Saxophonist Tim Garland will reunite with his former partner in Celtic jazz group Lammas, Don Paterson on the guitarist's Scottish gigs with his new band, the Don Paterson Situation during February.
Garland, who subsequently joined Chick Corea's The Vigil, co-led Lammas with Paterson throughout the 1990s, recording five albums and touring widely before Paterson's work as a poet and demand for Garland's talents as a saxophonist and composer caused an amicable split in 2000.
As well as The Vigil, Garland went on to play with Bill Bruford's Earthworks and in Storms/Nocturnes with vibraphonist Joe Locke and pianist Geoff Keezer as well as fulfilling commissions from the Royal Northern Sinfonia, and the London Symphony, the City of Birmingham Symphony and BBC Concert orchestras. He premiered his Re:Focus, a re-imagining of Stan Getz's 1961 orchestral album, Focus, at Wigmore Hall during London Jazz Festival in November.
Paterson's work as a much-decorated poet has seen music taking a back seat for much of the past decade but he returned with the Don Paterson Situation early last year with renewed enthusiasm. His band launches a new jazz season at Eyemouth Hippodrome in the Scottish Borders on Saturday 11 February before going on to play at the Byre Theatre, St Andrews (25 February) and Tron Theatre, Glasgow (26 February).
"Tim and always I kept in touch and we've played together a few times informally since Lammas but these will be the first gigs we've done together in sixteen years and I'm really looking forward to working with him again," says Paterson.
– Rob Adams
The monthly Jazz in the Round session, which has run since 2012 and is hosted by Jazz FM DJs Jez Nelson and Chris Philips, kicks off the new year with two stellar triple bills. The first of these takes place tonight (30 January) and showcases artists from the Edition Records roster with Laura Jurd's Dinosaur topping the bill, a rare solo bass in the middle from Phronesis main-man Jasper Høiby and an opening set from pianist Elliot Galvin and drummer Mark Sanders.
This is followed on 27 February with a starry double-bill topped by the John Horler Trio with special guest Norma Winstone (above right) on vocals, trumpeter Quentin Collins and saxophonist Leo Richardson, reprising their tribute to Chet Baker set, plus an opening spot from emerging latin-jazz-folk group Esquivo.
– Mike Flynn
For full details visit www.thecockpit.org.uk
The unexpected early November snowfall created a festive backdrop for the genuine bonhomie of Tampere Jazz Happening in Finland. In a compact arrangement of venues, homegrown Scandi-jazz took a prominent place in the 35th edition alongside the more international VIPs. Finnish Yrjö award-winners past and present, including the leading saxophonist Mikko Innanen, made up the personnel of the Finnish Jazz Federation Anniversary Orchestra, kicking things off with an absorbing set that captured something of the forgotten freedom-searching spirit of 1960s modal jazz.
On the Pakkahuone main stage, one of that mission's greatest exponents Charles Lloyd (above) excelled like you'd never seen him before, in an extraordinary performance of great warmth, poetry and emotional depth. His quartet (featuring the eloquent pianist Gerald Clayton) had the full audience in rapture, taking full advantage of the wonderfully crystal-clear sound acoustic. Which was just as vital for The Necks, the influential antipodean piano trio. If an acquired taste, they nonetheless put chamber ensemble improv under a microscope in an unusually brief one-hour set piece that might just have been one of the best cures for ADD. The New York saxophonist Steve Lehman's octet gave a stimulating showing combining compact New Music-influenced brass arrangements with acoustic-based sonic experimentation and atonal-edged bebop. Norwegian multi-reeds virtuoso Marius Neset's quintet featured a few top notch Brits – Jim Hart, Phil Donkin and Ivo Neame – in a pulsating set combining folk dance and fusion, featuring the towering presence of guest Swedish folk-prog cellist Svante Henryson.
In the more intimate Telakka club, the homegrown pianist Aki Rissanen – a new signing to UK's Edition label – mixed Zen funk and Bill Evans with his trio, highlighted by Teppo Mäkynen's uncanny electronica-influenced kit sounds. Donny McCaslin's quartet, who had made one of the best recordings of 2016 in tribute to Bowie, were disappointingly without a contemporary edge without both Tim LeFebvre and Mark Guiliana ie. half the Bowie band. French pianist Eve Risser (above) on the other hand was the big discovery of the weekend, with her eerily mesmerising, impressionistic arrangements for the White Desert Orchestra. The last day saw Finnish trumpeter Verneri Pohjola astutely tackle the music of his father Pekka of cult 1970s progsters Wigwam, while Håkon Kornstad in his Tenor Battle band pulled off an unlikely juxtaposition of Neapolitan opera with Euro-jazz sax improv that reflected the entirely open-minded approach to booking at this International class festival.
