Jazz IS alive

Keep in touch for jazz dates and venues in the Swindon area. Please note that the blogger (who set this site up for Dave Knight) receives information second-hand and lives on the other side of the country! More information on the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jazz-Knights/544313058974889

Sunday, 9 December 2012

BEX QUARTET - THURSDAY the 6th of DECEMBER 2012

"And that tune was Ain't Misbehaving - if you believe that you'll believe anything!"

                                                                                              Bex.

Bex

Alex Steele

Clive Morton

Terry Howard


Tuesday, 4 December 2012

CD REVIEW – THE UNEXAMINED LIFE - THE ROB TERRY TRIO.


This is a disc custom-made for the Christmas stocking of lovers of all aspects of the piano trio and all true believers in imaginative, questing jazz. Believe me, it’s got everything. The trio is Rob Terry on piano, Paul Jefferies on double-bass and Charlie Stratford on drums. Rob composed all seven of the tunes. The set kicks off with Meditation in G Flat Major, a number that evolves through several moods, a marked feature of Rob’s writing on this recording. It begins with a romantic classical theme which transforms itself magically with some rhythmic slight of hand from the trio into a swinging and melodic improvisation. Paul takes a brief solo before the main theme is restated. Next up, is Walking, which commences with a tiptoeing Gershwin-like figure on the piano that is then reinforced with an angular bass riff in counterpoint. The improvisation is bluesy and soulful. There’s some terrific percussion from Charlie and an arco interval from Paul. Song For Ben is a lilting composition with a very pretty melody. Rob solos inventively with a wonderful use of light and shade, a characteristic of his playing throughout the album. It’s Time opens with a bang, a forceful rhythmic statement which then calms into a slow elegant improvisation with a Spanish flavour. The tune finishes with a dynamic flourish and some great drumming from Charlie. Romance is just that, a lovely rippling composition with some exquisite playing from Rob and tasteful support from Paul and Charlie. The title track The Unexamined Life begins quietly and then the pulse builds until a tricky finger-busting line appears. The group really burns rubber during the solo. Rob and Paul then slow it down with a call and response interlude. The disc closes with He Knows, a terrific gospel tune and a sanctified culmination to a thoroughly entertaining and creative CD. Rob preaches with passion and dignity and Paul and Charlie are right there with the amens.

Rob Terry is a two-handed piano player with an extensive musical knowledge and a beautiful touch. Paul Jefferies’ bass is the big warm grounding of the group and Charlie Stratford’s inventive and mercurial drumming drives and embellishes the music’s many twists and turns. They are a tight-knit, hard-working unit and they play with one unified voice rather than as three talented individuals. Do yourself a favour and give this disc a listen, you won’t regret it.

The Rob Terry Trio will be performing at Baker St in Swindon in the New Year. Why not go along and support them.

                                                                                                   Tom Saunders.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

JAN/FEB/MARCH GIGS AT THE BRASS PIG, BRISTOL

Sunday gigs at the Brass Pig in the New Year.

JAZZ REVIEW – DAVE NEWTON/COLIN OXLEY DUO – PRINCE OF WALES, SHRIVENHAM, THURSDAY 22nd of NOVEMBER

Ever since I first heard Undercurrent the landmark recording by Bill Evans and Jim Hall originally released in 1962, the piano/guitar duo has held a particular place in my heart. Last Thursday night at the Prince of Wales, Shrivenham as the rain poured down outside, Dave Newton and Colin Oxley graced a lucky audience with their own very individual take on this intimate and often lyrical musical format. Dave and Colin’s rapport and admiration for one another was apparent from the beginning. They wove together a magnificent programme of arrangements and improvisations on a wide range of tunes that included Surrey With the Fringe on Top (with everybody in the crowded bar blissfully singing along), Polka Dots and Moonbeams, Body and Soul, I Got Rhythm and I’m Old-Fashioned. Great jazz musicians know how to listen and Dave and Colin confirmed this time and time again throughout this tremendously enjoyable evening. Each song was like a conversation between good friends, a masterful demonstration of give and take and mutual support. Dave Newton was even seen to smile on several occasions!

