On Wednesday 13 March, The Gaz Hughes Trio “Nuclear Bebopalypse” – £18

Gaz Hughes Drums

Andrzej Baranek Piano

Gavin Barras Bass

The Gaz Hughes Trio “Nuclear Bebopalypse”

“They rarely deliver anything less than excellence and today topped just about everything that had preceded it. I feel sad for the squares who weren’t there” – Bebop Spoken Here

“Incredible” – Ginger Baker

Gaz Hughes is a renowned jazz drummer and band leader, who first gained wide public attention as the original drummer in the Matthew Halsall Band. He has played a significant role in the early recordings of the Gondwana label and has been a highlight on the album “On The Go”, which won the Best Jazz Album of the Year at the Gilles Peterson Worldwide Awards in 2012, and was nominated for the Best Jazz Album MOBO Awards in 2011.

Andrzej Baranek has performed with many UK jazz stars including Dave O’Higgins and Enrico Tomasso. He is one of the most in-demand accompanists about.

Gavin Barras studied music at the University of Manchester, receiving private tuition from Roberto Carillo-Garcia and Corin Long. While studying classical music Gavin continued developing his love for jazz and received lessons from Steve Berry in jazz bass. Gavin has played with musicians such as saxophonists Tim Garland, Dave O’Higgins, Iain Dixon and Ed Jones; trumpeters Neil Yates and Steve Waterman; pianists Les Chisnall, Dan Whieldon, Rick Simpson and Zoe Rahman, to name but a few.

On Wednesday 27 March, The Jon Lloyd Quartet – £18

Jon Lloyd Saxes

John Law Piano

Nick Pini Bass

Alex Goodyear Drums 

The John Lloyd Quartet

This UK based group presents vibrant European Contemporary Jazz, played by a quartet of superb musicians…

The leader and composer is tenor and soprano saxophonist Jon Lloyd. Jon has been part of the UK jazz and free music scene for several decades, and has now turned his attention to European contemporary jazz, writing vibrant, melodic and emotionally direct jazz compositions. The quartet comprises the virtuosic John Law (Congregation, Re-Creations) on piano, Nick Pini (Jonathan Gee, Iain Ballamy) on double bass and Alex Goodyear (Yetii) on drums. 

Lloyd’s tunes are steeped in the ECM aesthetic, and he and long-time collaborator John Law on piano make it sound like the only music you ever want to hear.” – John Turney, London Jazz News (Swanage Festival, July 2023)

This tour we are playing music from our new Ubuntu release “Earth Songs” for the first time! 

“We present melodic, exciting and engaging compositions written by me specifically for this quartet. The members of this group have a wealth of experience across jazz and contemporary music and interpret my pieces perfectly; with intelligence, energy, sensitivity, respect and enormous skill.Jon Lloyd, October 2023

On Wednesday 24 April The Chris Ingham Quartet present The Music of Dudley Moore – £25

Chris Ingham Piano

Paul Higgs Trumpet

Simon Thorpe Bass

George Double Drums 

“A vibrant and moving homage.”Downbeat

Classical organist, violinist, singer, beloved and endearing comic performer, a star of stage and TV in the ‘60s and a Hollywood movie star from the ‘70s . . .

Dudley Moore was not only blessed with all these varied talents and attributes, but he was also one of the UK’s most dazzling, swinging jazz pianists, and a composer of wit and depth – something that has sadly been overlooked for far too long. This has now been redressed, thanks to long-time Dudley Moore fan, pianist Chris Ingham.

The Chris Ingham Quartet revisit the Dagenham-born musician’s fabulous 1960s Decca jazz trio albums, the groundbreaking satirical revue ‘Beyond The Fringe’, the TV show ‘Not Only, But Also’ and the brilliant movie soundtracks for ‘Bedazzled’ and ‘30 Is A Dangerous Age, Cynthia’, in an evening packed with music and anecdote, with pianist and raconteur Chris very ably setting the 1960s scene, placing Dudley’s music in period context.

