Hoorah! School’s back and that means so are the stalwarts of the Bristol jazz world – the Bebop Club, Future Inn and Hen and Chicken – though honourable mention has to go to the Fringe for running a fine sequence of gigs through the summer break.
The biggest name of the week has to be incendiary saxophonist Gilad Atzmon (Hen & Chicken, Sunday 10), a local favourite since the days of The Albert, equally loved for his dazzling technique and acerbically witty banter. Having paid tribute to Charlie Parker in a previous project Gilad’s Orient House Ensemble currently focuses on The Spirit of Trane with a set of interpretations of John Coltrane’s compositions. While the tunes may often get an airing in other hands there’s no doubt that Gilad is one of the very few who, stylistically, can do the legend justice by his playing.
A trio of more locally based faves crop up at The Fringe in the shape of The Three Trumpets (Wednesday 6), a response to the venue’s well-established Three Tenor saxophone celebration. You could probably predict who they are, Andy Hague, Nick Malcolm and Jonny Bruce each being highly respected talents in loads of local bands, but the diverse approaches and influences behind their playing makes the prospect of them ‘locking horns’ nicely intriguing.
By contrast there’s a debut performance at Future Inn from a Yorkshire-based outfit scarcely known to Google, let alone the Bristol jazz scene. Using the eye-catching format of two guitars, two tenor saxes, bass and drums Perpetual Motion Machine (Thursday 7) play a spacious, contemporary style of jazz and their debut album Ignition includes dreamy cosmic ambience, hard grooving jazz-rock and eloquent melodic numbers.
And there’s another debut at the Bebop Club (Friday 8) when pianist Toby Boach appears with the Julien Alenda Quartet. Having moved to Bristol from Birmingham it’s likely that we’ll be seeing a lot of him in the future, and the prospect of this combination with Julien’s increasingly assertive tenor sax playing is very tasty indeed. Interestingly the band, as well as featuring Bebop promoter Andy Hague on drums, also includes bass player Chris Jones who played with Toby in the past before he too moved down here from Brum.
The Gallimaufry has a few noteworthy gigs this week, too, starting with singing drummer James Paton who launches his nu-Soul EP First Impressions there on Tuesday (5). J-Dilla inspired electronic improvisers Sketch on Glass take over Waldo’s Gift’s regular Wednesday (6) slot and Backbeat session mainman Mike Deniran leads the jazz-funk Tukaani Quartet on Thursday (7).
To check out a wider range of regular jazz events in the area visit the Bristol Jazz Society calendar page.