And all for free.

                                                                                                    Tom Saunders.

Dave Newton and Colin Oxley


Wednesday, 14 November 2012

CD REVIEW – THE OXFORD 3 JAMES E AND ME – THE BEN HOLDER QUINTET.



An excellent recording featuring the thrilling young violinist and vocalist Ben Holder on a varied selection of standards and originals. The quintet are Ben on violin, piano and vocals, James Evans on reeds, Jez Cook on guitar, Paul Jefferies on double-bass and Frank Hockney on drums. The set kicks off with a peppy arrangement of Fascinating Rhythm, followed by a measured and tender reading of Someday My Prince Will Come. Up next are a couple of Ben Holder originals, the lovely A. Gospel with Ben on piano and violin and James taking the melody and the swinging What Did I Do. Ben sings and plays violin on this last tune. The Folks That Live On the Hill, a beautiful ballad performance, finds Ben in duo with Jez. Ben is again on piano for Lucy’s Waltz, another of his originals. He overdubs a second violin in the solo and duets in counterpoint with himself. (They can’t touch you for it.) Bassist Paul gives solid support. Someone to Watch Over Me is a trio performance with Jez and Paul. Drummer Frank joins in as the group segues into Django’s Swing 42. You is an original with James switching from clarinet to alto saxophone. Ben sings and plays violin here. A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square features Ben in melodic mood with just the rhythm section. Both Jez and Paul solo with aplomb. The joyful St Thomas includes fine percussion from Frank. The Nearness of You has Paul and Jez taking the melody and Ben playing some tasty piano. Another Ben original, a brisk Me, Myself and I, rounds off the record.

The CD is rightly a showcase for virtuoso Ben’s wide-ranging talents, but everyone in the group contributes admirably. If you’re an aficionado of hot violin and the likes of Stephane Grappelli, Joe Venuti and Stuff Smith or you simply love swinging and inventive jazz, these performances deserve your earnest attention. Ben Holder has arrived and he’s coming to get you!

                                                                                                   Tom Saunders.

Friday, 9 November 2012

JAZZ REVIEW – BEN HOLDER TRIO.

“It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing.” The Ben Holder Trio at the Prince of Wales, Shrivenham, November 8th 2012.

                                      “I hope there’s a gin and tonic coming . . .”
                                                                                    Ben Holder.

The smile on landlord Eddie’s face said it all. Last night the Ben Holder Trio lit up the packed bar of the Prince of Wales, the crowd joyously enthusiastic and enthralled. The group sparkled and swung mightily through selections from the Great American Songbook (Embraceable You, Fly Me to the Moon, Body and Soul, They All Laughed and more), Django’s back catalogue (Minor Swing and Nuages) and bluesy foot-stompers such as Bobby Troup’s classic Route 66. 23 year-old jazz prodigy Ben, only a few hours back from the USA, where he played at The House of Blues in Las Vegas and gigged in California, played his violin with supercharged facility and sang with confidence, skillfully supported by the melodic and nimble Jez Cook on guitar and the rock-solid and sophisticated Paul Jefferies on double-bass. The band capped off the evening in triumph with the tirelessly effervescent Ben bowing up a tropical storm on the magical Sonny Rollins’ calypso St Thomas. What an incredible night - and all for free.

                                          You should have been there!

                                                                                                    Tom Saunders.

Ben Holder

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

JAZZ AT THE PRINCE of WALES - THURSDAY 8th November High St, Shrivenham.

