On Wednesday 28 August Tony Kofi and The Organisation – £20

Tony Kofi Baritone sax

Liam Dunachie Hammond organ

Simon Fernsby Guitar

Pete Cater Drums 

Kofi deals not so much with the past as with the eternal truths of jazz music – swing, in-the-moment lyricism, the lust for life – and he continues to find compelling ways to express them.’       (All About Jazz)

Award-winning and internationally recognized saxophonist Tony Kofi teams up with the ‘Organisation’ to perform a hard-hitting selection of tunes in blues, jazz and funk idioms. Having honed his skills in the “Jazz Warriors” of the early 90’s, he has gone on to establish himself as a musician, teacher and composer of some authority. He has performed with such acclaimed artists as the David Murray Big Band, Courtney Pine, US3 (Blue Note), The World Saxophone Quartet and Roy Ayers.  Tony has also recorded with Ornette Coleman and worked with Abdullah Ibrahim. 

Liam Dunachie is a pianist, jazz organist, composer and arranger based in London. After graduating from Trinity College, Cambridge, Liam won a scholarship to study jazz piano and arranging at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama where he studied with Malcolm Edmonstone, Nikki Iles and Scott Stroman among others. He has since gone on to play piano and Hammond organ in groups led by Jim Mullen, Dennis Rollins, Derek Nash and Nigel Price among others. He has performed at all of  London’s major jazz and commercial venues.

Simon Fernsby has toured extensively in the UK, Europe, the U.S., Canada and Japan, headlining such prestigious venues as The Royal Albert Hall, the Forum, Paris Olympia, the Whiskey a Go-Go and the Universal Amphitheatre Los Angeles. With the ‘Organisation’ he has worked with Steve Fishwick, Jim Hart, Alex Garnett and Dave O’Higgins amongst others.

Pete Cater is ‘a gifted and versatile drummer, at home in any context’ (Rough Guide to Jazz) His professional career of over 30 years has encompassed almost the entire musical spectrum, but it is his work as a big band drummer and leader that has secured his worldwide reputation. He is in regular demand with a variety of large ensembles including the BBC Big Band and the Back to Basie Orchestra. In addition, Pete has worked with many international jazz stars in small band settings including Arturo Sandoval, Charlie Byrd and Benny Carter.

“a killer band with real bite, especially when the heat was on” Jazzwise

On Wednesday 14 August  The Oddgeir Berg Trio- £20

Oddgeir Berg Piano

Audun Ramo Bass

Lars Berntsen Drums 

“A piano trio to get truly excited about, a trio for the new millennium”– **** Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

Jazz trios named after the piano player give certain expectations, be it Horace Silver and his tender “Que Pasa” or Esbjørn Svensson and his Northern sounds; clarity and intimacy are common to these, with a hint of tonal melancholy.  These characteristics also present with Oddgeir Berg Trio, who are clearly familiar with a Scandinavian jazz tradition. 

The trio’s sound has been called “withdrawn and cinematic.” In this aspect they share a characteristic with another Norwegian piano group, the Tord Gustavsen Trio. A notable difference is Oddgeir Berg Trio’s more effusive embrace of electronics, which adds to the cinematic and atmospheric aspect of the sound. 

The trio has some other tricks up its sleeve though, most importantly an urgency for action, pace and adventure.   Here the Oslo based trio has more in common with Miles Davis’ Jack Johnson than Scandinavia’s Jan Johannson. The love of jazz and blues drive Audun Ramo’s double bass and the propulsive drum sound of Lars Bentsen energetically support Oddgeir Berg’s playing. Berg’s curiosity in experimenting with Wurlitzer\Rhodes and synthesizer sounds sneaks into the soundscape and lends a distinctive colour to the sound panorama.

“Electroacoustic jazz with one leg in melancholy and the other in ecstasy.”

On Wednesday 10 July The Stan Getz/Cal Tjader Sextet Tribute- £20

Nat Steele Vibes

Mark Crooks Tenor sax

Colin Oxley Guitar

Mátyás Gayer Piano

Jeremy Brown  Double Bass

Mark Taylor  Drums 

The combination of tenor sax with vibraphone is a particularly warm and luxurious sound and has been featured very successfully by several leading tenor players including Sonny Rollins (with Milt Jackson) and Joe Henderson (with Bobby Hutcherson).

Stan Getz and Cal Tjader had an especially successful partnership in the late 1950s, leading an all-star sextet including Scott La Faro, Vince Guaraldi, Eddie Duran and on his very first recording drum master Billy Higgins.

This sextet led by tenor player Mark Crooks and vibraphonist Nat Steele celebrates this collaboration, playing selections from the brilliant 1958 album. The sextet performs gorgeous arrangements of standards “For All We Know”, “I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face” and “My Buddy” along with swinging originals by Tjader and Guaraldi, “Ginza Samba” and “Big Bear”. Stan Getz’s other vibraphone partnerships are also showcased, with selections from his recordings with vibes masters Lionel Hampton and Gary Burton.

