It’s good to see vocalist Emily Wright (above) having a busy week showcasing her versatility in contrasting musical arenas. Her elegant swing outfit The Royals are appearing with her as part of the Jazz Dames event on Sunday 21 (it’s a sold-out curtain raiser for this year’s Bristol International Jazz and Blues Festival) but she is also appearing as a special guest for 16/17: The Music of Pat Metheny at The Fringe (Wednesday 18). This interesting new project features Matt Hopkins on guitar and Dave Newton’s piano, as well as the well-established Whitlam/Harris rhythm section and violinist John Pearce will also be guesting alongside Emily. Given the wide range of Mr Metheny’s contemporary jazz explorations it will be interesting to see where the evening takes us.
Of course the evening could also take us to the Michael Tippett Centre to catch Scapegoat, the Paris-based electro-acoustic saxophone and percussion duo making their UK debut. The band are known for multi-media experimentation including video and lighting as part of their performance.
Friday’s Bebop Club session promises to be a lively one, with the exuberant Groovelator organ trio inviting saxophone powerhouse Ben Waghorn (above) to join them. As well as groove-masters like Jimmy Smith and the flamboyant guitar of John Scofield the band look to the likes of experimentalists Medeski, Martin and Wood for their influences, freeing up the interplay between John-paul Gard’s Hammond and Mark Lawrence’s guitar while Tom Gilkes contributes peerless funk drumming. Friday night also sees the start of a weekend of freethinking music and discussion from the Howling Owl stable at the Arnolfini’s New Year, New Noise weekender. Tickets for the live music events are selling very fast, however …
Music from the leftest of fields has never frightened the Exchange’s estimable promoter Fat Paul and he’s running an interesting new ’coffee shop’ session on Saturday lunchtimes. This week’s live act will be cornet maverick Harry ‘Iceman’ Furniss (Saturday 21) with his fearless quintet and the event is free (in every sense of the word!).