                                        JAZZ AT THE PRINCE of WALES
                                               THURSDAY 8th November

                                                    High St, Shrivenham 
                                                     8-30/11-00  FREE 

          The now thriving jazz scene at the Prince of Wales Shrivenham continues
          triumphantly this week with the fabulous Ben Holder Trio. Ben is a gifted
          and electrifying 22 year old violinist/vocalist. He started to learn classical
          violin at the early age of 6, switching to jazz in later years after turning on
          to records by French and Belgian jazz maestros Grappelli and Reinhardt.
          Fiery and multifaceted, he can confidently and effortlessly switch from
          virtuoso violin to vocals on a wide selection of standard jazz tunes. Jez
          Cook, a hugely skilful guitarist, plays with passion and flair, making him
          an admirable foil for Ben. Bassist Paul Jefferies, a wonderfully swinging
          and creative musician, completes the trio.

                              Expect an entertaining evening's jazz music. 

                                                                                        David Knight.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

JAZZ SHOWTIME

                              JAZZ SHOWTIME AT BAKER ST, SWINDON
                                                    Tues 27th November

                     ALAN BARNES/DAVE NEWTON - QUINTET

Two of the UK's premier jazz musicians lead an exciting quintet for our next Jazz Showtime gig.

     ALAN BARNES, one of the country's most versatile reedsmen, a stellar saxophonist
     playing everything from nostalgia to cutting edge modern jazz.

     DAVE NEWTON awarded top UK jazz pianist for the 11th year, a versatile performer
     covering all styles of the jazz spectrum.

     Chris Cobbson, a graduate of Goldsmiths and the Guildhall schools of music. Performed
     in a number of West End shows. Participated in music festivals throughout world, an
     outstanding guitarist.
                  
     Clive Morton,  former bassist with Jamie Cullum, sideman with Stephane Grappelli and
     Frank Sinatra, performed at many leading London jazz clubs and international jazz
     festivals.
                  
     Charlie Stratford, a powerful drummer who studied at Berklee College Boston USA. A
     high quality musician with impeccable technique.
           
                                             

JAZZ AT THE PRINCE OF WALES SHRIVENHAM JAN/FEB/MARCH/APRIL 2013

                               JAZZ IN SHRIVENHAM IN THE NEW YEAR!

Sunday, 28 October 2012

NIGEL PRICE TRIO AT BAKER ST - TUESDAY 23rd of OCTOBER

"We'd like to carry on with a Wes Montgomery tune called Four on Six, based on the chords of Summertime - whatever that is!"

                                                                                          Nigel Price.

Nigel Price

Pete Whittaker
 
Matt Home


Thursday, 25 October 2012

SUNDAY LUNCHTIMES AT BAKER ST SWINDON

                                                       JOHN PAUL GARD TRIO
                                                       SUNDAY  28th OCT
                                                       BAKER St Wood St
                                                       1-00/3-30  FREE

                  Baker St is presenting jazz every Sunday lunchtime 1-00/3.30
                  to an ever increasing audience This week's group is the John Paul Gard Trio.
                  John, a popular B3 jazz organist, has recently returned from America's West
                  coast appearing and recording on videos. Swindon's own Chris Cobbson,
                  who spends much of his time teaching and playing on the London jazz scene,
                  is on guitar with Ben Howe completing the group on drums. Expect some top
                  class jazz and blues.
                                                                                                    
                                                                                        DAVE KNIGHT

Friday, 12 October 2012

JOHN CRITCHINSON TRIO - PRINCE OF WALES OCTOBER 11th 2012

"I don't know how we do it. I know why we do it, but I don't know how we do it."
"I'm still taking the tablets and they're still working!"

                                                                                         John Critchinson.


John Critchinson
Clive Morton
 
Terry Howard




Saturday, 29 September 2012

Jazz Review SHOWTIME.


