Thoughts on The Jo Harrop Quartet + Nigel Price 27 September 2023


As well as doing the setlist below, Steve Jordan has made the following comment about the gig: “Jo Harrop was a great hit with the audience, myself included, with her seductive phrasing and warm delivery – one of the very best jazz vocalists that I have ever heard.  Of course, this was all complimented superbly  by the other musicians especially Paul Edis’s extraordinary pianism and Nigel Price’s mellifluous guitar-playing.  A special mention also to Simon Thorpe who never disappoints.”

I agree.

One of the trials of doing publicity is hunting for information about people. it helps if you have the right name. We were given Peter Adams for the drummer, could find nothing. His name is Peter Adam Hill, and there is lots out there. So there should be. Peter played the room beautifully – he is an honest listening musician and I would like to see him back again . He made Nigel grin trading riffs. Apologies, Peter, about the misnaming.

I should also add that Simon was a very last minute dep, That is still magic to me. I was expecting a difficult sound check. It took, as part of their rehearsal, about 5 minutes. Nobody commented on the sound. I got it right. There is a trick to this: make your ears do their research before the gig. In this case it was a real pleasure.

Highlights? To start, the programme design. It was varied in tempo and mood, and showed off Jo’s range of tone and sensibility. The contrast between “Ain’t Got Nothing but the Blues”, which had a lovely growl to it, the sweetness of “Our Love is Here To Stay”, and the up-beat “Secret Love” showed off that range. Jo is a great lyricist. Her collaborations with Paul, Hannah Vasanth and Natalie Williams were most enjoyable. 

During the rehearsal, Nigel took a moment to introduce the other instrumentalists to “Four On Six”, which they played at the start of the second set. “Brilliant” said the chap sitting next to the sound check. Indeed it was.  Their accompaniment was great, and Jo gave the lads lots of room to blow all through the evening.  She had one tune with just Paul, and one with just Nigel. You do that and you have nowhere to hide, In fact, those tunes were stunning collaborations.

Our next gig is on the 11th of October, and what a crew! Andrew Cleyndert leads on bass,  Mark Edwards on piano, Martin Shaw on trumpet and flugelhorn and Colin Oxley on guitar. it will be a feast for their and our soul.

Take care, 




  1. How Deep Is the Ocean? (Irving Berlin) Performed as an instrumental before Jo Harrop joined the band
  1. Easy To Love (Cole Porter)
  2. Short Story (Paul Edis/Kate Edis)
  3. Time After Time (Jule Styne/Sammy Cahn)
  4. Ain’t Got Nothing But The Blues (Duke Ellington)
  5. Our Love Is Here To Stay (Gershwin)
  6. You’ll Never Be Lonely in Soho (Edis/Harrop)
  7. Charade (Henry Mancini) from the film of the same name
  8. No Moon At All (Red Evans/David Mann)

*          *          *           *         *       *        *

  1. Four On Six (Wes Montgomery) Performed as an instrumental before Jo Harrop, once again, joined the band
  2. Red Mary Janes and A Brand New Hat (Jo Harrop, Hannah Vasanth, Natalie Williams)
  3. If Ever I Would Leave You (Lerner/Loewe)
  4. East Of The Sun, West Of The Moon (Brooks Bowman)
  5. The Heart Wants What The Heart Wants (Jo Harrop, Hannah Vasanth)
  6. Early Autumn (Woody Herman
  7. Secret Love (Sammy Fain/Paul Francis Webster) – as sung by Doris Day in the film, Calamity Jane
  8. Only Spring Will Decide (Paul Edis/Jo Harrop)
  9. On The Street Where You Live (Lerner/Loewe)
  10. Fine and Mellow (Billie Holiday)
  11. ENCORE: It’s That Old Devil Moon (Burton Lane/E.Y. Harburg)

Thoughts on Loz Speyer’s “Time Zone” – 13 September 2023


Thoughts on Loz Speyer’s “Time Zone”, 13 September 2023

The earlier writeup for this gig made me expect something different and original, and I was not disappointed (you can see that writeup here). Loz Speyer gave us a programme which varied from fun to profound. He writes with freedom in the chording and time signatures, and uses a wide variety of rhythms. The rhythms came mostly from the Cuban tradition, where Loz spent some of his life.

“Lost at Sea” was a memorial for the dead from boat crossings around the world. It was very affecting. There were shocks of pitch, chording and volume changes that got to you. The quiet but dissonant quiet periods and the heavier sections were evocative of what the boats were facing.

Loz wanted us to get up and dance for one number. Our audience? Perhaps not. The last number, “Dalston Carnival” almost did it: it was joyous. Friedrich Nietzsche’s comment, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” transports into Cuban as “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Fat”, another joyous song. 

What a fascinating use of time signatures, Loz has. There was lots of 4/4 and a bit of 3/4, but 11/16 takes a chorus to get into. But then is just felt right in the song. There were a couple of 10/8 (or 2*5/4?) tunes as well.

The excellent crew were Loz on trumpet and flugel, Martin Hathaway on sax and bass clarinet, Chris Allard  on guitar, Dave Manington on bass, Satin Singh on congas and Anmol Mohara on drums. If I had to pick up one thing from the excellent work of them all, I would choose Anmol  and Satin who had a couple of trading 4s and 2s which were delightful.

Thanks to Miles’ daughter for the set list, setting and rolling cables, helping with everything else, and suffering listening to my anecdotes.

On Wednesday 27 September, the wonderful Jo Harrop will be leading a tribute to great voices in jazz. If you have not heard her before, you have been missing a fine and flexible singer with a deep musical understanding of the songs. Her normal quartet has Paul Edie on piano, Jihad Darwish on bass and Peter Adams on drums, but for us she has added our good friend and amazing guitarist, Nigel Price. Don’t miss it.

Setlist for Loz Speyer’s “Time Zone” – 13 September 2023

All songs by Loz Speyer.

1. Stratosphere

2. Now is Always Different

3. Mood Swings

4. What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Fat

5. Guannapacharignero (I think)


6. Checkpoint Charlie

7. Bilingual

8. Lost at Sea

9. Crossing the Line

10. Dalston Carnival

On Wednesday 8 November 2023, Trish Clowes “My Iris” – £18

Trish Clowes Tenor sax

Ross Stanley Hammond Organ

Chris Montague Guitar

Joel Barford Drums

“a rich mix of cinematic landscape evocation, funky guitar grooves, dreamy reveries spun off minimalist patterns and fluently uncliched improv” – Album of the Month & 4 STARS for ‘A View with a Room’ from John Fordham, The Guardian

“brilliant” – Gilles Peterson, BBC Radio 6 Music

“A high intensity, mercurial workout” – Downbeat Magazine on ‘Ninety Degrees Gravity’

My Iris is an intense and thrilling band that represents the front rank of the contemporary UK jazz scene. Lauded for her imaginative approach to improv and adroit writing, saxophonist Trish Clowes provides her bandmates Ross Stanley (on the mighty Hammond ), Chris Montague (guitar) and Joel Barford (drums) with a unique platform for individual expression and group interplay, delivering driving grooves and lingering melodic lines, seamlessly morphing between earthy restlessness and futuristic dreamscapes.

The band has toured internationally and made broadcasts for BBC Radio 3 and Radio Bremen. Notable recent performances include Wigmore Hall (where Clowes is an Associate Artist), Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, Rochester International Jazz Festival (Made In The UK showcase), Toronto International Jazz Festival, Galway Jazz Festival, and the Barbican (London Jazz Festival). In May 2023, they were joined by Dave Douglas for a special gig at the 606 Club in London, playing a mixture of Douglas and Clowes’s compositions.