Ian Storrer has an amazing address book, thanks to over two decades of promoting jazz in Bristol, and once he gets a top-class name in it you can bet he’ll do his best to stay in touch. Last year he managed to persuade New York jazz guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg (above) to call by the Hen and Chicken for a super-hot gig that nearly set the place on fire and so, sure enough, the man’s back (Friday 26) for more. As well as regular drummer Colin Stranahan this year’s tour band includes Australian bass player Matt Clohesy and pianist Nitai Hershkovits, the latter a real bonus who regularly plays with bass legend Avishai Cohen.
It’s an unfortunate clash for reformed fans of acid jazz, however, as that night sees a Hammond-wielding star arrive at The Tunnels for a hard-driving night of classic boogaloo and funk in the shape of The James Taylor Quartet (above). Meanwhile Afro-rock fusion fans will be heading for the Lantern on Friday to catch the reformed Osibisa whose Tribal Reunion line-up includes original front man Sol Amarfio. Get there early enough and you can catch some Ethiopique-style funk in the Foyer from Tezeta, too.
A fine trio brings their tribute to one of the great originators of jazz to The Fringe (Wednesday 24) honouring the larger-than-life figure of Thomas ‘Fats’ Waller. As well as revisiting classic numbers like Honeysuckle Rose and Ain’t Misbehaving, bass-player Mark Lewandowski’s WALLER also brings the dynamic pairing of Liam Noble’s piano and Paul Clarvis drumming. That’s a brilliant line-up that should bring a very individual take on tunes we think we know well.
That show will be at the Bath Festival soon, too, but this week’s jazz offerings over there are mainly at The Forum in the venerable shape of one-time Mod legend Georgie Fame (above), appearing with the Guy Barker Big Band (Tuesday 23) and Madeleine Peyroux with John Etheridge in support (Saturday 27). Singer Camilla Beeput celebrates another jazz legend at Komedia (Wednesday 24) with Stormy, a show about the life of singer Lena Horne.
Dazzling sax-player Simon Spillett (above)is another player steeped in the legacy of jazz, with UK player Tubby Hayes one important influence on his own style. His all-star band, which includes John Critchinson (piano), Alec Dankworth (bass) and Clark Tracey (drums), are this weeks hard-bopping guests at Future Inn (Thursday 25). There’s a rare vocal feature at the Bebop Club (Friday 26) with jazz singer/songwriter Ros Cuthbert and her sparkling band playing mostly original songs co-written by Ros, pianist Daan Temmink and bass player Ashley John Long.
And there’s not just Jonathan Kreisberg and John Etheridge to tempt jazz guitar fans out this week, with sizzling fusion Alex Hutchings bringing a band to Gallimaufry (Thursday 25), contemporary jazz axeman Mark Lawrence’s Groovelator at the Alma Tavern (Sunday 28) and Charlie Allen’s blues-funk trio Allen, Henderson and Magee at Leftbank (Sunday 28). That’s a lot of shredded plectra in the offing.
And, finally, irrepressibly free-thinking percussionist Tony Orrell brings his ludicrously named band The Jellilalas to the Fringe (Monday 22). Anything might happen, and it probably will.