                             Ian Bateman Quartet 18th September 

The expression the joint was jumping was certainty applicable at Baker Street's most recent
evening.The venue was packed with a audience of Swindon's most ardent jazz fans eager to
hear the celebrated quartet of jazz musicians assembled for the gig. This week's group the
Ian Bateman quartet featured Swindon's own top UK jazz trombonist from Acker Bilk's
Paramount Jazz Band. Also from Acker's band bassist John Day. Powerhouse drummer
Nick Millwood kept the quartet swinging. The quartet was completed with one of the UK's
finest pianists Craig Millverton, playing some outstanding piano.
The group opened the evening's performance with When the Saints Go Marching In. Another
highlight of the evening was the appearance of former Swindonian, now living in Nottingham,
Rachel Pennell with a beautiful rendition of Hoagy Carmichael's The Nearness Of You. The
quartet finished the evening with Billy Strayhorn's Take The A Train.
The next jazz gig, Tuesday 25th of September 8.30-11.00 Admission FREE, is a tribute to
Strayhorn featuring Dom Frank's Strayhorn Project.
The next jazz showcase at Bakers Street is on 23th of October featuring the exhilarating and
award winning Nigel Price Organ Trio as part of a autumn tour of the UK. 
Jazz Music is presented every Sunday lunch at 1.00 and Tuesday Evening at 8.30 at Baker
Street. Admission FREE.    

                                                                                                   DAVID KNIGHT  



Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

BAKER ST JAZZ EXPANDS.


                                                        LUNCHTIME JAZZ
                                                     1-00/3-30 admission  free
 
                            Baker St in High St, Old Town is expanding its jazz programme. 
                            Starting on Sunday the 9th of September with a series of lunchtime
                            sessions. The opening gig is with the Dave Newton/Clive Morton Duo.
                            Dave has for many years been acclaimed as the UK's No1 jazz pianist.
                            Clive Morton, the grand master of the double bass, will accompany
                            Dave Newton.
 
 
                            
                           

JAZZ LISTINGS FOR SEPTEMBER.

A list of jazz gigs in the Swindon area for September 2012.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

JAZZ AT THE BRASS PIG BRISTOL OCT - NOV - DEC.

      SUNDAY JAZZ AT THE BRASS PIG  CLIFTON HEIGHTS  BRISTOL  BS8-1EJ
                            0117-329-4471   6-00/8-30   OCT-NOV-DEC FREE

Monday, 20 August 2012

JAZZ SHOWTIME

                                                        JAZZ SHOWTIME
                                                             TUESDAY

                                                          23rd OCTOBER

                                                     NIGEL PRICE - GUITAR
                                                  PETE WHITTAKER - ORGAN
                                                      MATT HOME - DRUMS

                    NIGEL PRICE, formally with the James Taylor Quartet and one of the UK's finest
                    guitarists, brings his bop based  ORGAN TRIO to BAKER St as part of a
                    nationwide tour. A trio with good taste, great sounds and funky rhythms, playing
                    a selection of classic,evergreen and original tunes, the music swinging,
                    straightforward, fluent, imaginative and technically impeccable. 
                    Nigel Price's Wes Montgomery influenced guitar played with artistry and ability  
                    and supported by PETE WHITTAKER'S powerful and grooving Hammond organ
                    and MATT HOME'S pulsating drumming, a crisp and impressive sound.
                    A trio appreciated by jazz fans across the UK


SWINDON JAZZ GIGS AT BAKER ST. OCT/NOV/DEC

A list of the gigs at Baker St. up until the end of the year. Jazz music not to be missed!

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

DETAILS OF TWO UPCOMING SHOWCASE GIGS.

                                                                     JAZZ SHOWCASE

         August the 14th    THE SIMON SPILLETT (TENOR SAX) QUARTET
                                     JOHN CRITCHENSON (PIANO) NICK MILLWOOD (DRUMS)
                                     CLIVE MORTON (BASS)
                                    
                                     Simon Spillett, winner of British jazz awards for tenor sax, a dynamic,
                                     distinctive, exciting, hard swinging saxophonist of the highest order.
                                     David Newton, firmly established as one of UK's finest jazz pianists,
                                     an experienced and inspirational musician and a Baker St favourite.
                                     Clive Morton, grand master of the double bass. He has worked with
                                     Sinatra, Stephane Grappelli and many jazz greats and he was a jazz
                                     tutor of Jamie Cullum.
                                     Nick Millwood, extremely versatile, experienced, sensitive and
                                     rhythmic drummer.


