Matt Holborn Quartet and Gary Potter, 12 January 2018

Matt Holborn, violin Gary Potter, guitar Kourosh Kanani, guitar Dave O’Brien, bass The full span of contemporary jazz reflects our intensely globalized world: it seems that no combination of musical cultures, instruments and styles is beyond the reach of experimental improvisation. So there are many thrilling departures in the way of unusual time signatures, surprising…

Kate Williams Quartet, 8th Dec. 2017

However a jazz quartet is configured, it is not a simple matter to predict how they will programme their music and divide the work. And so it was with the Kate Williams Quartet: piano-led with flute embellishments? A piano trio with the flute as the front-line instrument? Or a tight, well-integrated quartet in which the…

Jasper Høiby’s Fellow Creatures, 1st Dec. 2017

The band had experienced several changes since the personnel posted in our programme. The latest in the week of the gig when Josh Arcoleo (already replacing Mark Lockheart) suffered a hernia. However George Crowley’s addition was no handicap, he sinuously interweaved his playing with that of Laura as though they did nothing else. His feature in…

Phil Meadows Project, 24th November 2017

Contemporary in feel but with obvious relationships to the jazz they have inherited this band showed the skills of the technician and the creativity of the new generation. Phil Meadows sax playing could be as fluent as anyone’s yet he restrained himself by playing sensitive ballads for much of the night. A gradual climax or tempo change …

Arun Ghosh Band, 17th November 2017

In the decades since jazz ceased to be popular dance music, many of its hybrids invite a certain attentive seriousness in live performances as well as in recordings. Even with relaxed performers and in informal settings, it sometimes seems that ‘entertainment’ isn’t thought to be entirely compatible with serious musicianship or audience appreciation. The Arun…

Dave O’Higgins Quartet, 9 November 2017

Across Dave O’Higgins’ many appearances at Wakefield Jazz over the years, the distinguishing feature of his tenor playing is how well constructed his playing is, whatever the material or tempo. While his playing also delivers plenty of fire, his deep and expressive musicianship is most clear in the inventiveness and clarity of his lines. This…

Christine Tobin Trio, 27th Oct 2017

However compelling the material and accomplished the performers, a jazz trio comprising only voice, guitar and bass needs to have everything—programming, instrumental/vocal balance, pace and mood—well thought-out and in good order. The options are as numerous as for a larger ensemble, but the stakes are higher; and all three needed to be on top form….

Denys Baptiste Quartet – The Late Trane, 2 June 2017

Denys Baptiste – tenor saxophone Nikki Yeoh – piano Gary Crosby – bass Rod Youngs – drums Even fifty years after his death, the John Coltrane legacy looms over jazz—and although his influence has become more diffuse over time, the original recordings have retained their utterly remarkable, startling impact. So any tenor-led quartet with a…

Jonathan Gee Quartet ft. Tim Whitehead, 19th May 2017

Wakefield Jazz was delighted to welcome back the Jonathan Gee Trio for this, its 30th Anniversary gig. Jonathan has made appearances at the club over nearly 20 years, always to sustained acclaim, but his return on this date was particularly apt and keenly anticipated because five years previously, on the Club’s 25th Anniversary, he had…

Pete Oxley/Nicolas Meier Group, 31st March 2017

What’s new in the world of guitars? Can an instrument now so ubiquitous, its many styles so familiar and an endless parade of fine practitioners offer something fresh and exciting? One answer to that is that at its finest, the simple majesty guitar music has no need of unending novelty; and as Chopin expressed it,…

Zoe Rahman, 24th March 2017

One of the delights of seeing Zoe Rahman perform with her band is to witness her alertness and responsiveness to fellow band members: clearly, she is in her element by surprising (or perhaps, being surprised by) fellow musicians—and much of the fun is seeing and hearing this added element to collective jazz improvisation. So, it…

Talinka Quartet, 17th March 2017

For anyone with a concern to keep music in neat categories, jazz in all its splendid variety is the irrepressible resistance. Improvising musicians can start anywhere, with any material and with any combination of instruments and create sounds that are at once familiar and recast afresh. While it’s true that the viola da gamba is…