After a triumphal hectic run-up to Christmas, Hen & Chicken jazz promoter Ian Storrer could be forgiven for taking a bit of a break. Happily, however, he’s made of sterner stuff and thus is bringing the unlikely named Cloud Makers Trio ‘Five’ Tour to the Southville venue (Sunday 15). The band’s core (pictured above) is a trio of stars from London’s Loop Collective, namely Michael Janisch (bass), Dave Smith (drums) and the amazing vibraphonist Jim Hart. Each is a dynamic contemporary jazz composer and bandleader in their own right, and their collective music has garnered rave reviews since the release of CD debut Abstract Forces. For this tour, however, the sound is augmented by noted Austrian ex-pat guitarist Hannes Riepler and Paris-based reed player Antonin Tri Hoang and highly-charged and atmospheric music is definitely on the menu.
Similarly exceptional stuff can be expected at this week’s Fringe jazz session (Wednesday 11) when the Dover/Malcolm Quintet welcomes visiting piano maestro Malcolm Edmonstone. He’s a high-profile part of the UK scene both as an educator and as an arranger of large-scale projects so it’s impressive he finds time to play as well and this teaming up with a Bristol-based foursome fronted by Nick Malcolm (trumpet, pictured above) and Nicholas Dover (saxophone) should sparkle throughout.
Salsa’s combination of dazzling Afro-Cuban percussion and snappy jazz soloing is the other big thing on the week’s agenda, with the Trinity Centre hosting the first Bristol Salsa Congress (Friday 13 – Sunday 15). Naturally there’s a huge emphasis on dance workshops but each evening’s highlight will feature live music from bands including London’s Combo Yanze and the Bristol Salsa Orchestra. If you don’t fancy the competition on the dance floor, however, the excellent K’Chevere (above) are appearing at No 1 Harbourside on Saturday night.
And if Latin isn’t your thing Friday the thirteenth offers a something-for-everyone range of choices, jazzwise, from the contemporary sound of Kevin Figes Quartet (Colston Hall Foyer) and the classic retro-tribute modernism of Sound of Blue Note (Bebop Club) to the funky fusion of organ trio Groovelator (Mr Wolf’s). Most ‘out there’, however will be Berlin trio Camera (above) headlining a triple bill at The Cube with their storming Kraut’n’math music.