Highly respected guitarist Nigel Price will embark on a nationwide UK tour with his trio this autumn that runs through to mid-December. His most recent album Hit the Road was released in August on 33 Records, and features Matt Home on drums and Pete Whittaker on organ. Home and Whittaker will perform with Price throughout the upcoming tour and they will be joined on a number of dates by guest saxophonist Vasilis Xenopoulos, who also featured on the new album.

The tour dates are: Ronnie Scott’s, London (29 Sept); Grimsby Jazz, Grimsby (1st Oct); Wakefield Jazz, Wakefield (3 Oct); Guitar Festival, Sandwich (4 Oct); Chelmsford Jazz Club, Chelmsford (5 October); Milestones, Lowestoft (5 Oct); The Big Band, Oxford (7 Oct); Swansea Jazzland, Swansea (8 Oct); Black Mountain Jazz, Abergavenny (9 Oct); Bebop Club, Bristol (10 Oct); Dexter’s Jazz Club, Nottingham (14 Oct); Scarborough Jazz Club, Scarborough (15 Oct); The Crypt, Camberwell (17 Oct); Fleet Jazz Club, Fleet (21 Oct); Swing Unlimited, Bournemouth (22 Oct); Folkestone Jazz Club, Folkestone (23 Oct); The Verdict, Brighton (24 Oct); Gumbles Jazz, Stafford (27 Oct); North Wales Jazz Club, Denbigh (28 Oct); Glasgow Art Club, Glasgow (29 Oct); Jazz Bar, Edinburgh (20 Oct); Ushaw College, Durham (31 Oct); The Eagle, Rochester (2 Nov); The Fludyers, Felixstowe (2 Nov); Watermill Jazz Club, Dorking (6 Nov); Lauderdale House, London (13 Nov); Norwich Jazz Club, Norwich (18 Nov); Dereham Jazz Society, Dereham (19 Nov); Billingshurst Centre, Billingshurst (21 Nov); Bexley Jazz Club, Bexley Village (27 Nov); Jags, Ascot (7 Dec); Marlow Jazz Club, Marlow (16 Dec); and The Woodman, Sevenoaks (17 Dec).

For more information visit www.nigelprice.biz

- Bethany Roberts

 

Norwich-based trio Mammal Hands will release their debut album Animalia on 15 September on the independent label Gondwana Records. The trio features Nick Smart on keyboards, his brother Jordan Smart on saxophones and Jesse Barrett on drums and tabla. Gondwana’s Matthew Halsall produced the album which shares similar influences to Halsall’s own material such as the spiritual jazz of Pharoah Sanders, Cinematic Orchestra and Portico Quartet, as well as distinct traces of traditional North Indian and African music. To launch the new album, Mammal Hands will perform at Norwich Arts Centre on 15 September where they will be joined by forward-thinking jazz/electronica trio Gogo Penguin, also signed by Gondwana Records, who released their debut album Fanfares in 2012.

For more information and to book tickets visit https://norwichartscentre.co.uk/events/gogo-penguin-mammal-hands/

Renowned London jazz venue the Vortex will host its annual music festival, Vortex Outdoors, in Gillett Square, Dalston on 16 August from 2pm-11pm. The line up is a colourful feast of jazz and world music artists, representing a broad array of global cultures that reflect the unique diversity of modern London.

The afternoon kicks off with performances from the participants of the inaugural Vortex Summer School (2pm), followed by Krar Collective (3:15pm), a vibrant trio who create contemporary grooves on traditional Ethiopian instruments, originally hailing from Ethiopia but now residing in London. The programme then explores music influenced by gypsy and Balkan rhythms with the 30-strong London Gypsy Orchestra (4:30pm), Tatcho Drom (5:45pm) and Dunajska Kapelye (7pm), the latter including the brilliant violinists Piotr Jordan & Flora Curzon. Also featured are the popular Hackney Colliery Band (8:15pm) and nine-piece reggae collective The Big Steal (9:15pm). Hackney Globetrotter (aka DJ Russ Jones) will round off the festivities with a fittingly diverse set of beats and dance music from around the world.

For more information visit www.vortexjazz.co.uk/event/vortex-outdoors

Bethany Roberts

A benefit concert for the legendary trumpeter and flugelhorn player Kenny Wheeler will be held at Epic, 13-15 Stoke Newington Road, London, N16 on 15 August, 7pm. The veteran composer, bandleader and sideman, who is now 84, has not been able to work for most of this year due to ill health. The upcoming benefit concert will be a celebration of his invaluable contribution to the jazz scene over the last sixty years and will feature saxophonist Evan Parker, a long-time friend and collaborator, who will perform with Steve Beresford, Olie Brice and Mark Sanders. Also appearing is upcoming trumpeter and bandleader Reuben Fowler, recipient of the 2012 Kenny Wheeler Music Prize, whose big band will play a collection of rare Wheeler material, as well as some of Fowler’s own compositions. Other guests include the Ray Warleigh Quartet, and innovative and exploratory violinist Alison Blunt with her 12-piece ensemble, including pianist Neil Metcalfe and bassist David Leahy. Tickets will be available on the door priced at £12 and £10.

- Bethany Roberts

Brecon was celebrating the 30th anniversary of its jazz festival in style at the weekend. After legend Burt Bacharach had officially opened the festival on Thursday night, the energy really ramped up starting with a tumultuous set from the Michael Wollny Trio in the Cathedral just as the shadows began to lengthen on Friday. The German piano master name-checked everything from twentieth century composers, hymns and psychedelic rockers as the source of tunes that built to thunderous rhythmic storms, drummer Eric Schaefer and Wollny pounding with equal ferocity, or switching to chorale like melodies buoyed by the singing bass of Christian Weber. If there were any ghosts sleeping in the crypt of the cathedral they were wide awake by the end of this exhilarating set. Friday also saw the wildly exuberant, celebratory farewell performance of Loose Tubes. Did every other performer on the programme finish their sets quickly so they could be there? It seemed that way! And the Tubes did their best too sweep the capacity crowd in the Market Hall up in the fun, finishing the set by roaming through the audience riffing on a stomping groove. They didn’t seem to want to stop playing and nobody wanted them to, but after two hours it was over. Until next time?

Just twenty-four hours later, the walls of the cathedral were trembling again as saxophone tyro Marius Neset took to the stage with his quartet. The collective roar of this band was near mind-blowing. When the joyous, dancing theme of the title track of his album Birds burst out of the maelstrom of rhythm and sound, I’ll swear my heart skipped a beat. Neset seemed inspired by the acoustics of the space and there were brain melting solo forays and a tumultuous duet with Anton Eger on drums that exploited it to the full. This is another awesome Scandinavian outfit with pianist Ivo Neame flying the flag for UK on piano.   Festival operators Orchard have done Brecon proud. The programme included plenty of variety with the Captain’s Walk stage offering a fantastic line-up for a single all-day ticket. On Saturday that included Denis Rollins’ Velocity Trio grooving like it was going out of fashion on a quirky repertoire that took in Bob Marley, Pink Floyd as well as plenty of Rollins originals. Elsewhere there was a strong Welsh theme with Burrum bringing their folk, gaelic and modal jazz brew, and artist in residence Huw Warren celebrating Dylan Thomas. There was plenty more to follow on Sunday with Gregory Porter bringing the curtain down on the weekend with his strong evening performance. With a showing like this the festival looks set fair for another thirty years.

Report: Mike Collins

 Photo: copyright Tim Dickeson

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