The jazz session at Future Inn has been a reliable highlight of the Bristol jazz scene for some time now, with interesting visitors from across the country bringing an ever widening range of styles to their listings. So, when they decide to do an extra one-off Sunday event you can be sure it’s worth checking out. US alto saxophonist Greg Abate (Sunday 9) has been a renowned exponent of the hard bop style since the 70s, combining rhythmic drive and technical skill with furious energy when he needs to, stretching out melodically when the occasion demands. He’ll be joined by a crack local house band for his Bristol debut.
There’ll be funkier action in the venue’s regular Thursday slot, however, with exuberant bass guitarist Rich O’Brien bringing his grooving Project band. Think Marcus Miller or Glastonbury faves Thundercats and you’re in the zone for that one. Equally spell-binding fretwork features on Wednesday (5) when Craig Sutton, aka Flamenco Thief, comes to Canteen. Craig uses loop station trickery to create complex rhythmmic music which takes the themes and structures of Flamenco into new forms.
Thursday is as busy as ever, of course, with ambient drum and trumpet duo Eyebrow appearing at The Cube in support of September Song, the alt-pop collaboration of Kid Sinister veterans John Douglass and Steve Hogg while trumpeter Andy Hague leads his excellent Double Standards quartet (Colston Hall Foyer) in a choice set of rarities. The Gallimaufry’s regular Thursday Backbeat session welcomes Tukaani Quartet, Mike Deniran’s jazz-funk exploration of composers like Joshua Redman and Marcus Miller. And even more frenzied jazz funk action can be anticipated the following night (Friday 7) when the Galactic Funk Militia take over Mr Wolf’s.
When Senegalese pianist Ibou Tall (Fringe, Wednesday 5) relocated to Bristol a few years ago he brought a distinctively Afro-European style with him and his Jazz Friends quintet builds on that, with players from France, Italy and the UK. Their set will combine some of Ibou’s compositions as well as his stylish arrangements of classics.
And, finally, there’s a couple of lively Balkan-inspired bands in town this week with guaranteed party starters Gogol Bordello at the O2 (Tuesday 4) and the slightly less chaotic Fromage en Feu at No 1 Harbourside (Saturday 8) both offering rip-roaring dance music from Central Europe.