On Wednesday 12 June “Conversations with Bill”: A Celebration of Bill Evans with The Adrian York Trio – £18

Adrian York Piano

Paul Whitten Double Bass

Mark Fletcher Drums 

Conversations with Bill

Join us for an intimate evening of impressionistic harmony and pure beauty as we experience the lyrical compositions of the iconic pianist and multi-instrumentalist Bill Evans. Conversations with Bill explores the repertoire and recordings, compositions and piano style of this great and most distinctive of all jazz pianists.

Like many of his peers, Bill Evans’ short life was challenged by both his genius and the challenges that faced his generation, but he left a legacy of stunning and very beautiful music that still influences musicians of today. Presented by musician, educator and broadcaster Adrian York, this promises to be a truly interesting and inspiring session.

Dr Adrian York began his musical career in the early 1980s as a member of a swing-pop band Roman Holliday. He then worked for a plethora of artists from the worlds of pop, jazz and light entertainment including Jimmy Ruffin, Shirley Bassey and Paul Young. In the jazz world he has performed with Ian Shaw, Ronny Jordan, Jean Toussaint, Tim Garland, Tina May and Alan Barnes as well as being musical director for a host of Jazz FM live acts.

Paul Whitten has been described as “the best jazz bassist in the South of England” by promoters of the Swanage Jazz Festival. Another music critic said that “Paul Whitten played very sensitively. His tone is sweet and woody – not too much bass or treble. I really like Paul’s solo style. His lines are more like those you would want to sing. His solos are sweet and very clean, melodic.”

Mark Fletcher is one of the UK’s most versatile and in demand drummers.  Equally at home in straight ahead jazz, free improvised music, rock and world music, Mark was the house drummer at Ronnie Scott’s for 12 years and has played there and in leading venues around the world since the late ’80s. Amongst others, he has worked with Dizzy Gillespie, Mark Murphy, Michel Legrand, James Moody, Dave Gilmore, Tim Garland, Liane Carroll, Norma Winstone, Georgie Fame, Ian Shaw, Cedar Walton and Kenny Wheeler. Mark also leads his own band, Fletch’s Brew, renowned for playing original compositions and new arrangements from across the jazz canon.

Thoughts on The Jon Lloyd Quartet

Steve says:

We had quite a different style of Jazz last night from that heard over recent weeks at Fleece Jazz, but one that was exceedingly welcome.  The music was quiet and contemplative – a joy to listen to and also to watch the musicians play with such passion and enjoyment. Alex Goodyear was clearly transported by the music, seemingly enraptured by the sound that the band made collectively.  Alex brought a delicate touch to his drumkit that was a wonder to behold, reminding me of the American drummer, Brian Blade, as he used the whole kit in a gentle and yet expressive way.  The image of him finishing one number by simply shaking his brushes in the air encapsulated the fragile beauty of the music heard over the course of the evening.  I suppose the others were not as animated as Alex, but they were none the less vital to the whole sound. Nick Pini’s sensitive propulsive playing, John Law’s classically trained pianism and the beautiful melodicism heard from Jon Lloyd’s tenor and soprano saxes, as well as in his strong and accessible compositions.

P.S. I have ordered both CDs that were on sale last night but were sold out before I could get my copies. This was my first exposure to the music and musicianship of Jon Lloyd. I am converted!

Dave says:

I had been looking forward to this gig since it was booked. Jon Lloyd’sprevious appearance at the club was over ten years ago, and that music is still in my mind.  We need to have him again, much sooner than 10 years from now.

John Law walked into the room, sat at the piano, and ripped off an impossible Bach fugue at great speed, and then played it as it should be heard. I think it was  a warm-up after a very long drive from his home in Somerset. He held that level of pianism throughout the evening. Jon’s music is not difficult, but it is nuanced, and John covered every nuance with either hand.

Nick Piniwarmed up with bowed Bach. We got a bit of bowing from him in the last number, “The Heron”. His pizzicato was the pulse under a lyrical style of playing.

