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.

Sextet gig this week (and some other gigs)

I have another gig coming up this week with my sextet.

Thursday 4th of July at the Jazz Nursery in Southwark

This is the last gig that we currently have booked in, I hope to sort some more out soon once I’ve been able to write some new music. But it could be a while some come down and catch us while you can.

I also have another couple of gigs this week that I’m looking forward to,

Monday 1st of July (tomorrow!) at The Oxford with Rick Simpson’s new Septet

and Friday the 5th of July at the Con Cellar Bar with Reuben Fowler’s great Octet.

Sextet gigs

Thanks to everyone who came to The Oxford a couple of weeks ago for my sextet gig, it was great to see so many people and we really enjoyed the gig. There are a couple more coming up in the next couple of weeks:

7th of May at the Amersham Arms in New Cross

14th of May at the Shaftsbury Tavern, Archway

The line up is:
Myself on various woodwinds
Tom Challenger on tenor saxophone and clarinet
Josh Arcoleo on tenor saxophone
Lewis Wright on vibraphone
Sam Lasserson on double bass
Jon Scott on drums

I am in the middle of writing some more music for this band and I hope to have at least some of it ready for these gigs. Hope to see you there.

Sextet Dates

I have another confirmed bunch of gigs with my sextet, the line up for these gigs is

Josh Arcoleo – Tenor
Tom Challenger – Tenor/Clarinet
Michael Chillingworth – Soprano/Alto/Clarinet/Bass Clarinet
Lewis Wright – Vibraphone
Sam Lasserson – Bass
Jon Scott – Drums

The dates are

15th of April – The Oxford, Kentish Town
George Crowley instead of Josh Arcoleo on this one

7th of May – SE Collective at The Amersham Arms, New Cross –

14th of May – The Shaftesbury Tavern, 534 Hornsey Road, N19 3QN

4th of July – The Jazz Nursery, Southwark

I am really excited about these gigs, I am looking forward to playing again with this band and getting to know the music a bit better, as well as writing and playing some more new stuff. I hope you’ll come and check it out.

News and bits and pieces

Thanks to everyone who came to the Con last week, it was a great night and I was really glad to finally give the music I’ve been working on an airing. There will be a little run of gigs (hopefully) in April/May starting with The Oxford, Kentish Town on the 15th of April, playing the same music (after some extensive rehearsal!) and some more new music. So watch this space for more dates and info. I am also thinking of possibly recording one of those gigs for a little online release, currently weighing up the options.

…..But before all that…..

The very exciting and epic 27 date (so far!) Ant Law Quartet Nationwide Tour 2013 has begun, and the album (Entanglement – Ant Law with Tom Farmer, James Maddren and John Turville on some tracks – available here) has been pressed, is for sale currently from Ant on gigs and through his website and will be on full release imminently. The album sounds great and I urge you to check out a gig. If you’re in London then get down to the Jazz Nursery this Thursday the 7th of February, or to the big album launch gig at Pizza Express in Soho on the 11th of March. For numerous other dates outside of London check out the upcoming gigs page.

The Con on Friday, new band, new music

Only a few days until the Con Cellar Bar on Friday night (1st of Feb). I’ve written a whole set of new tunes for a new sextet, the line up is

The line up is:
Josh Arcoleo – tenor
Tom Challenger – tenor, clarinet
Lewis Wright – vibes
Sam Lasserson – bass
Jeff Williams – drums
And I’m on various saxophones and clarinets

I am finishing up the parts now for everyone and am feeling a mixture of fear and excitement. But I’m really looking forward to it and it feels like it’s been a long time coming.

It’s a double bill with Martin Speake who is playing in a trio with the amazing Kit Downes and Jeff Williams, which frankly sounds incredible.

For more information go to