Top jazz gigs - 22-28 April UK/IRE selections

Sultan Stevenson photo: press plays Juju's Bar, Hanbury Street, E1 on Sat 27th at 2.15pm - part of the Brick Lane Jazz Festival Samara Joy Band on the Wall, Manchester Monday 22 April Sensational Grammy winning classic jazz singer from the US.

Published: 20 Apr 2024. Updated: 31 days.


Sultan Stevenson photo: press plays Juju's Bar, Hanbury Street, E1 on Sat 27th at 2.15pm - part of the Brick Lane Jazz Festival

Sensational Grammy winning classic jazz singer from the US.

With the saxophonist-leader-arranger are in the rhythm section pianist Will Barry, bassist Conor Chaplin, guitarist Jamie McCreadie and drummer Luke Tomlinson; sax section, Graeme Blevins, Sam Glaser, Alex Garnett, Paul Booth and Jessamy Holder; trombone unit, Trevor Mires, Olli Martin, Dan Higham and Yusuf Narçin; trumpet line-up, Tom Walsh, George Hogg, Freddie Gavita and Alistair Martin. Sold out. Also check Smith's fine writing on classic crooner James Hudson's nifty 50s of a thing, Moonray.


Swing You Sinners is both an album and a band. No horses - if shopping for a complete cacophany, you may be disappointed to learn - were put down after this steeplechase of a radtrad album was run. And following their instincts more honoured in the breach than the observance over the jumps dare we use a banned word, some overly serious jazzers may blanch at ever resorting to tweezer out from their preferred dictionaries of obscurantism - fun. The brainchild of Andrew Woodhead, a pianist out of the very large Birmingham jazz scene.

Launching An Adventurous Dream the UK's top male jazz singer Ian Shaw enters the hallowed halls of Ellingtonia with one of his very best records up there with the magical Fran dancing to the music of time found on A Ghost in Every Bar and his work in New York with Cedar Walton. In his element corresponding intimately on the stand with saxophonist Tony Kofi in very good form these last few years in a whole range of situations whether paying homage to Cannonball Adderley with Alex Webb and Andy Davies, going more celestial with Alina Bzhezhinska and kicking home hard with Sharp Little Bones, on this very fine Sweet Pea and Duke themed album. The unrelated everGreens Barry and Dave on piano and bass respectively join the pair. Other highlights are when Shaw sings ''Azaleas drinking pale moonbeams'' the incredible line of Strayhorn lyrical poetry found on 'A Flower is A Lovesome Thing' and makes us immediately listen for extra enjoyment to the deeper register in Murph's voice on his Links (HighNote, 2001) version. Following swiftly on from the more 1970s themed Shaw singersongwritery of Greek Street Friday our vocals album of the year in 2023 here on this excellent live album certainly this latest however much it contrasts is no disappointment. The bonus factor is the live feeling you gain ably captured in the album's top of the tree sonics. And partly it's also the focus. After all An Adventurous Dream concentrates on some of the crown jewels of a century-plus of jazz in terms of composition, repertoire and the art of the song. Kofi is best on 'Isfahan' and 'Blood Count' shows the rigour of his instrumentalism and discipline of his approach most exactingly. The album title borrows from the lyric to Ellington and Strayhorn song 'Something To Live For' introduced to the canon by Duke Ellington and His Famous Orchestra in 1939 and covered by many down the years including notably by Carmen McRae on a 1956 release, Nina Simone and Ella in the 1960s, the great Nat King Cole influenced easy listening singer Johnny Mathis in 1990 and the marvellous Jane Monheit in the early 21st century.

On tour in Ireland - full trio tour dates.

Cuddly Dudley time as the tinkling Chris Ingham and co play the music of Dagenham's finest. Pianist Ingham whose 2014 album Hoagy as the title hinted (no kidding, Sherlock) proved an album largely comprised of the ever popular songs of Hoagy Carmichael (1899-1981). Stalwart trumpeter Paul Higgs was on that album released a decade ago with jazzing vicar bassist Rev. Andrew J. Brown back then with drummer Russ Morgan. These days it's George (on the) Double at the kit.

Back in 2022 we loved flautist Chip Wickham's piece 'Cloud 10' and ran it in our Saturday morning listen, best time of the week spot. GoGo Penguin drummer on the track, the much admired Jon Scott, kept the beat back to let it fertilise the groove while Nottingham-born pianist Phil Wilkinson, a former student of Darius Brubeck, proved suitably decorative in context given some florid touches.