Joining Chris on trumpet is Paul Higgs, a highly accomplished and respected trumpet player with an impressive career in many fields including performing, composing and arranging music for film, TV and theatre. Simon Thorpe is one of the UK’s best-known jazz bassists who has worked with many of the great UK and US names in jazz, recording and touring with Bobby Wellins, Stacey Kent , Bheki Mseleku, Alan Barnes, Elaine Delmar, Scott Hamilton, Benn Clatworthy and Ray Gelato. George Double is active on the British jazz scene and appears regularly at Ronnie Scott’s club in London and elsewhere as a freelancer with Chris Ingham, John Etheridge, Art Themen, Digby Fairweather, Derek Nash and many others.

“Unfailingly tuneful and spiced with gentle harmonic guile . . . Dudley would have been delighted.” – The Observer

“. . . a worthy tribute to one of the British jazz piano greats.”Bebop Spoken Here

“Classy product . . . with plenty of the right kind of swing.”Jazz Journal

”Swing, humour and poignancy . . . a jazz joy.” MOJO

On Wednesday 10 April, “Jazz Africa” The Origins of Jazz from its Roots to Right Now £18

Basil Hodge Piano

Tony Kofi Saxophones

Stuart Fiddler Guitar

Jihad Dawish Bass

Winston Clifford Drums 

Basil Hodge

Telling the story of jazz from where it really came from, we’re proud to present the Basil Hodge Quintet featuring two of the UK’s busiest and most exciting jazz performers, the irrepressible Tony Kofi on saxophone and the uber-cool Basil Hodge on keys.

Jazz Africa is Basil Hodge’s exciting new project. It is the story of the diversity and inclusivity of jazz from across the African continent, where you’ll hear the roots of blues, jazz and almost all of today’s modern musical sounds. This five-piece band will perform a range of music from Africa so you will hear Jazz fused with a mixture of Afrobeat, Township and Funk rhythms from such artists as Abdullah Ibrahim (formerly Dollar Brand), Manu Dibango and Fela Kuti.

Basil Hodge has been leading bands since the mid-90s and played in various R’n’B and Gospel bands in the UK and abroad. He has performed at a range of prestigious venues such as Ronnie Scott’s and the Royal Festival Hall. Tony Kofi is a British Jazz multi-instrumentalist born of Ghanaian parents, a  player of the alto, baritone, soprano, tenor saxophones and flute. Having ‘cut his teeth’ in the “Jazz Warriors” of the early 90’s, this award-winning saxophonist has gone on to establish himself as a musician, teacher and composer of some authority. His credits now range from the brooding South African soundscapes of Abdullah Ibrahim to the ferocious aesthetics of The World Saxophone Quartet and Ornette Coleman. Italian bassist Mikele Montolli joined the London Jazz scene in 2010 and has toured various Jazz and World music festivals all over Europe, North America and the Far East. Winston Clifford is one of the most in-demand drummers on the jazz scene to date. His playing is free from the usual restraints of stylistic expectations and a true reflections of listening and responding “in the moment”.

Expect breath-taking musicianship and driving rhythms as these excellent musicians also show off their fine percussion skills and some inevitable in-the-aisle dancing. This is one for families of all ages and heritages!

On Wednesday 21 February, Some Kinda Wonderful – The Music of Stevie Wonder £25

Noel McCalla Vocals

Derek Nash Saxophones

Neil Angilley Keyboards

Tim Cansfield Guitar

Jonathan Noyce Bass

Nic France Drums 

"Some Kinda Wonderful" band

Celebrating the genius of Stevie Wonder throughout his entire career, the mesmerising vocalist, Noel McCalla, and award-winning saxophonist, Derek Nash, together with a band of top musicians play a wide-ranging back-catalogue of Stevie Wonder’s classic hits from ‘For Once in My Life’, ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’ through to hits from ‘Talking Book’, ‘Innervisions’, ‘Songs in the Key of Life’ and “Hotter than July’. From dance floor classics “I Wish’ and ‘Superstition’ to beautiful arrangements of ‘My Cherie Amour’ and ‘Overjoyed’.

Noel McCalla’s long association with the brilliant Morrisey Mullen Band earned him acclaim as “one of Britain’s best Soul Singers” (Blues and Soul Magazine) and, for more than 19 years, Noel’s searing, soulful vocals were featured with the iconic Manfred Mann’s “Earth Band”. 

