New British Jazz Generation Blasts Bath With Spiritual Baptism

Bath Festival applied radical surgery to their roster of festivals in 2017, merging the literature and music events and running a single, multi-arts programme over two weeks in May. 2018 has seen the second edition of the new look festival and the music strand had a diverse and expansive take on jazz and improvised music. There was something global, something local, something old and something new.

House of Waters kicked things off, injecting an international outlook with the first of a series of gigs at Komedia. The New York-based trio's distinctive sound, with Max ZT on hammered dulcimer, Moto Fukushima on six-string bass and Ignacio Rivas Bixio on drums, blended ideas from Indian, African, Latin musics and more with pulsating grooves. It's a quirky fusion and they rock, a fact signalled by their signing to Snarky Puppy's GroundUP imprint. The NY Music Daily's description of them as the most original band on the planet may be rather over-heated, but they put on an absorbing and exciting show.

A couple of weeks later, the local rounded things off. The 'Jazz at the Vaults' session emerged from it's cellar to recreate the format of their fortnightly gig, house rhythm section plus guests, in the grandeur of the Masonic Hall. The festival billing had local forceful and virtuosic trumpeter Jonny Bruce for a set, followed by Tony Kofi. Bruce delivered a swaggering, swinging performance, dipping into classic standards including 'St James Infirmary' and 'Sunny Side of the Street'. Kofi joined him for a burn-up through 'Night in Tunisia'. Kofi made his trademark dip into the Monk oeuvre, starting off with 'Hackensack' and returning later with 'Monk's Dream'. The trio were right there with him, their bounce and verve getting the capacity crowd going. Bassist Wade Edwards is the man behind the regular session. He's been working with Vyv-Hope Scott on piano and Trevor Davies on drums for over a decade, and it shows. Another Bruce-Kofi blast on 'Scotch and Water' to end had everyone on their feet.

Between the global-local bookends, there was a taste of what's causing a buzz on the London and national scenes. Maisha (top) took to the stage in Komedia and were straight into the fusion of Afro-beat and ecstatic jazz that has had everyone talking. The axis of drummer Jake Long, bassist Twm Dylan, Shirley Tetteh's guitar and percussionist Tim Doyle time and again built-up layers of locked tight and irresistible polyrhythms. Nubya Garcia delivered chanting incantations before building into swirling, fiery solos. Sarah Tandy's keyboards provided textures, punctuation and some incendiary soloing that threatened to steal the show. This was new British jazz storming the festival and winning a lot of admirers.

KSmittyBathFest preview

Kansas Smitty's are getting to be festival favourites wherever they go. Their set at Komedia the next night was, as ever, largely original, but steeped in the jazz tradition, and often as not straight out of New Orleans. They've got pulling power as well. Jason Rebello was depping on piano and Claire Teal stepped up to guest on a couple of songs in the second set and summed them up in a neat line: "100 years of jazz, nothing clichéd and everything authentic". As if it to prove the point they brought the curtain down with a storming rendition of 'The Way You're Livin', a belting Dixie-funk style groove and Pete Horsfall's raunchy vocal setting the scene for a blistering solo from Giacomo Smith on alto. Extended pleading from a grateful crowd brought them back for one more.

Back with 'Jazz at the Vaults' at the Masonic Hall on the last night it was the same story. After all the thanks had been declared, bows taken and good nights wished, then a bout of foot stamping and cheering forced the band back on stage for a final blast as they blew 'Perdido' inside out. The festival had touched a lot of bases with a handful of performances and it went down a storm.

Mike Collins

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website

If you do not change browser settings, you consent to continue. Learn more

I understand

Breaking News

Musson, Kjær and Marshall set for Iklectik date this weekend

Musson, Kjær and Marshall set for Iklect…

Three of the key figures on London's improv scene –...

Read More.....
Say A Little Prayer: Aretha Franklin 25/03/42 – 16/08/18

Say A Little Prayer: Aretha Franklin 25/…

  As far as monikers go, 'Lady Soul' may well have...