Albums such as Jo Harrop's upcoming The Path of a Tear only come along once in a blue moon. Key points: firstly there's another Harrop/Ian Barter co-write on the album in addition to 'Beautiful Fools' which is significant given that Barter gelled so well with Chester-Le-Street's finest on the first single - the other song that they worked on is called 'Stay Here Tonight' which is going to be a radio single apparently. Ian played guitar on Amy Winehouse album Frank and wrote the lyrics and co-produced Irish star Dermot Kennedy's glorious 'Couldn't Tell'. The story of the gonna treat-you-so-well lyrics of this ''shall we?'' song goes like this: protagonist speaking directly to wished-for suitor coos ''let's not complicate this'' as starters. Produced by Larry Klein who has also produced the recent Tutu Puoane album Wrapped in Rhythm Vol 1 and who also plays bass guitar on The Path of a Tear - the title track song itself is a Jo & Greg Soussan co-write. The only other main thing to know about the album is the strength of the input of another jazz musician from Chester-Le-Street in the north east of England's County Durham, pianist Paul Edis who has worked with Jo extensively. Quiet man Paul's input to 'Never Lonely in Soho' is one of the best aspects of the whole work. The song scenario there is Jo on a megaphone (sort-of) at the beginning conjuring a persona that feels lost in the countryside but prefers when feeling low, to wander the streets of Soho instead for restorative balm. And this is where erstwhile Diana Krall jazz guitar legend Anthony - son of the great bandleader Gerald - Wilson's guitar is so perfect. The location of the song, familiar to many habitués of Soho jazz clubs, is at the heart of the jazz village on the corner of Old Compton Street and Greek Street. Champagne for breakfast on a Monday morning… all dressed up in your Sunday best… the cleverness in the lyrics is the commentary that muses on the ''charade'' of the all-consuming bohemian lifestyle because ''nothing is entirely what it seems.'' The album covers are Leonard Cohen's 'Traveling Light' - it's on You Want It Darker; the Elton John and Leon Russell gem 'If It Wasn't For Bad' is also a significant presence of the Lateralize release. And just as well chosen - from 'The Galway Girl' writer Steve Earle - 'Goodbye' from the mid 1990s covered by the likes of Emmylou Harris and Curtis Stigers since makes it on. The drummer-percussionist on the album is sessioneer Victor Indrizzo, who was on Aimee Mann's The Forgotten Arm and whose rolling 1-2-slam of the cymbal-3 beat fill at the beginning of 'Traveling Light' is super tasty. Jo plays Leeds with Edis and bassist Ken Marley.


The Julian Siegel Quartet: l-r Liam Noble, Julian Siegel, Oli Hayhurst, Gene Calderazzo. Photo: Michael Graber.

The great English reedist, the tenor saxophonist and bass clarinettist, composer, bandleader Julian Siegel out of Nottingham long since living in London, is touring with fellow Londoners pianist Liam Noble - no stranger to Irish audiences particular on the Sligo jazz scene - double bassist Oli Hayhurst, good on Melodic Collective last year, and the erstwhile Partisans drummer Gene Calderazzo in Ireland this month and into May. Effortlessly meticulous a time keeper, Gene was hip Mobleying on down the Louche in 2023. Beginning in Dechomet at Magy's Farm on 27 April the Wiggy tour then packs up and moves over and into the west motoring across to the Clew Bay for a hotel gig in County Mayo's Westport on the 28th. Then it's down to Cork City appearing at the Crane Lane Theatre on the 29th. The Wig 4 then make it up heading for the Liffey and on to Cian Boylan's Camden Studios in Dublin for a May Day Speakeasy Session on the 1st, then for the final date of this Irish road trip up to the north-west and in to Derry for the annual festival in the city on the 2nd.

Imaginative singer Olivia Chaney's Circus of Desire was released earlier in the spring and included fine originals and a cover of Dory Previn's magical 'The Lady with the Braid'. Finding Dory, nobody minds if the edges are frayed.

A bounteous International Jazz Day show.

Tags: Gig guide

June festival dates: Lavery, Roberto Pla & His Latin Ensemble and Get the Blessing are in the mix at the Bath Festival fringe

Lit up inside Dublin 8-piece Lavery (7 June, Chapel Arts Centre), latin-jazz veterans Roberto Pla and his Latin Ensemble (4 June, Komedia) and post-triphop Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry loving Bristolians Get the Blessing (Komedia, 2 June) are in …

Published: 19 Apr 2024. Updated: 33 days.

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Lit up inside Dublin 8-piece Lavery (7 June, Chapel Arts Centre), latin-jazz veterans Roberto Pla and his Latin Ensemble (4 June, Komedia) and post-triphop Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry loving Bristolians Get the Blessing (Komedia, 2 June) are in the line-up of the 2024 Bath Festival Fringe later this spring. Lavery's 'What I Want' from their debut EP Jade Garden comes out next week.


The Artist's Studio: Lady Lavery with her daughter Alice and step-daughter Eileen, image: National Gallery of Ireland

Members of the band who take their name from a painting of Sir John Lavery's wife Lady Hazel and her daughter and step-daughter seen by the band's singer Anelise Furkin in the National Gallery of Ireland include Furkin, guitarist Taylor Bailey, bass guitarist Aido Kimura Mooney, keyboardist Kaelan Zipoli, drummer Keith “KJ” Jordan, saxophonists Richard Ng & Rory Fleming and trombonist Martin Farrelly.

The Lavery setlist includes 'Algae', 'What I Want,' a cover of Sabrina Claudio song 'Wait,' 'Saudade,' 'Anemone' and 'The Mist.' The Bath fringe runs from 24 May-9 June. Full Info. Ahead of Bath, Lavery also play The Workman's Club in Dublin on 1 May. Lavery, photo: press