This week a highly promising new project comes to fruition to heat up the summer and make waves on the local contemporary jazz scene. Like-minded combos continue to keep the bar high, mind you, and there’s also some interesting folk and world fusions on offer.
Saxophonist Andrew Neil Hayes plays with drummer Dan Johnson in the powerful groove jazz of Run Logan Run but also sits alongside bass man Marcel Osborne in the fearsomely funky LBJBs. The three now come together as D.A.M. (Gallimaufry, Tuesday 13), a ‘heavy, intense and chilled’ improvisatory trio that promises to please lovers of The Comet Is Coming and Melt Yourself Down. If their debut lives up to that expectation then Bristol will have gained another irresistible force in its contemporary jazz armoury.
The more seasoned drum and trumpet duo Eyebrow (El Rincon, Thursday 15) are one of many showcases for Pete Judge’s impeccably ambient trumpet. Another is Orphic (Fringe, Wednesday 14), though he generally plays the mellower toned flugelhorn in that modern jazz quartet, with saxophonist Sophie Stockham sticking to the tenor. The foursome play lyrical contemporary jazz by the likes of Don Cherry and Wayne Shorter.
There will be another tenor sax workout at the Stag and Hounds when Italian player Paolo Guerriero calls in to the weekly session (Sunday 18).
The ever-ambitious improvising outfit Waldo’s Gift revisit their reinterpretations of the music of Aphex Twin (Gallimaufry, Wednesday 14). The eccentric constructions of the originals certainly suit the band’s post-math deconstruction approach.
Later in the week new young trio Heyouki (Mr Wolf’s, Saturday 17) celebrate their enthusiasm for ‘neo-soul and jazz’ while Senegalese pianist Ibou Tall (Canteen, Thursday 15) adds West African flavour and polyrhythmic grooves to post-bop jazz.
There’s a nice choice of jazz vocalists with the soulful swing of Molly & The Kings (Tobacco Factory, Sunday 18) and the classic jazz, blues and soul selection of Victoria Klewin (Pasture, Saturday 17).
Busy Lithuanian singer Karolina Griškutė pops up at The Fringe (Sunday 18) with saxophonist Gustave Savy guesting with her usual trio.
And so to the worldly-folk fringes of fusion … with the classic oud of Soufian Saihi (The Bell, Sunday 18) a masterful exploration of Arabic improvisatory skills rooted in distinctive rhythms and modulations. Sol (Crafty Egg, Saturday 17) make a more liberal use of African, Latin and Middle Eastern templates for their ‘Afro-Cuban French Jazz Cafe Music’, with Vita Falbo’s vocals merging French chanson and classic soul-jazz.
By contrast the remarkable Ill Wicker (Crofter’s Rights, Thursday 15) walk an improvisatory tightrope as an element of their very individual folk melange. Comparisons with the early Incredible String band are really not far off the mark with this lot.