Music / free music

The week in Jazz Aug 28 – Sept 3

By tony benjamin, Sunday Aug 27, 2017

Summer may be slipping away from us soon so it’ll be worth catching the all-star trad jazz veterans day at The Old Duke Jazz Festival (Monday 28) for a last seasonal fling. The end of the hols is never altogether bad for the jazz-minded Bristolian, however, as the beginning of September soon sees the return of regular weekly sessions at The Bebop Club, Future Inn and others.

One residency that has lasted through the summer hiatus has been fusion trio Waldo’s Gift’s Wednesday slot at The Galliumaufry who this week (30) welcome London math-mates Cesca (above) who claim to make ‘seriously intense groove music from outer space’. The three Waldo’s Gifters then head for Canteen the next day (Thursday 31) to join sax player Dave Sanders as the Portico-inspired melodic jazz quartet Lyrebird.

Peanut Shuffle Clubbers Elly Hopkins and Jay Singh

Waldo’s Gift guitarist Alun Elliot Williams also crops up in quite a different context at Canteen (Tuesday 29) when he appears in a soul-jazz/R’n’B duo with Feelgood Experiment vocalist . Their contemporary stylings should contrast with the old-time repertoire of Peanut Shuffle Club, another vocal/guitar twosome at Canteen on Sunday (3). The recently re-named pairing of Elly Hopkins and Jay Singh specialise in pop songs from the 30s and 40s.

Sly & The Family Drone doing what they do

This week brings further proof, if it were needed, that Bristol is becoming one of the UK centres for the wild, noisy and abandoned world of free music in all its many guises, starting with the anarchic Sly & The Family Drone (Old England, Monday 28), with support from MC A$$Forest’s Wonderful Fast Train collective, and ending with the rhythmically challenging Horsey at Crofters Rights (Sunday 3). In between there’s a more dignified (but no less free) double bill at Hydra Books (Tuesday 29) when impressive new sax/guitar duo Sneddon & Grigg support the more seasoned trio of Matt Davis (trumpet), Dominic Lash (bass) and Hannah Marshall (cello).


Fans of the great Dakhla will no doubt cram The Fringe on Wednesday (30) as the venue’s intimate setting should be a particularly splendid place to appreciate the rich sonic textures of their brass harmony. Dakhla trumpeter Pete Judge’s fellow Three Cane Whaler mandolinist Alex Vann can be found in a similarly up-close venue at Salt Cafe (Friday 1) as part of acoustic folk improvising trio Zephon, a remarkable and original project that uses the unbroken flow of spontaneous improvisation to ‘discover’ traditional folk tunes. They will be supported by the third Three Cane Whaler – the equally spontaneous Paul Bradley – performing solo.

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