Derek Nash has played with Jools Holland’s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra since 2004 and is also a member of the Ronnie Scotts Blues Explosion. He has won several British Jazz Awards throughout his career fronting Sax Appeal, his Acoustic Quartet and the funk band, Protect the Beat.

The all-star band features musicians whose credits include Bill Withers, The Bee Gees, Gary Moore, Michael Ball and Alfie Boe. Neil Angilley was keyboard player with Grammy nominees ‘Down to the Bone’ and has co-written and played on many of their No.1 albums. Trinidadian Tim Cansfield is a self taught musician; this enigmatic and self-effacing genius has played with the Bee Gees, Steve Winwood, Billy Preston, Chaka Khan, Tina Turner, Whitney Houston, Annie Lennox, Seal and many more. Jonathan Noyce has been a member of Jethro Tull, a sideman to the late great blues guitarist Gary Moore and is a member of French Superstar Mylene Farmer’s band. Nic France has been one of the UK’s most in-demand drummers performing with, among others, Ian Carr’s ‘Nucleus’, Ronnie Scott, John Taylor, Jim Mullen, Bobby Wellins, Mose Allison, Billy Cobham, Django Bates and John Parricelli. He was also a founding member of ‘Loose Tubes’. 

“Rarely have I heard the music of Stevie Wonder interpreted with such finesse, energy and all-round brilliance.”The House of Soul.

On Wednesday 14 February Blue Spirits – £20

John Etheridge's "Blue Spirits"

John Etheridge Guitars

Pete Whittaker Organ

George Double Drums

“Blue Spirits Trio”, featuring Pete Whittaker and George Double, came about through John’s love of the perennially attractive combination of Electric Guitar and Organ. Blue Spirits have a take on this well-known combination in a way that connects with the bluesier, intense side of John’s playing. There are plenty of typical swing elements, augmented by soulful ballads and fiery funk outings. The aim is to groove and move!

John’s history includes playing with Grapelli, heading Zapatistas, duos with John Williams, and his own bands. As well as  a world class player, he is a classy raconteur. 

Pete is a piano player who migrated to Hammond organ after hearing the classic 1950s &1960s Jimmy Smith records. He is a Hammond star.

George’s playing and recording credits include Dame Shirley Bassey, Grammy Award Winner Jack Jones, Marc Almond, Mica Paris, Ruthie Henshall and Kym Mazelle. His West End and touring theatre record includes stints on WickedGuys and DollsAvenue QSinatra and Anything Goes.

This band has been popular on the club circuit for many years and always delivers.

On Wednesday 24 January, Cannonball and Nat – £18

"Cannonball and Nat" band

Pete Long Alto Sax

Ryan Quigley Trumpet

Chris Ingham Piano

Malcolm Creese Bass

George Double Drums 

The leader of Ronnie’s Scott Big Band, Peter Long together with Ryan Quigley front an exciting salute to a legendary team of jazz brothers; dazzling virtuoso alto saxophonist Julian “Cannonball” Adderley and ingenious soul-jazz architect and cornetist Nat Adderley.

The Cannonball Adderley Quintet featured Cannonball on alto sax and his brother Nat Adderley on cornet. Cannonball chose to play the alto despite his first love being the tenor because saxophones were in short supply in 1942 when he started playing at the age of 14. He developed a hard, explosive style, an influence from listening to Charlie Parker. Together with his brother, Nat, the famous quintet played a lot of blues-, funk- and gospel-influenced jazz based on what they heard being played by Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis.

Pete and Ryan are lovers of the music of the quintet and are the ideal musicians to play it today. Pete studied at the Royal London College of Music and after a couple of years joined the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, playing all five saxophone parts, solo flute, bass guitar, and on one rather messy occasion, the fourth trumpet. In future years, he went on to play with the award-winning sax quartet, Itchy Fingers, working with Dizzy Gillespie, John Scofield and Chick Corea amongst others. A five-year stint playing and arranging for Jools Holland’s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra saw him work with Tom Jones, Norah Jones, Solomon Burke, Dr. John, Lulu, Georgie Fame and Lionel Richie to name but a few. In recent years, Pete’s career has been divided into education, working in master classes and as a soloist with young musicians all over Britain. It is, however, as a bandleader and orchestrator that Pete spends most of his time currently.

