Diary live gig choice outside London 16/20.01.23

Alan Barnes Quartet Victory club, Cheltenham, Monday 16 January Alina Bzhezhinska & Tony Kofi Blues Kitchen, Manchester Tuesday 17 Jan Iain Ballamy Iffley church hall, Oxford Wednesday 18 Jan A rare sighting these days in a live …

Published: 14 Jan 2023. Updated: 19 days.

Alan Barnes Quartet Victory club, Cheltenham, Monday 16 January

Alina Bzhezhinska & Tony Kofi Blues Kitchen, Manchester Tuesday 17 Jan

Iain Ballamy Iffley church hall, Oxford Wednesday 18 Jan

A rare sighting these days in a live setting and even more so in a church hall of the legendary 1980s and 90s era Balloon Man Loose Tubes icon saxophonist Iain Ballamy who appears locally in Oxford with a stellar group consisting of Spin Marvel drummer Martin France, ex-Orient House Ensemble pianist Frank Harrison and the bassist Mark Hodgson known for his work with Julian Joseph.

Liane Carroll Beacon, foyer, Bristol Thursday 19 Jan

Jo Lawry Blue Lamp, Aberdeen Thurs 19 Jan

Joy Ellis trio 1000 Trades Birmingham Friday 20 Jan

Joy Ellis' Peaceful Place did what it says on the tin you might think on the opening track of the pianist's 2022 album, a dreamy, expansive, soundworld opening up. That feeling of decompression continues on the next track as the drummer added subtle shade and Ellis continued in a quiet reflective vein. An album to chill out in front of rather than dance around the living room to and maybe with Ellis this week that's just what the Birmingham audience needs.

Alex Clarke quartet Crookes Social Club, Sheffield Fri 20 Jan

Ant Law, Alex Hitchcock, Ferg Ireland, Ernesto Simpson The Verdict, Brighton Fri 20 Jan

Origin Story Scott's, Belfast Fri 20 Jan

2020 Origin Story album Good Friday introduced an adventurous Dublin piano trio who have nothing to prove and everything to give in a spirit of admirable positivity and interconnectedness.

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Marcus Strickland Twi-Life, The Universe’s Wildest Dream, Strick Muzik ***

Stylistically landing in the AfroFuturistic domain Marcus Strickland here on various saxes and bass clarinet with a core band of keyboardist Mitch Henry, bassist Kyle Miles and drummer Charles Haynes featured guests are guitarist Lionel Loueke, …

Published: 13 Jan 2023. Updated: 19 days.

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Stylistically landing in the AfroFuturistic domain Marcus Strickland here on various saxes and bass clarinet with a core band of keyboardist Mitch Henry, bassist Kyle Miles and drummer Charles Haynes featured guests are guitarist Lionel Loueke, singer Christie Dashiell on the Black Lives Matter influenced 'Matter' and rapper Ras Stimulant. Lacking in great tunes I think it's fair to say and yet Strickland is dynamic as ever when he wails on 'Matter'. Best tunes I think are when Strickland chooses soprano sax on 'You and I, An Anomaly' his essential melodicism coming through and again later on 'Joy For Jupiter'. But there isn't a huge amount of response in the overall band sound and the overdubbed reedy riffing while interesting doesn't intertwine enough with the rhythm section. Strickland is a fine player live but on record hear him far more interestingly at the moment with Christian McBride's New Jawn on the latest track 'Head Bedlam.'