           September  18th   THE IAN BATEMAN (TROMBONE) QUARTET 
                                       NICK MILLWOOD (DRUMS) CRAIG MILVERTON (PIANO) 
                                       JOHN DAY(BASS)

                                         NOTE CHANGE  OF BASS PLAYER FROM AL SWAINGER
 
                                      Ian Bateman, one of Europe's most in demand trombonists currently
                                      with Acker Bilk's Paramount Jazz Band and Back to Basie. He also
                                      leads the Bateman Bros jazz band with his brother Alan. The band
                                      have played numerous concerts, clubs (Ronnie Scott's) and festivals.
                                      Craig Milverton, a much in demand musician and one of Britain's top
                                      jazz pianists, involved in many of Digby Fairweather's projects and the
                                      Bateman Bros Band. He is a true virtuoso on his instrument and he
                                      has toured both Europe and the USA.
                                      Nick Millwood, drummer with the Kenny Ball Band and inspired by
                                      Buddy Rich. He has toured Europe and beyond and has accompanied
                                      many of the world's leading jazz musicians.
                                      John Day, bassist, another musician from Acker Bilk's Band. He has
                                      played with Humphrey Lyttelton's band, ClareTeal and Jamie Cullum.
                                      He is a professional musician from the top rank of British Jazz. 
                                                        

Monday, 30 July 2012

Saturday, 30 June 2012

JAZZ REVIEW OF THE ROB TERRY TRIO, PRINCE OF WALES, SHRIVENHAM, THURSDAY 28th OF JUNE.

Shrivenham's jazz aficionados were presented with an evening of stunning jazz music from the Rob Terry Trio. Pianist composer Rob Terry is an excellent musician, both tasteful and versatile and a generous collaborator with the other musicians in the trio. Graduate of Birmingham University, Rob has performed with Eartha Kitt, Gloria Gaynor, Lulu and the Kimbara Bros. He's appeared at the Royal Albert Hall, the Festival Hall, the Vortex & 606 jazz clubs plus Ronnie Scott's. On Thursday night he played a selection of originals including Walking and Romance and the standards Caravan, There Will Never Be Another You and Have You Met Miss Jones. The trio finished with Rob's own jazz composition Meditation in G flat, displaying his classical background. Paul Jefferies is a fine bassist with a rich, comfortable, inventive and lyrical sound. Charlie Stratford completed the trio, a powerful drummer who studied at Berklee college, Boston, USA. It was a first rate evening of jazz from a truly excellent trio.


                                                                                                            David Knight.


UP AND COMING ATTRACTIONS AT THE PRINCE OF WALES, SHRIVENHAM

Gigs to look forward to over the next couple of months.

JAZZ GIGS FOR JULY.

A list of jazz gigs in the Swindon area for July.

Friday, 29 June 2012

JAZZ REVIEW OF 4-SIDED TRIANGLE AT BAKER ST AND A PREVIEW OF WHAT'S TO COME.

Swindon's leading jazz venue Baker St presented a evening of impressive jazz music by the Jazz Services lottery sponsored quartet 4-Sided Triangle lead by post bop saxophonist Kevin Figes and featuring world class jazz rock guitarist Mike Outram. Mike is a professor of guitar studies at Trinity College and The Royal Academy, London and he demonstrated complete control of the sounds coming out of his sweet wailing rock guitar. Kevin Figes playing Alto/Baritone Sax produced some beautiful and thoughtful solos and there were some striking cross rhythms from drummer Mark Whitlam. Andy Nowak completed the quartet. Andy is now recognised as one of the most fluent and lyrical jazz pianists in the south west. Altogether a superb evening's jazz music.