Ryan Quigley is an award-winning jazz and lead trumpet player and an in-demand studio musician, composer, arranger and educator. His recording and touring work includes dates with Quincy Jones, Ron Carter, Aretha Franklin, Harry Connick Jr, George Michael, Gregory Porter, Beverley Knight and Tom Jones.

Our friends Chris Ingham and George Double are always welcome at Fleece Jazz for their virtuosic playing and for themselves.

“Pete Long is a national treasure” – The Observer
“Quigley…bright, inventive and vivacious” – The Jazz Mann

Here is a link to a video with music of the two Adderlies.

On Wednesday 10 January, “Q3”, featuring Kevin Flanagan – £18

Kevin Flanagan Saxophone

Martin Hallmark Piano

Tiago Coimbra Bass

Derek Scurll Drums 

"Q3" featuring Kevin Flanagan

Q3 was formed in 2013 and brings together some of the UK’s finest jazz musicians in an exciting blend of superbly crafted original music and virtuosic performance. The music combines jazz, funk, latin and fusion elements with intricate melodies, influenced by Michael Brecker, Chick Corea, Marcus Miller and Robert Glasper.

Nigel Price says “Martin Hallmark – pianist and composer, leads this tight unit, comprised of master multi saxophonist Kevin Flanagan, super groovy Tiago Coimbra on 5 string electric bass and [our drummer for this gig is multi instrumentalist Derek Scurll]. The album of instantly accessible, mostly funk/fusion original compositions is recorded in crystal clear quality and played deftly with passion as well as eyebrow raising virtuosity from these gifted, empathetic musicians. There are moments of beauty too, especially on the waltz – ‘Tarka and the Mount’. A fine body of work from a great band.”

Martin is the driving force here: many of the compositions and all of the arrangements are from his pen. Kevin’s quartet was our Christmas gig in 2019, and the gig was adored by our audience.

Thoughts on The Josh Kemp Quartet: “A Love Supreme” – 25 October 2023

Let us start with words from Steve Jordan, who supplied the setlist:

“As Elvin Jones said: ‘If you want to know who John Coltrane was, you have to know A Love Supreme.’

So all respect to the genius who was John Coltrane but also to the musicians who performed it on Wednesday evening at Fleece Jazz. They did it full justice and more and not a sheet of music in sight!

No sign of nerves but of intense respect for the wonder and beauty of the magnificent jazz suite that is A Love Supreme.  For 35 minutes, they took us to a higher level and transported us away.”

Steve said that the band was not reading a note for the suite. What they were reading were the projections of Coltrane’s words in his own hand as they rolled up the screen, and playing the music to the words. I talk about musicians listening: but the intensity with which they listened for the suite was palpable: we felt it. They looked drained when the suite concluded. What a special happening at the club, not to be forgotten.

Josh Kemp (of course on tenor sax) had produced an excellent programme for us. He was beautifully supported by Gareth Williams on piano, Dave Manington on bass and Tristan Maillot on drums. It was particularly nice to see Gareth and Tristan after far too long. 

The first set was music that Coltrane would have played, and three songs by Josh. I particularly liked “Effervescence”,  which Kemp wrote for his dad. Its 5/4 up-tempo rhythm gave one a good impression of his father’s personality. I have a private recording of his “The Angel of the North” from the last time Josh was here. I love the tune, and found my self silently singing the melody.

The second set was mostly “A Love Supreme”, followed by two happy numbers to break the intensity of the suite. It  was a great programme, but the suite will stand in the memory.

A word about the projections. I thought that they would take the attention away from the music. I was wrong. They were essential for the suite, and were integral to the fourth section. In the first section they were nice, each connected in some way to the tune being played. In Coltrane’s “Giant Steps” there were some steps in the projections.

On the 8th of November, the powerful young saxophonist Trish Clowes will be with us. She is supported by Ross Stanley on piano, Chris Montague on Guitar and Joel Barford on drums. This is a top class group. They will be presenting music from Trish’s highly acclaimed project “My Iris”. It will be a great one.

