New Band, New Music, New Dates

I have been hard at work over the summer writing lots of brand new septet music. My sextet from last year has grown by one member and is therefore indisputably One Better than this time last year. We had the first rehearsal yesterday and I have spent today listening back to it. After the initial shock of hearing real musicians playing what I’ve written rather than the horrendous midi interpretations performed by my laptop I’m really excited about how it sounded. Needless to say the band sounded amazing, which will not come as a shock to you when you scroll down and read the line up of musicians. We have a couple of gigs between now and Christmas and are planning to make a record early next year, so watch out for that.

In the mean time, come and check it out at the Con Cellar Bar in Camden on the 21st of November (a special London Jazz Festival double bill with Liam Noble’s trio) or at The Oxford in Kentish Town on the 1st of December.

The septet is/are:
Me (obviously) – Alto/Soprano/Clarinet
Tom Challenger – Tenor Sax/Clarinet
Josh Arcoleo – Tenor
George Crowley – Bass Clarinet
Lewis Wright/Ralph Wyld – Vibes (Lewis at the Oxford, Ralph at the Con)
Sam Lasserson – Bass
Jon Scott – Drums

TOMORROW! Quartet gig at the Great Northern Railway Tavern, Hornsey, North London.

Tomorrow I have a gig at the Great Northern Railway Tavern in Hornsey, North London. I’ll be joined by 3 of my favourite musicians, Ivo Neame on piano, Sam Lasserson on bass and Jon Scott on drums. I have written some new music which I’m very excited about giving an airing, and we will also be playing some of Ivo’s great music. Will be kicking off around 8.30, £7 on the door. I understand there is some kind of sporting event happening at the same time, but don’t bother with that rubbish… See you tomorrow night.

London Jazz Festival 2013

I have several very exciting gigs coming up in the next couple of weeks as part of this year’s London Jazz Festival.

On the 15th I am playing with Stan Sulzmann’s big band at the Purcell Room. We are playing some music by various British jazz musicians arranged by Stan, as well as some of Stan’s own music, including a new commission for the festival. This band doesn’t get to perform very often but when it does it is one of my absolute favourite things to be part of and I feel very flattered and privileged to be included. After the jazz festival gig there are another couple of gigs in Cardiff and Birmingham on the 29th and 30th of November.

On the 22nd there is a special jazz festival event at the Con Cellar Bar which as regulars will know is guaranteed to be a great night. Dan Nicholls and Dave Smith’s amazing duo project Strobes, plus Money Jungle playing some Monk and Mingus tunes followed by a Jam session and hang till late…

Two gigs on the 23rd, first back to the Purcell Room with Troyk-estra (Troyka + Big Band) launching an album recorded earlier this year at Cheltenham Jazz Festival, heavy noisy-electro-rock-jazz+horns. That’s in the afternoon, and in the evening I’m off to Battersea to play with Noise Union, Sam Jesson’s big band bringing together top players from Birmingham’s great jazz scene and London, playing bespoke arrangements contributed by the band of music by Thelonious Monk. I have put pen to paper (or finger to laptop trackpad more accurately) and arranged Monk’s Bye-Ya for big band and am looking forward to giving it an outing. Noise Union are playing as part of a quintuple bill including three big bands (!!) that evening at the Battersea Mess and Music Hall, possibly the best value in terms of number of musicians seen per pound on your ticket of any gig in the festival.

And finally on the 24th of November I’m at the Spice of Life with Rick Simpson’s Septet playing Rick’s amazing and highly individual music, which is always a lot of fun. I believe he has some new tunes for us too, which if the last ones are anything to go by means I should stop typing now and go and do some pretty urgent practice.

There is a huge amount of other great jazz and improvised music happening all over London during the festival (and all year round for that matter!) probably right on your doorstep so I urge you to go and check something out.