Read More.....
'A Great Day in Harlem' celebrates 60th anniversary

'A Great Day in Harlem' celebrates 60th …

Photographer Art Kane's legendary jazz photograph 'Harlem – 1958', commonly...

Read More.....
Zara McFarlane and Ayanna Witter Johnson for Kinch’s Flyover Show

Zara McFarlane and Ayanna Witter Johnson…

Soweto Kinch's free one-day arts festival, The Flyover Show, returns...

Read More.....
Steely Dan tributes and basses high at Sligo Jazz Project

Steely Dan tributes and basses high at S…

In a week of outstanding musical offerings in Sligo, perhaps...

Read More.....
Maria Schneider and Ensemble Denada meld mystery and drama with McCaslin at Molde

Maria Schneider and Ensemble Denada meld…

  Molde might be a small coastal town in western Norway...

Read More.....
John Zorn's Simulacrum project rewrite radical organ trio template at Jazz em Agosto

John Zorn's Simulacrum project rewrite r…

King Crimson and tech-death titans such as Cynic and Atheist...

Read More.....
Ron Davis lines up with Seonaid Aitken for SymphRONica Scottish sojourn

Ron Davis lines up with Seonaid Aitken f…

Canadian pianist Ron Davis (above left) has enlisted the Scottish...

Read More.....
Christian McBride’s New Jawn and Chick Corea Akoustic Trio create magic in Malta

Christian McBride’s New Jawn and Chick C…

If Valletta's sun-baked limestone is a constant reminder of Malta's...

Read More.....
Tomasz Stańko – 11 July 1942 – 29 July 2018

Tomasz Stańko – 11 July 1942 – 29 July 2…

In 2002, the Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stańko provided an answer...

Read More.....
Steve Coleman & Five Elements floor all comers with Mayweather-style beat magic

Steve Coleman & Five Elements floor …

They say that writing about music is like dancing about...

Read More.....
Archie Shepp, Herbie Hancock and Tuba Titans kick out the cool at Montreal Jazz Festival

Archie Shepp, Herbie Hancock and Tuba Ti…

Canadians are patronisingly characterised in the US as 'over-polite' but...

Read More.....
Wayne Shorter enters the multiverse with album and graphic novel

Wayne Shorter enters the multiverse with…

Iconic saxophonist Wayne Shorter is set to make a dramatic...

Read More.....
Nérija alumni illuminate Jazz Re:fest's Brighton Dome bonanza

Nérija alumni illuminate Jazz Re:fest's …

  Day-trippers pour out of the trains in their hundreds, heading...

Read More.....
Brötzmann Cocked To Blast At Third Brighton Alt Bash

Brötzmann Cocked To Blast At Third Brigh…

The south coast's premier experimental music symposium – the Brighton...

Read More.....
Szun Waves launch New Hymn To Freedom with live dates

Szun Waves launch New Hymn To Freedom wi…

Electronica jazz trio Szun Waves release their second album, New...

Read More.....
Donny McCaslin’s big Blow set for Scala

Donny McCaslin’s big Blow set for Scala

US saxophonist Donny McCaslin follows the breakthrough success of 2016's...

Read More.....
PRS Foundation Momentum Music Fund now open for applications

PRS Foundation Momentum Music Fund now o…

The PRS Foundation's Momentum Music Fund has helped the likes...

Read More.....
Beats & Pieces Big Band launch Ten with video and tour

Beats & Pieces Big Band launch Ten w…

Manchester's mighty Beats & Pieces Big Band continue their yearlong...

Read More.....
Robert Glasper leads R+R=NOW for stormy Celebrate Brooklyn blow-out

Robert Glasper leads R+R=NOW for stormy …

The history of collectives in jazz are nearly as old...

Read More.....
Are you ready for the Write Stuff? 2018 Applications Now Open

Are you ready for the Write Stuff? 2018 …

Budding music writers listen up! This year's Write Stuff music...