Take care,

Dave

JOSH KEMP QUARTET: JOHN COLTRANE – A LOVE SUPREME

SETLIST, FLEECE JAZZ 25/10/23

  1. Happenstance (Josh Kemp)
  2. Effervescence (Josh Kemp)
  3. Giant Steps (John Coltrane)
  4. It’s Easy To Remember, But So Hard To Forget (John Coltrane)
  5. The Angel of the North (Josh Kemp)
  6. My Shining Hour (Harold Arlen/Johnny Mercer)

*          *          *           *         *        *        *

  1. A Love Supreme (John Coltrane):

Part 1: Acknowledgement

Part II: Resolution

Part III: Pursuance

Part IV: Psalm

  1. You Go To My Head (J. Fred Coots/Haven Gillespie)

        ENCORE: Mach 6 (Josh Kemp)

Thoughts on The Andrew Cleyndert Quartet – “Eclectricity” – 11 October 2023

Thoughts on The Andw Cleyndert Quartet - "Electricity"  - 11 October 2023

What, no Drums? The four instumruments had much more clarity and presence than with a drummer. Even with the individual presence, the group sounded together. That is interesting considering that the piano and guitar have roughly the same pitch range and fought each other as sometimes happens: it can be a sound guy’s nightmare to provide them with clarity.

It was really great to see and hear Andrew Cleyndert lead the group on bass. His pianist was Mark Edwards, Martin Shaw played Flugel throughout, with the trumpet firmly on its stand. Colin Oxley is a favourite guitarist. This band has been around for a decade now, and though Mark was an early deputy, they listened hard and had great unity. 

Colin had some great solos, but I was interested in his accompaniment. Rhythm guitar is one of those things that you don’t notice until it goes away, and then you really miss it. Colin kept it at just the right level. If you chose to focus on him accompanying, his choice of chord seemed to be controlled by his listening to the soloist. A piano, which is a percussive instrument, seems more forward in accompaniment.

Mark is a superb pianist. He hasn’t been with us since he was with Ben Castle back in the Fleece pub. Mark uses the whole piano, even using the soft pedal to change the piano’s timbre. He is man of power, like McCoy Tyner. His accompaniment was excellent.

I have loved Martin’s work for many years. Chatting, he described himself as just a guy who plays for other guys. He didn’t mention that he was also continuously on call for that, and that he does session work with all that demands. Wednesday was flugel playing at its best, leaving the trumpet and Harmon mute lonely on the floor.

And our leader? Andrew’s essentials (pitch, technique, solid beat) are perfect, of course. But it is wonderful to hear the result of his musical thinking, which demands things like top range to bottom range twice in an up-beat bar. He put together, it seems on the fly, an excellent programme (see Steves set list below) with lots of variation of tempo and feel. There was a lot of music from a range of latin vibes. Everything had a common feel as being from this band at this time. 

It was a very enjoyable gig. 

You need to know about a special gig coming up on Wednesday 25 October. Josh Kemp is giving us an evening of the “Love Supreme” side of John Coltrane. He is bringing Gareth Williams on piano, Dave Manington on bass and Tristan Maillot on drums, and some remarkable visuals. I hope to see you there.

THE ANDREW CLEYNDERT QUARTET: “ECLECTRICITY” 

SETLIST, FLEECE JAZZ 11/2023

  1. Two Little Pearls (Oscar Pettiford)/Unrequited (Brad Mehldau) 
  2. One Hundred Ways (Kathy Wakefield)
  3. Valse Triste (Jean Sibelius) also adapted by Wayne Shorter on The Soothsayer
  4. So Tender (Keith Jarrett)
  5. A Felicidade (Antonio Carlos Jobim)
  6. Secret Love (Sammy Fain/Paul Francis Webster)

*          *          *           *         *        *        *

  1. Você Que Não Vem (Toninho Horta
  2. Ojoe de Rojo (Cedar Walton)
  3. Answer Me (Gerhard Winkler)/ Dexter’s Tune (Randy Newman). ‘Answer Me’ was originally titled Mutterlein with German lyrics. Contemporary recordings with English lyrics by Frankie Laine and David Whitfield topped the singles chart in 1953. ‘Dexter’s Tune’ was from the film ‘Awakenings’.
  4. Song of the Sabia (Antonio Carlos Jobim) arranged by Cedar Walton
  5. Hamp’s Blues (Hampton Hawes)
  6. Come Dance With Me (Eddie Harris
  7. ENCORE: Danny Boy (Trad.)