Mark Crooks works in a wide variety of musical settings including jazz, big band and classical. He has performed with artists ranging from Tony Bennett to Sir Simon Rattle, Lady Gaga to Dame Cleo Laine at venues from Ronnie Scott’s in London to the Lincoln Center in New York. Nat Steele quickly gained a reputation as a talented musician to watch out for, described by Clark Tracey as “one of the best vibes players this country has ever produced.” Principally self-taught and following in the style of Milt Jackson, his quartet is regularly featured in the Late, Late show at Ronnie Scott’s.

Featured in the rhythm section are the UK’s finest straight-ahead jazz musicians: bassist Jeremy Brown (Brad Mehldau, Peter King), up-and-coming young pianist Mátyás Gayer, and drummer Mark Taylor (George Coleman, Monty Alexander).

Accolades for Mark Crooks: “luscious sound and apparently effortless phrasing”; “a big, warm, engaging tone”; “gorgeous, liquid and elegant.

Accolade for Nat Steele: “A remarkable young vibraphonist in the Milt Jackson tradition.Dave Gelly (Observer)

Thoughts on The Chris Ingham Quartet -“The Music of Dudley Moore”, 24 April 2024

The Chris Ingham Quartet -"The Music of Dudley Moore", 24 April 2024

During Chris Ingham’s superb  presentation of the life of the great Dudley Moore, he (only once) stumbled over a word. As the announcer at the gig, I wood never distend to such a Paux Fas. 

One of the delights of any show led by Chris is the depth of his research, and the humour of his presentation. I think everyone found something new about Dudley’s life and talent.  But as good as it was, the music was what the evening was about, and the music was wonderful.

The musicians were:

Chris was on piano and vocals. He said in effect that he was unequal to the virtuosity of Dudley. I wonder; to me, there was no note out of place, whether the music was dense or sparse. Consider the riot of counter-rhythms on “Amalgam”, while echoing the serene themes played by Paul. The vocals were a riot on their own.

Paul Higgs, who played trumpet (open, wah wah, harmon, straight) and flugel. His soft, clear singing to echo the frenetic piano on “Amalgam”, was lovely.  He is such a good player. His enjoyment of the work of the others was lovely to watch. He made the trading of 4’s with George such a treat.

George Double was the drummer. I loved his range of expression was surprising; hand work on “Atlanta”, some beautiful trading on several numbers, and just watching him play. And for the first time for me, he sang, in duet with Paul, as backing vocalists. Way backing vocalists, bh singing by the drums, very funny. You have to be good to be funny.

Simon Thorpe only sang once, but it was clear he enjoyed it. He is a favourite at Fleece Jazz. His work throughout the evening was superb, and the solo on “Sad One for George” was special.

These guys gave us the joy and the complexity of Dudley Moore’s music. It was an evening to cherish. Steve’s amazing set list below deserves a read.

Our next gig is also a celebration of one of the greats. A trombone led band to honour a drummer? Yes indeed. Art Blakey would be delighted by the work of the Rory Ingham sextet: Rory on trombone, Alex Garnett on sax, James Davison on trumpet, Matt Carter on piano, Misha Mullov-Abbado on bass, and Luke Tomlinson on drums. It will be a high energy, wildly swinging gig.. So do join us for the first gig of the new programme on Wednesday the 8th of May.

Take care,




  1. Dudley Dell – originally the B-side to his 1961 debut single Strictly for the Birds. Now only available as a bonus track on Authentic Dud Volume 2, the CD reissue of Moore’s 1965 album on Decca Records, The Other Side of Dudley Moore. This quirky two-minute number is best known nowadays as the theme tune to Radio 4’s Quote Unquote. It shares the same chord sequence as My Blue Heaven and contains glancing references to a host of jazz standards.
  2. (Theme tune to) Not Only . . . But Also – Not Only … But Also was the hugely popular TV sketch show that Dudley hosted with Peter Cook between 1964 and 1970.  The quirky, angular, Thelonious Monk-inspired theme to Not Only … But Also was the B-side to Pete and Dud’s 1965 Top 20 hit Goodbye-ee. It has virtually vanished from the internet. You’ll find some snippets of Moore playing it on (retrieved) videos of the TV show, but a full recording is not available.
  3. Waterloo – full of labyrinthine chord sequences/ My Blue Heaven (Donaldson/Whiting) – full of Dudley’s characteristic playfulness with a two-step lope on bass and finger-popping on bongos courtesy of Simon Thorpe and George Double respectively.
  4. Poova Nova – from The Other Side of Dudley Moore.
  5. Bedazzled Dudley’s best-known song is the recurring theme from the 1967 movie, Bedazzled. It was most memorably delivered by a fictional psych-rock band called Drimble Wedge and the Vegetations, with Peter Cook deadpanning the lyrics (“I’m not available / You fill me with inertia”). Dudley recorded several instrumental versions, recasting the heavily flanged rock song as a gentle bossa nova.
  6. Cornfield – from Bedazzled