– Selwyn Harris
There are some exciting additions to the 2017 Cheltenham Jazz Festival, which runs from 26 April to 1 May, with multi-Grammy Award-winning jazz diva Dee Dee Bridgewater set to appear at Cheltenham Town Hall on Thursday 27 April. The charismatic vocalist will be performing music from her forthcoming album, Memphis, which is inspired by 1960s R&B, drawing on material by the likes of Gladys Knight, Jackie Wilson, Al Green, Sam Cooke, Stax Academy Choir, Big Mama Thornton and Otis Redding among others. Further additions include two of today's hottest sax talents in the form of top US tenorist Chris Potter and Norwegian whirlwind Marius Neset. The latter fires up the Parabola Arts Centre's (PAC) programme on 28 April when he appears with a specially convened UK ensemble of keyboardist Dan Nicholls, vibist Jim Hart, bassist Phil Donkin and drummer Joshua Blackmore.
That same evening also sees the debut of drummer Seb Rochford's new trio, featuring revered Chicagoan AACM bass flautist Nicole Mitchell with UK bassist Neil Charles all appearing at the PAC. Meanwhile, powerful multi-reedist Potter returns after his 2013 appearance with students from the Birmingham conservatoire, this time with a topnotch American quartet with pianist David Virelles, bassist Joe Martin and drummer Marcus Gilmore. The festival's expansive outlook includes a timely appearance by cult Australian soundscapers The Necks as they celebrate 30 years of their spellbinding long-form improvisations, making their Cheltenham debut at the Town Hall on 29 April, while rising star saxophonist Logan Richardson, who appeared alongside Christian Scott last year, returns with his own band featuring guitarist Mike Moreno (Parabola, 29 April).
Further bookings include a blues-fusion blast from guitarist/singer Marcus King and his band (Jazz Arena, 27 April), while the Hot 8 Brass Band fi re up the lunchtime spot at the Big Top on the bank holiday Monday (1 May). These names join those already announced in Jazzwise – who is festival media partner – which include the only UK performance by the Chick Corea Trio featuring Eddie Gomez and Brian Blade (Big Top), Grammy-winning groove merchants Snarky Puppy (Town Hall) and acclaimed soul-jazz singer/bassist Meshelle Ndegeocello (Jazz Arena), all on 30 April. The event once again takes place in its firmly established festival village that takes over Montpellier Gardens with tented Big Top and Jazz Arena venues, food stalls, on-site record shop and family tents with Town Hall, Parabola Arts Centre and Daffodil venues all within short walking distance of the picturesque spa town's centre.
Two days after Jazzwise had gone to press with the current February issue – which stated Dhafer Youssef was due to appear – the news reached us that due to unforeseen circumstances has had to pull out of the festival.
The full line-up will be announced on 10 February, Cheltenham Festivals members can book tickets from 22 February and non-members can book from 1 March. For more info and tickets visit www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/jazz
London-based rabble-rousers Raw Tonk unleash a blast of rancorous jazz-noise in celebration of their five years of existence on 25 March at Hundred Years Gallery, Shoreditch. The mini-festival, consisting of matinee and evening concerts, promises a bevvy of brain-frying bouts headed-up by the vanguard of the 'new wave of Dutch heavy jazz', Dead Neanderthals. Also throwing their filth will be balls-to-the-wall three-piece KTHXBYE, a first-time collab between Belgian guitarist Dirk Serries and Swiss-based saxophonist Tapiwa Svosve, free improvising trio Ma/Ti/Om (aka Tim Fairhall, Tom Ward and Matilda Rolfsson), fidgety foils Ripsaw Catfish featuring Dee Byrne, Anton Mobin/Benedict Taylor/David Birchall (featuring Mobin on his homemade box of trickery, the 'Prepared Chamber') and, finally, Colin Webster/Mark Holub, who fittingly reprise the sax and drums duo that constituted The Claw, Raw Tonk's debut release from 2012.
– Spencer Grady
For more information visit www.hundredyearsgallery.com/raw-tonk