Ronnie Bottomley’s All-Star Jazz Orchestra, 14 June 2019

Director/Arranger – Ronnie Bottomley Trumpets: Dale Gibson, Gareth Smith, Trevor Vincent, Ian Chalk Trombones: Kevin Holbrough, Lee Hallam, Tom Ianson, Chris Hibbard (bass) Saxes: Jim Corry (as/ss), James Russell (as/cl/fl), Joel Purnell (ts), Simon Kaylor (ts/cl/fl), Rod Mason (bari) Piano – Graham Hearn Guitar – Derrick Harris Bass – Adrian Knowles Drums – Dave Walsh…

Chris Ingham Quartet, May 31, 2019: Getz: A Musical Portrait

Mark Crooks – tenor sax Chris Ingham – piano Arnie Somogyi – bass George Double – drums This was a splendid gig—bright, vibrant and wholly engaging, sustained from the first note, throughout both sets. Following the success of his earlier musical portrait of Dudley Moore, Chris has taken up Stan Getz—no less a challenge, for…

Flying Machines, 29 March 2019

Alex Munk – guitar Matt Robinson – piano/keyboards Conor Chaplin – electric bass Dave Hamblett – drums A glance at the line-up might have suggested two obvious possibilities about the kind of music in store: a guitar power trio + piano, or a conventional jazz piano trio + guitar. In the event, we heard something…

Steve Fishwick / Alex Garnett Quartet, 22 March 2019

Steve Fishwick—trumpet and flugelhorn Alex Garnett—alto sax Mike Karn—bass Matt Fishwick—drums Jazz aficionados can get very exercised about the place of the tradition in contemporary music making. Leaving aside the odd notion that there is only one tradition underpinning the rich and wide history of jazz, live improvisation of a high order leaves little room…

Pete Oxley-Nicolas Meier Quartet, 8 March 2019

Pete Oxley – guitars Nicolas Meier – guitars Raphael Mizraki – bass Paul Cavaciuti – drums   Even before the first note was struck, it was plain that we had in store as much tonal variety as a two-set gig can hold. Between them, Pete Oxley and Nicolas Meier had ten guitars—6- 7- and 12-string;…

Tommy Smith and Brian Kellock, 1 March 2019

Tommy Smith, tenor saxophone Brian Kellock, piano This was as fine a display of musical artistry as one could hope for: the precision and refinement of chamber music brought to bear on the heart and soul of jazz. Much abetted by the unamplified acoustic, the playing was at turns exuberant, tender, hard driving, wondrously inventive—and,…

Clark Tracey’s Ruby Anniversary Quintet, 8 February 2019

Nadim Teimoori – tenor sax Sean Payne – alto sax Elliott Sansom – piano James Owston – bass Clark Tracey – drums Perhaps the worst thing one could say of a jazz drummer is that he is predictable, but after 40 years of playing and leading bands, the only thing that’s predictable about a Clark…

Nicola Farnon Trio, 1 February 2019

Nicola Farnon – double bass and voice Piero Tucci – piano and sax Phil Johnson – drums The piano trio is such a staple of jazz that it takes a moment to adjust one’s expectations to something that’s apparently the same, but musically wholly different. Yet for all that Nicola Farnon was clearly centre-stage and…

Julian Siegel Quartet, 25 January 2019

Julian Siegel – tenor and soprano saxes, bass clarinet, compositions Liam Noble – piano Oli Hayhurst – double bass Gene Calderazzo – drums   This was a sensational performance, marked by unrelenting creativity and commitment—propulsive in ways that make ‘upbeat’ seem a little wan; full of surprises and shifting patterns; and with so much wonderful…

Sam Braysher and Michael Kanan, 18 January 2019

Sam Braysher, alto saxophone Michael Kanan, piano This was an exquisite evening of music-making.  In some circles, the label ‘chamber jazz’ has become an unhelpful catch-all for improvised music that doesn’t entirely conform to expectations, especially when bass and drums are absent.  And yet, pared down to the essentials of instrumental interplay, a piano-saxophone duet…

Whitman review Claire Martin and Jim Mullen

7 December 2018, Claire Martin and Jim Mullen play the music of Wes Montgomery Claire Martin OBE – voice Jim Mullen – guitar Mike Gorman – organ Tristan Maillot – drums Two artists of the stature of Claire Martin and Jim Mullen appearing in the intimate setting of a jazz club is a dream configuration—so…