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  1. 30 Is A Dangerous Age, Cynthia – from the 1968 British romantic comedy film starring Dudley Moore and Suzy Kendall.  
  2. Sad One For George – from The Other Side of Dudley Moore, dedicated to George Hastings who took him in when Moore’s marriage broke down. Dudley repaid him by running off with his wife. Featured a beautiful bass solo by Simon Thorpe.
  3. Love Me/ The Millionaire – both from Bedazzled. Anguished cries of “Love Me!” are played over a shuffling pop background in the film. Dudley, who spent most of his life in psychotherapy, once said that “Playing Jazz was my way of asking for the love I didn’t get as a child.” As Chris said, “Dudley playing piano is a man revealed.”
  4. Amalgam – a sprightly piece of continental minimalism from Dudley’s self-titled 1969 album, The Dudley Moore Trio. It was his first set of entirely original material and here performed by the quartet with serene long notes from Paul Higgs on trumpet and flugelhorn with Chris Ingham underpinning them on piano.
  5. Yesterdays(Jerome Kern) – from the 1966 album on Decca Records, Genuine Dud.
  6. Waltz for Suzy – from the 1991 album, Songs Without Words.
  7. Song for Suzy – from the 1971 album, Today. Both this number and the previous one were dedicated to Dudley’s first wife and actress, Suzy Kendall. 
  8. Encore: Goodbye-ee Pete and Dud’s 1965 Top 20 hit.  This was the closing song from their 1960s sketch show Not Only But Also.

Thoughts on Jazz Africa – 10 April 2024

Steve (and a bit of Dave) says:

I’m still basking in the euphoria from last night’s Jazz Africa performance. There were many astounding moments throughout both sets from our six musicians. Yes, six, because we had a guest star on percussion! During the first set, six-year-old Jackson sat in the centre aisle in front of Tony Kofi. He had a water bottle that he used to add to the percussion on stage. Tony brought him on to the stage, gave him a maraca and he played with the band during “Aloka Party”. It will be something he will never forget (and nor will we).

From the exuberant, life-affirming music of Africa’s best-known jazz saxophonist, Manu Dibango, and the pioneer of Afrobeat, Fela Kuti, the gig started as it intended to carry on with an infectious blend of funk, jazz and traditional African rhythms.  You could dance to the music throughout both sets and its humanity incited the purest joy.  The rhythm was key throughout, with each member of the band playing percussion instruments (claves, bones, drums, congas and maracas) at some point. Stuart Fidler, while plucking the strings of his guitar with two fingers in the typical musical style of West African highlife, almost managed to play a hand drum at the same time! Encouraged by Basil Hodge and Tony, different sections of our audience contributed handclapping that created some complex polyrhythms.  Winston Clifford managed to do all of that single-handed on his drumkit and amazed us all with his prodigious skills and inventiveness.  It was wonderful to have Winston back at the Fleece after so long. We were also reminded of his many talents from his beautiful vocals on Abdullah Ibrahim’s ‘African Marketplace’, a song with deep political roots (see setlist).   The polyrhythms were enhanced by bassist Mike Edmunds: as well as providing the pulse and the harmonies, he used the bass guitar as a percussive instrument.

Aside from his warmth and playfulness, Tony Kofi reaffirmed his place as a firm favourite with our audiences with his versatility and superhuman energy on a range of saxophones and how the sound from his horn just continues to soar.  I just didn’t want it to stop on ‘African Marketplace’.

Jazz Africa is of course Basil Hodge’s baby, although he would be the first to emphasise that it is a team effort.  Aside from his use of claves and handclaps, he led with some excellent work on the electric piano as well as acoustic, managing to make both sound authentic and vital in the African music setting, so that the electric piano could be mistaken for a marimba at times.

One more mention of our highly appreciative and enthusiastic audience: there was, as we predicted, ‘dancing in the aisles’ with some wild moves from our technical team and others who could not restrain themselves and celebrated the joy of African Jazz in a truly honest and human way. 

On 24 April, the much acclaimed gig, “The Music of Dudley Moore” will be with us, with composer, pianist, and brilliant presenter Chris Ingham, Paul Higgs on trumpet, Simon Thorpe on bass, and drummer George Double. Tickets are going well for this gig, so do try not to miss it.



  1. Soul Makossa (Manu Dibango) – an international hit for Dibango in 1972 that inspired (and was effectively borrowed by) the later music of Michael Jackson among others. Makossa is a dance tradition of the Douala people in Cameroon, where Dibango was born.
  2. Shakara (Fela Kuti) 
  3. Mannenberg (Abdullah Ibrahim, formerly known as Dollar Brand) Mannenberg is a township of Cape Town, South Africa, that was created by the apartheid government for low-income “Coloured” families in 1966 as a result of the forced removal campaign by the National Party. The song became an anthem of the struggle against Apartheid, evoking South Africa’s dark past but also celebrating its people and their courageous resistance to oppression.
  4. Aloka Party (Manu Dibango)

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  1. Water No Got No Enemy (Fela Kuti)
  2. African Marketplace (Abdullah Ibrahim)
  3. Big Blow (Manu Dibango)
  4. Goro City (Manu Dibango)
  5. Niger Mambo (Randy Weston)