Live Jazz and Acoustic Music in Bristol

Another trip to Zion Arts in April with Rebecca Pronsky proved what a really nice venue it is. Rebecca commented on how good the venue was acoustically.

April signs off with Jake McMurchie's new quartet with Dan Waldman on guitar before we head into May with a Zion visit for the talented Ian Sherwood from Canada on Tues 9th.

The only Jazz gig in May will be a blockbuster with the return of the *EBA* Jonathan Kreisberg quartet this year featuring amazing pianist Nitai Hershkovits (Avishai Cohen), this gig last year was a great night and this one, again on a Friday (26th) promises to be in the same fantastic vein. Hope you can make it along to a gig soon

Cheers, Ian

*EBA* means Early Booking Advised

David Newton Trio

Sun 4 Jun 7:30 for 8:15 (£12/10)Hen & Chicken Book

David Newton

I’ve worked with David for over 20 years now, initially through his associations with Don Weller and Alan Barnes and later with most of jazz-vocalist royalty, as accompanist. His style is rooted in classic-jazz-piano, in the mould of an Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum or Errol Garner, pianists who he grew up listening to. However, he quickly managed to establish his own voice on the piano; marked specifically with a beautiful and seemingly natural lyricism, excellent technique and a myriad of ideas that allows him to fully express improvisation around a melody.

Taking it one step further, in 1991 he released his debut solo album for Linn Records Victim of Circumstance, having appeared on many of his contemporaries recordings, he felt it was time to produce a work of his own. The release was a comprehensive display of stylish jazz and David's own compositions. I consider it to be a seminal album for UK jazz and it still play’s as well today as it did then. The track Katy’s Song named for his daughter, came in one take and is a sparkling eight minutes of brilliance.

His work since then has grown into an impressive body of work both in recordings and live performance and as drummer Matt Skelton puts it: David is…one of our nation’s treasured pianists. Fittingly, Newton was voted Best Jazz Pianist in the British Jazz Awards for the thirteenth time in 2014 and was made a Fellow of Leeds College of Music in 2003

In recent years David has become resident in the South West, over in Bath, and that means we are fortunate that we can hear him more often at various Bristol venues, playing with some of the best local talent around, a couple of which will be joining him on this gig.

Quite simply, the man has a lovely touch on the piano. For those of you who know David’s work, you’re already aware he is one of the best around, for those of you who haven’t yet experienced Mr Newton at the keys, you are in for a real treat.........read more

Otis Gibbs (USA)

Wed 7 Jun 7:30 for 8:15 (£12/10)Zion Community Space Book

Otis Gibbs

It’s that time of the year when we welcome back to the UK, songwriter and performance buddy of Billy Bragg: Otis Gibbs. Looking like a refugee from ZZ Top, he is a man of real socialist beliefs and a genuine love of the working people of the world. A big bear of a man who is a softy at heart but sings with a gruff purpose about tales of the road and the interesting folk he’s met (check out the video on the main gig page, click ‘read more’).

Otis is a songwriter, storyteller, painter, photographer and planter of 7,176 trees (so far). He once wrestled a bear, and lost. He has been described as “The best unknown songwriter in music today”. If you ask him, he’ll simply say he’s a Folk Singer.

Gibbs’ song-writing is deeply personal and profound. It’s plain to see Otis Gibbs is a man you should give a damn about. ~ Rolling Stone Magazine

He also hosts an online radio podcast called Thanks for Giving A Damn which features your favourite musicians, journalists and historians sharing memories, backstage stories and history lessons. His podcast quickly became a cult favourite and lead to him hosting Country Built on Pandora (USA) where Otis tells stories about the history of country music to his 2 million+ subscribers. He grew up in Wanamaker, Indiana, but now lives in East Nashville with his long-time partner, artist Amy Lashley.......read more

*EBA* Andy Sheppard's "Pushy Doctors"

Sun 25 Jun 7:30 for 8:15 (£14/12)Hen & Chicken Book

Pushy Doctors

Warning: This Jazz is for medicinal purposes only! The Doctors prescribe Coltrane/Shorter/Beatles/Neil Young/Pink Floyd....etc. Recreational use recommended. Regularly exceed the stated dose and never avoid alcohol.

Andy is back in Bristol for a couple of gigs, this one should be the most fun, as it’s with the groove-based ‘left-field-team’ known as the Pushy Doctors. it’s a bit like, a beautiful woman meets Sgt Oddball the tank commander from Kelly’s Heroes with Animal from the Muppets….’Make with the Positive Waves man”…

At the end it seemed like the world was wonderful and not up shit’s creek as in these dark economic days, this is why music and the arts are so important in such times, to allow us to escape briefly into orgasms of bliss when talented folk perform so beautifully well. ~ Jazzata review (Jan 2012)

Tony Orrell first played with Andy back in the early ‘80s in the ground-breaking Sphere recording the album Present Tense and touring Europe. Many other encounters followed and latterly a convert to the Bristol music scene, Dan Moore saw the light, and was sucked into the Doctor’s vortex to create a great ‘Anarchistic’ ride through standards of jazz, pop and beyond by this hard swinging ‘out there’ classic organ trio.

Formed to play in the in the deep club/pub environment this disrespectful grooving band can really blow the roof off. Taking a repertoire of well-known tunes (Sheppard’s personal favourites) and turning them inside out in an often humorous but always musical way.

We’re in a different world now… help! he muttered. That improvising stuff is dangerous. The cavalry rushed in with the surging groove and they were off again. They are unfailingly exhilarating. ~ Mike Collins

There are always rows of smiling faces at a ‘Doctor’s’ gig. The music is skilfully infectious but often very deep as well. A great blowing band with a medicinal twist – together we’ll heal the world, Trump and all.........read more