Live Jazz and Acoustic Music in Bristol

WOW! The Jonathan Kriesberg Quartet gig turned out better than expected, thanks to all those that came and to the Be Bop Club and Bath Ales for their help. I knew Kikoski was very good and now Bristolians do as well. Kreisberg I knew was good, but he was better than even I expected! Described as “Volcanic” in Jazzyblogman’s review .We rounded the month off with a great gig from Partikel.

June kicks off with another visit from Andy Sheppard, this time with John Parricelli followed by the inventive Swiss Trio VEIN. An acoustic gig with the return of Charlie Dore with Julian Littman takes us to an intriguing July gig with Zhenya Strigalev who has been a revelation in America and a possible monster gig in August with George Coleman Jnr Septet (if I can pull it off! including Harold Mabern, Eric Alexander, Jeremy Pelt and Gary Smulyan).

Cheers, Ian

*EBA* means Early Booking Advised

*EBA* Andy Sheppard & John Parricelli

Sun 19 Jun 7:30 for 8:15 (£14/12)Hen & Chicken Book

Andy Sheppard John Parricelli

Little did I know, when I asked Andy and John to perform their first ever duo gig at The Albert in late 2001, that these two would still be playing as a duo today. After that gig, they decided to continue with the format the following year, gaining many rave reviews about their chemistry together. That led to recording the album ‘PS’ in early 2003 (Provocateur). Prior to 2001, Andy was searching for an acoustic guitarist to join his latest project at that time, which would end up as the band which recorded Andy’s albums Learning To Wave and Dancing Man and Woman. The need for an acoustic sound was to compliment the music he had in his head and his desire to work with percussion instead of full drum kit and using a Tabla player. He asked if I had any ideas for who he could use (based on musicians I had heard or booked) and was available, I suggested a very talented Welsh based player Dylan Fowler and John Parricelli. I knew John from working with other bands and through his own group (w/ Dudley Phillips: bass, Mark Lockheart: saxophone and Martin France: drums) that released a beautiful album Alba and had played twice at The Albert. Dylan wasn’t available and John didn’t own an acoustic guitar at that time....but he soon got one and that was the start of a beautiful they say!

So it is with great pleasure we have these two exceptionally talented musicians back in town for this gig. Andy Sheppard one of Britain's foremost tenor and soprano saxophonists and stellar guitarist John Parricelli mix delicate bossa novas, achingly evocative ballads and super-charged excursions into funk and rock for this remarkable duo performance. Their music is enhanced by a creative and uniquely personal use of electronics and new music technology, yet the music retains it’s lyrical and melodic feel and is wonderfully enjoyable to listen to.

John rose to fame as one of the founders of super-group Loose Tubes and since then has pursued a typical ‘Pro’ musicians career, working with many well respected and influential jazz musicians including Annie Whitehead, Kenny Wheeler, Norma Winstone, Lee Konitz as well as performing as a session musician for some of the biggest pop artists around (Leona Lewis, Mike Oldfield) and for major film soundtrack, TV and theatre projects. Andy has worked with an incredible array of stars from Gil Evans, Carla Bley and George Russell, to Joanna McGregor and Benjamin Zephaniah as well as leading numerous of his own renowned more

Sheppard and Parricelli have clearly made the leap from formidable ability to sheer musicality. ~ All About Jazz

VEIN Trio (Switzerland)

Sun 26 Jun 7:30 for 8:15 (£13/11)Hen & Chicken Book


The radicalisation of the piano trio has evolved a lot in the last 15 years. In days past, the trio would be led by the pianist with bass and drums toddling along behind in support of the piano....nice! And it was nice, and there were many memorable trios from Monk, Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans and Co, through Chic Corea, Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, Keith Jarrett, Bill Charlap and beyond. Then with the emergence of groups by the likes of Esbjorn Svenson, Brad Mehldau, the Bad Plus, Bojan Z and more recently Phronesis, the emphasis switched massively. No longer just backing the piano, all members of the band contributing on equal footing with an entirely new energy infused into starkly more vibrant sounds. It was a breath of fresh air and drew in a new breed of listener and set a new path for the young musicians to follow, inspiring artists such as Kit Downes, Robert Mitchell, Michael Wollny, Neil Cowley, Jason Moran and Craig Taborn etc.

Recently you’ve heard the Laurent Coulondre Trio and Kikoski with Kreisberg, so I now give you the VEIN Trio. What have the Swiss ever given us you might ask, apart from cuckoo clocks, the financial Gnomes of Zurich, watches, chocolates, mountains, lovely lakes, cow bells....OK there is quite a bit!!! But apart from those, they now offer the Vein Trio

That new musical interplay of the piano trio is exactly where this interesting outfit has taken its remit from and moved it again. In fact, what they aim to achieve with their music (their understanding of music) is nothing less than the greatest possible balance of their three voices - starting with the way they work out their own compositions and arrangements, and going right through to the soloist parts, fully assigned to all three. The result is a stupendous musical togetherness, packed with surprising melodic, rhythmic and dynamic turns, played with highest precision even in the most complex, distorted and twisted passages of their compositions, arrangements and solos. They take jazz standards and speak them with a new voice.

There’s no pinning them down. …. loose, deconstructed standards…visceral, obliquely stated swing…...taut, off-kilter funky groove…hooky theme… this band has a vibrant, distinctive personality… vividly current as well as being rooted in that consciousness of jazz history. A Tour de Force, a diverse, top drawer session. ~ London Jazz News

VEIN is one of the most exciting and interesting Piano-Trios in Europe today and have been playing at international festivals and stages for several years. Not only that but they have been working with some of the leading contemporary sax men around in Greg Osby and Dave Liebman.....and they don’t mess around with who they play with! more

Vein is an exciting trio with whom I enjoy playing, offering some very challenging music. ~ Greg Osby

Charlie Dore w/Julian Littman

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

Charlie Dore w/Julian Littman

I put on a gig with this lovely lady while at Future Inns Club, and was so impressed by not only her attitude in helping promote the gig and working tirelessly to make it happen (including a writing workshop), but in her performance and genuine-like-ability.

Possessing a delightful humour (which transfers to her songwriting) and a delicately enchanting voice; we kept in touch in the interim without managing to put on another gig, until now. Although best known as a respected songwriter for others, Charlie enjoys a multi-faceted career that includes acting, comedy-improvisation, writing for radio and composition for film and TV as well as performing live with her band.

A gift for melody, brave, poignant, entertaining and original ~ The Guardian ****

I remember her for the big hit (which I bought) in 1980 "Pilot of the Airwaves", which despite not a really big hit here, was a very good song and did hit the Top 20 in the USA (it was also the last record played on Radio Caroline in 1990...quiz fact!!). Since then I have become aware of her writing songs that have a diverse quality of melody and creative lyrics. She is currently writing with Chris While of While & Matthews and it seems several of those collaborative tunes will appear on their next more