Next jazz show at Baker St Sunday July 1st 1-00pm/3-30 will be the Emily Wright Duo. Followed by the UK's Number one jazz pianist Dave Newton and his trio on Tuesday July 3rd 8.30pm/11-00 FREE!

                                                                                                            David Knight.


Friday, 15 June 2012

BAKER St, WOOD St , OLD TOWN - SUNDAY LUNCHTIME JAZZ - 1.00 to 3.30 pm FREE.


JAZZ REVIEW - PRINCE OF WALES - THEO JACKSON - GIAZONNE REYES DUO

Jazz connoisseurs at the Prince of Wales Shrivenham were presented with a stunning evening of vocal and piano jazz from the duo of pianist-vocalist Theo Jackson and bassist Giazonne Reyes. Two multi-instrumentalist-multi-talented young men who had met whilst studying for music degrees at the University of Durham. The evening's program consisted of a selection of emotional ballads from Monk's Round Midnight to fluent bop vocals on Charlie Parker's Confirmation to Jerome Kern's All The Things You Are. A memorable evening's performance by two of the UK's rising jazz talents.

Next presentation June 28th by another of UK's rising talents classical jazz pianist Rob Terry and his trio.

                                                                                                              David Knight.
                       


                          

Friday, 8 June 2012

Nicola Farnon, see her at Baker St next month.

Nicola Farnon Gig at Baker St on Tuesday the 17th of July.

Nicola Farnon, niece of Sinatra's music arranger Robert Farnon, is a unique talent, both as a swinging vocalist and as a double bass player. She has had many years of experience, having played with some of the greats in jazz. The late Humphrey Lyttleton called her a remarkable performer. Check her out on Tuesday July the 17th at Baker St as she is a sure fired hit!

Personnel: NICOLA FARNON - DOUBLE BASS AND VOCALS
                 DAVE NEWTON - PIANO
                 PHIL JOHNSON - DRUMS
                 BEN MARTIN - TENOR SAXOPHONE
                 

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Monday, 4 June 2012

hammond, organ, John-paul Gard on the KEYBDuo Organ

Sunday Jazz at Baker St.

Baker St is opening a season of jazz music on Sunday lunch times starting this Sunday June 10th from 1-00/3.30 pm. Commencing with John Paul Gard on the Hammond B3 organ. John Paul was a huge triumph at Swindon's Jubilee jazz festival on Saturday 2nd June held in Wood St. John Paul has just returned from a successful trip to Los Angeles playing on and recording a number of dvds and videos. He is an organist /musician in the tradition of the great Jimmy Smith.



John Paul Gard at the Jubilee Jazz.


Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Gigs from June to September


Gigs at Baker Street (Wood Street, Swindon) and the Prince of Wales (Shrivenham) from June to September 2012. Admission is free. 8.30-11pm. 

From Sunday 10 June, there will be lunchtime sessions at Baker Street from 1.00-3.30pm.
 

Friday, 18 May 2012

Prince of Wales, Shrivenham

Listen to top-class musicians at the Prince of Wales, High Street, Shrivenham on alternate Thursdays from 8.30-11pm. Free admission. Here are some who have entertained us over the last few months:



Louise Parker



George Cooper



Dave Newton & John Pearce


Denny Ilett


Ian Bateman

Dale Hambridge & Emily Wright


Terry Hutchins

Fiona Barrow & Kate Elliot

Sylvia Delfino
Alex Steele
Alexander Hawkins
Craig Milverton
Ron Hetherington

John Critchinson


Ruth Hammond

Phil King

Zoe Francis

Steve Laming and Chris Cobbson
John-Paul Gard

Clive Morton
Della Thompson
Paul Jefferies
Jez Cook
Valere Speranza


Al Swainger
Rod Kelly
Andy Christie
Photos and more by Tom Saunders.