There’s an affirmative upbeat energy in modern jazz bass player Alison Rayner’s composing style that her 5-piece band ARQ clearly find inspirational. Last year’s album A Magic Life won her critical acclaim and many new fans with its set of diverse influences and clever playing from the likes of guitarist Deirdre Cartwright, keyboard player Steve Lodder and Ms Rayner herself. The band’s visit to Future Inns this week (Thursday 15) should ensure a strong local following hereabouts, too.
More locally based treats are on offer, however, with a couple of piano-led outfits well worth checking. Following a highly successful crowdfunding exercise the Andy Nowak Trio (Fringe, Wednesday 14) is well on track to releasing a second CD of Andy’s original contemporary jazz tunes, so expect to hear some interesting new material. There’s an added bonus when the Andy Christie Quartet appears at Tobacco Factory (Sunday 18) as Andy’s spacious compositions will be graced by a rare appearance from saxophonist Andy Kinsman, probably the only jazz musician ever to have been commissioned to design and paint a set of stamps for the GPO. The hectic combination of Bath-based Andy’s prolific painting output and session work as a reed player has kept him away from the local music scene for some time.
There’s a few more local saxophonists getting a showcase this week, and emerging young player Harriet Davis will be duetting with pianist Henry Binning at No 1 Harbourside (Wednesday 14) while Jake McMurchie joins ubiquitous guitarist Denny Ilett for some classic tunes at El Rincon (Thursday 15) and the ever-funky James Morton will be an energetic guest at the Alma Tavern (Sunday 18).
Even more funkiness, complete with Ben Plocki’s distinctively honking bass saxophone, can be expected from No Go Stop’s redoubtable take on Afrobeat (Old Market Assembly, Friday 16) while things will head in a more slinky direction when salsa outfit K’Chevere take over No 1 Harbourside on Saturday (17), complete with the mellifluous alto sax of Rachel Llewellyn Jones.
And then, for those with a hankering for more contemporary electronic sounds, there’s plenty of choice including the very ear-catching math-prog trio Waldo’s Gift (now a regular Wednesday residency at Gallimaufry), angular rock-jazzers Zu headlining a triple bill at Exchange (Thursday 15) and the ever-excellent electro-groove improvising trio Modulus III sure to lift the lid at the People’s Republic of Stokes Croft on Saturday (17).