Read More.....
John Coltrane’s The Lost Album: Both Directions at Once hits Top 20 Albums

John Coltrane’s The Lost Album: Both Dir…

Last week's release of John Coltrane's The Lost Album: Both...

Read More.....
Boogie at the Bandstand - Love Supreme's festival within a festival

Boogie at the Bandstand - Love Supreme's…

With an abundance of big names on the larger stages...

Read More.....
Keyon Harrold, Vijay Iyer and EXPO Commissions for 40th Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Fest

Keyon Harrold, Vijay Iyer and EXPO Commi…

The 40th edition of the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival...

Read More.....
Roy Carr 1945 – 2018

Roy Carr 1945 – 2018

Doyen of the music press for half a century and...

Read More.....
Pharoah's Prophecies Pave Way For New Wave Of Spiritual Sentinels At This Year's Love Supreme

Pharoah's Prophecies Pave Way For New Wa…

"I've already had my mind blown once today," a geezerish...

Read More.....
Meshell Ndegeocello and The Bad Plus for Innervisions Fest at Under The Bridge

Meshell Ndegeocello and The Bad Plus for…

Chelsea music venue, Under the Bridge, will play host to...

Read More.....
Brockley Beer & Improv Sessions Brew Up New Series

Brockley Beer & Improv Sessions Brew…

Connoisseurs of craft ales and well-crafted extemporisation, rejoice! Another series of...

Read More.....
Archie Shepp, Phronesis, Kandace Springs and Kit Downes added to EFG London Jazz Festival

Archie Shepp, Phronesis, Kandace Springs…

The line-up for this year's EFG London Jazz Festival, which...

Read More.....
Wynton Marsalis Quartet open up to the spirit of Ornette at Barbican

Wynton Marsalis Quartet open up to the s…

Wynton Marsalis is more forward-thinking than he gets credit for...

Read More.....
Joe Lovano and Dave Douglas step up with Sound Prints at the Village vanguard

Joe Lovano and Dave Douglas step up with…

Joe Lovano remarked that "it was the end of an...

Read More.....
Jazz Women celebrated at Jazz Centre UK exhibition

Jazz Women celebrated at Jazz Centre UK …

Southend-on-Sea's Jazz Centre UK presents a major exhibition, Jazz Women...

Read More.....
Boggamasta boogie on down at Brussels Jazz Weekend

Boggamasta boogie on down at Brussels Ja…

The UK equivalent to the Brussels Jazz Weekend would be...

Read More.....
Orphy Robinson gets Gibraltar rocking beyond Borders

Orphy Robinson gets Gibraltar rocking be…

British vibes virtuoso Orphy Robinson is artist-in-residence at the year's...

Read More.....
Vijay Iyer Sextet and Julian Lage jive to Jazz Cafe

Vijay Iyer Sextet and Julian Lage jive t…

Having reopened its doors in January 2016, following a multi-million-pound...

Read More.....
Jon Hiseman 1944-2018

Jon Hiseman 1944-2018

One of the UK's foremost drummers and bandleaders, Jon Hiseman...

Read More.....


Subcribe To Jazzwise

Advertisement

Call 0800 137201 to subscribe or click here to email the subscriptions team

Get in touch

Jazzwise Magazine,
St. Judes Church,
Dulwich Road, 
Herne Hill,
London, SE24 0PD.

0208 677 0012

Latest Tweets

Elling elegantly elliptical at Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Fest https://t.co/HbkYnrCfYb @EdinburghJazz @RealKurtElling… https://t.co/nNAoD6lp7p
Follow Us - @Jazzwise
The September issue of Jazzwise is on sale now - subscribe today to get your copy, save money and get a Jazzland CD… https://t.co/nL6svwJ5RT
Follow Us - @Jazzwise

Newsletter

© 2016 MA Business & Leisure Ltd registered in England and Wales number 02923699 Registered office: Jesses Farm, Snow Hill, Dinton, Salisbury, SP3 5HN . Designed By SE24 MEDIA