Jon produced a warm, sustained and clear sound throughout on both tenor and soprano. It was his writing throughout the evening. The melodies were lovely, a few were appropriately tough. 

Through the first set, I had a hankering for an upbeat song. Jon seems not to do these. Then, in the last tune of the set, “Earth Song”, Alex Goodyear produced an extended intro with hands only. It was visually spectacular, and came as close to singing that I have ever heard on drums.

On 10 April, Jazz Africa, lead buy Basil Hodge, will carry us from the roots of jazz to jazz today. Basil is on piano, with saxophonist Tony Kofi, Winston Clifford on drums, Jihad Darwish on bass and Stuart Fiddler on guitar. It will be a special evening. 

Do note that the Jazz Africa gig will start at 8:15pm, doors at 7:45pm.



All compositions by Jon Lloyd

  1. Breaking the Waves
  2. Cinq Feuilles
  3. Flux 
  4. Anima 
  5. Earth Song

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  1. Al’Afiyah
  2. Yaga
  3. Meta Meta
  4. The Heron

Thoughts on The Gaz Hughes Trio – Nuclear Bebopalypse, 13 March 2024

The Gaz Hughes Trio - Nuclear Bebopalypes, 13 March 2024

The piano trio is my favourite form, and  bebop my favourite style, so my expectations were high for this gig. My expectations were greatly exceeded. Leader Gaz Hughes’ drumming, Andrzej Baranek’s pianism and Gavin Barras’ bass playing (with lots of lovely bowing) all were superb musicians. As people were leaving, I heard one say “what an amazing bassist!”, another said “that wonderful pianist has a proper left hand”, and a third comment that Gaz “was a drummer to hear again and again”. 

The three were tight together from the off, although the intensely listening audience was a bit of a surprise. By the third number, they were visibly having fun. After the gig, Gaz commented on this gig being so good, I guess compared to others on their long tour. They played for us music that they knew well, no music or music stands, but it sounded fresh as a summer sun shower.

I won’t even try to pick out a favourite. 

Steve said:

“I am currently revisiting last night’s Bebopalypse here, listening to each of the two Gaz Hughes Trio CDs that I bought during the interval.  We were treated to a good mix of original material, covers and standards with each of those immensely talented and soulful musicians playing their hearts out. Hats off to the rhythmically strong and fluid playing of Andrzej Baranek but also to the ever-creative Gaz Hughes using everything at his disposal on the drum kit and the ever-engaging style of Gavin Barras on double bass.  

I can’t help thinking that a good few regulars and occasional visitors to the Fleece missed a Bebopportunity last night. The attached setlist will give some idea.”

That gig was a beauty. But we have another much anticipated beauty for you on Wednesday 27 March. It has been too long since we have heard The Jon Lloyd Quartet. We will have Jon on reeds and the superb pianist John Law, with Nick Pini on bass and drummer Alex Goodyear. Don’t miss this one.

Take care,




  1. Beboptical Illusion (Gaz Hughes)
  2. AB’s Blues (Andrzej Baranek)
  3. Beautiful Moons Ago (Oscar Moore / Nat King Cole)
  4. Satin Doll (Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn)
  5. Lullaby of Birdland (George Shearing)
  6. Alice In Wonderland (Sammy Fain)
  7. Nuclear Bebopalypse (Andrzej Baranek/Gaz Hughes)

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  1. I Mean You (Thelonious Monk)
  2. Disinformation (Gavin Barras)
  3. Shootin’ from the Hip! (Gaz Hughes) 
  4. Put On A Happy Face (Charles Strouse / Lee Adams)
  5. White Noise (Gaz Hughes)
  6. Body and Soul (Johnny Green/Edward Heyman, Robert Sour, Frank Eyton)
  7. Seven Steps To Heaven (Victor Feldman, Miles Davis)
  8. Encore: Stompin’ At The Savoy (Edgar Sampson)