jazz Club
Friday 11 November 2011
Benn Clatworthy Quartet £13/£11
Benn Clatworthy Tenor saxophone, flute
John Donaldson Piano Simon Thorpe Bass Josh Morrison Drums
Benn's collection of air miles and his apparent immunity to jet lag mean that this Los Angeles-based maestro has become a frequent and welcome visitor to UK jazz clubs. His abilities and dedication invite streams of superlatives on both sides of the Atlantic; born in England, he settled in LA in 1980. Now truly part of the US music scene, he has a reputation as one of the hardest-working musicians in jazz. His blistering technique and rich tone are evidence of great dedication and a legendary practice routine; thanks to this, we get to enjoy a genuinely classic performer firmly in the vein of his professed heroes, including Dexter Gordon and Sonny Rollins. His many recordings also feature magnificent flute playing and impressive compositions.
Joining him on this tour are the familiar names of a highly accomplished trio. John and Simon are both established bandleaders of several years standing, with several imaginative projects to their credit. Both played with Bheki Mseleku and have toured a special tribute to him, releasing the CD Nearer Awakening.
Simon appeared on Benn's earlier gigs here; another virtuosic player and a bandleader himself, he's also appeared for us with Steve Waterman and Greg Abate.
Like Benn, John spent several years based in California, where he studied with Joe Henderson and played with Larry Grenadier, Red Holloway, John Handy, Jeff Ballard, Eddie Henderson and Laurindo Almeida. Aside from his Mseleku tribute recording, John has produced fine CDs with his own trio (Music Box) and in his duo with Mark Edwards (Live at Appleby Jazz Festival).
Josh brings an impressive range of new experience to the band, from the acclaimed group Empirical, to the bands of F-ire Collective saxophonist Rachel Musson and of rising star vocalist Fini Bearman, appearing on their respective recordings Flight Line and Step Up. He even finds time to gig with his own band.
For more information see www.bennclatworthy.com.
Friday 25 November 2011
Stan Tracey Duo/Trio £16
Stan Tracey Piano Andrew Cleyndert Bass Clark Tracey Drums
A Stan Tracey concert is unquestionably a must-see event, for anyone who has followed jazz over the last half-century; even the newest will immediately 'get' Stan, whether it is the genius-class creation of his piano playing or his compositions. His range encapsulates two of his greatest influences, running from the perfection of his style at the keyboard (with its echoes of Monk) to the massive achievements of his many bands, right up to his own stunning all-star orchestra (one of the greatest big band homages to Duke Ellington).
Between these twin poles of excellence are the varied bands, including trios, quartets, sextets and octets, all featuring the cream of the British jazz scene across the generations.
Like our recent visitor Pete King, Stan was a founder of the 50s Ronnie Scott’s, where he could duel with the finest, and go on to record with many, such as Sonny Rollins, Ben Webster, Paul Gonsalves, Joe Harriott, Roland Kirk, Yusef Lateef, Stan Getz, JJ Johnson and many others. One key relationship and milestone recording is, of course, the quartet with Bobby Wellins and Stan's suite Under Milk Wood. He is still writing and producing music, with tonight's group featured on the release Sound Check.
Almost as astonishing as Stan's longevity is Clark, who has clocked up over thirty years with various Tracey bands, and established his own excellent stable of young players, as heard here with last year's sextet. Andy became a professional in his teens, and really hit the ground running (never easy with a double bass) by playing at a tender age with Art Farmer, Joe Newman, Bobby Wellins, Don Weller, Bobby Watson, Ted Curson and Red Rodney. Having gigged with the major bands of Kenny Wheeler and Ronnie Scott, he is now a regular fixture with Stan's groups and with Bryan Spring, Alan Barnes and Don Weller. He is also a valued producer and founder of Trio Records.
For more information see www.stantracey.com.