Live Jazz and Acoustic Music in Bristol

The Alan Barnes & David Newton gig was an absolute blast. A complete masterclass of techical virtuosity on their instruments that was enhanced by amazing tunes and a lot of laughs. Despite clashing with Marius Neset at Colston Hall and the London swing Orchestra at St George's our audience topped 50 and were on good form.

Next up the very wonderful singer-songwriter Melissa Greener from the States this weekend and in May an away trip to promote at Zion Chapel on Bedminster Down with the amazing Spanish saxophonist Perico Sambeat accompanied by old Bristol favourite Arnie Somoygi on bass and Steve Keogh from Ireland on the kit. More great live music coming soon.

Cheers, Ian

Melissa Greener

Sun 26 Apr 7:30 for 8:15 (£11/9)Hen & Chicken Book

Melissa Greener

Nashville based Americana folk-crooner Melissa Greener looks for the truth. Across mountain ranges, holy places, deserts, oceans and forests… Or the lonely stretch of blacktop from Detroit to Austin. She plucks truth as much from the feathers she finds as from the potholes she dodges. Impressive vocal chops wrap narrative that paints superb portraits of the human condition. ~ Maverick Music Magazine -UK

Quirkily crafted lyrics are skipped like stones across the surface of the deep-pocket groove of her raucous electric tremolo guitar. Such is the paradox of Greener’s dynamic muse.

Greener grew up in Detroit with an alluring cacophony of Mo-town, standard torch ballads, and 1960’s Laurel Canyon records. She also savoured the irreverent lyrical stylings of modernist and romantic poets whose books she stole from the junior high school library. Years of living in Austin left a distinct Texas-roots feel to much of her current work. So much so that Guy Clark could relate and he has become a regular song-writing partner with Greener.

Transistor Corazón, Greener's third studio release, explores complexities of the heart - the circuitry versus the soul, the man versus the machine. The songs transport the listener to the far-reaching landscapes where they were born. Greener has won songwriting awards and teaches songwriting workshops. She tours internationally drawing in audiences everywhere she goes....... read more

I listened to Melissa Greener's new record Transistor Corazon for most of a fifteen-hour drive a couple of weeks ago, from the ice-fishing huts of Tamworth Ontario to my daffodil-lined driveway in Cackalack. I just listened again for any reason not to tell the whole world about it. I can't find one. Melissa's voice is beyond my review. I might as well judge the ocean or a woodthrush. Brad Jones's production seems to whisper, "listen to her." The message is the inescapable power of love, the agonizing electricity that makes life so beautiful and terrible and ultimately worth living. ~ Jonathan Byrd

Perico Sambeat Trio

Wed 13 May 7:15 for 8:00 (£14/12) Book

New venue and times - see Gig Page for details

Perico Sambeat Trio

Perico Sambeat is generally acknowledged to be the most important Spanish jazz musician to have emerged in recent years, and one of the best alto saxophonists in the world today. He has a long-standing association with some of the world's most accomplished jazz musicians - including Pat Metheny, Steve Lacy, Brad Mehldau, Maria Schneider and the late Michael Brecker - and has won numerous awards, notably the prestigious "Bird Award" (2003) at the North Sea Jazz Festival, for “musician deserving wider recognition” and “JAC Best Recording of the Year” for "Flamenco Big Band" (2008 and 2009). He has released 21 albums as a leader/co-leader, featuring amongst others Brad Mehldau, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Jeff Ballard and Bruce Barth. Indeed it was with Barth and Guy Barker that Perico last shared a stage in Bristol on two occasions at The Albert Inn, back in the 1990’s, they proved to be special gigs, with Bruce going on to become Musical Director for Tony Bennett.

Irishman Stephen Keogh has worked all over the world with many great musicians including Johnny Griffin, Lee Konitz, Harold Land, Peter King Quartet, Brad Mehldau, Mark Turner, Herb Ellis, Benny Golson and Steve Grossman. He is a member of the European Jazz Piano Trio led by Bill Charlap; Peter King’s Quartet and co-leads the Urban Jazz Quintet and Urban Jazz Ensemble. He has become a leading drummer and percussionist across Europe and beyond with his hard driving contemporary edge.

Former Bristol resident Arnie Somogyi is one of the UK's most in-demand bass players and has played on over 50 albums, including four as a leader. He has worked recorded and performed with many of the world’s leading jazz musicians, as well as international stars including Tom Jones, Charlie Watts and the late Amy Winehouse. A composer and bandleader, his music has featured on radio, television and in films In 2012 he was commissioned by the National Trust to create a ground-breaking project combining the written word, music and ambient sound. Untrue Island was inspired by Orford Ness Nature Reserve; it was produced in collaboration with award-winning writer Robert Macfarlane and included in the 2012 Cultural Olympiad. He has been nominated for both BBC Radio 3 and Parliamentary Jazz Awards and works frequently at Ronnie Scott’s as part of the club's house band, the Ronnie Scott’s All-Stars. He teaches jazz as a Visiting Lecturer at Birmingham Conservatoire and The Royal Academy of Music........read more