Live Jazz and Acoustic Music in Bristol

Due to being offered some radio recording work, we are unable to present the Adam Holmes gig in early September. It would have been the Scottish group's first visit to Bristol, but I'll endeavour to re-schedule at the ealiest possible date, when they next venture back down South.

This means our only gig remaining for September is with the cool sounds of Kristian Borring and his quartet.....looks inviting.

Cheers, Ian

Kristian Borring Quartet (Denmark & UK)

Sun 18 Sep 7:30 for 8:15 (£13/11)Hen & Chicken Book

Kristian Borring

Danish guitarist, composer and bandleader, Kristian Borring, has been described as a guitarist of enormous technical ability who utilizes his considerable gifts thoughtfully and tastefully, a highly accomplished guitarist and composer. ~ The Jazz Mann

Widely known as one of a number of London-based Nordic musicians making significant contributions to the jazz scene in the UK, Kristian formed his current group in 2008 emphasising the sound of guitar and piano, in partnership with pianist Arthur Lea and the driving rhythm section of drummer Jon Scott and Irish bassist Mick Coady. Kristian studied jazz guitar at Conservatorium Van Amsterdam in The Netherlands and Guildhall School of Music in London.

Kristian’s work in recent years has been of great variety with associations in and outside of jazz, with such artists as Archie Shepp, Tommaso Starace, Will Vinson, Salena Jones, the Puppini Sisters, Jim Hart, Ivo Neame, Lars Dietrich and Jasper Høiby. Kristian is also associated with the progressive London based jazz collective SE Collective through his work with the bands Acrobat and Draw By Four.

In the last twelve months we have heard some great jazz guitar sounds from some high class players such as Matt Hopkins (Hotel Bristol), Chris Montague (The Enemy), Ant Law and more recently the stunning Jonathan Kreisberg from the US and the beautiful sounds of John Parricelli. Kristian’s playing fits nicely alongside these artists and keeps the quality immensely more

Borring not only favours a fleet-fingered, hip swinging, soul-bop but draws as well from the subtle, gentle lyricism of guitarists such as John Abercrombie and Pat Metheny… there is an engaging brightness to his sound. ~ Jazzwise

ARQ Alison Rayner Quintet

Sun 9 Oct 7:30 for 8:15 (£14/12)Hen & Chicken Book


Following the success of their acclaimed debut album August in 2014 and the subsequent national tour, of which we were a part, ARQ has spent two years building a substantial and wide ranging audience for their deliciously upbeat, groovy and thoughtful jazz (Jazz UK).

The new album A Magic Life was recorded in London this summer, will be released in November 2016 and is bursting with melodic and harmonic references from classical, roots and folk music. Rayner cites both Charlie Haden and Eberhard Weber as influences – but there is always a strong sense of Rayner’s musical personality evident in the poignant folk melodies, rootsy grooves and improvisational invention. I was inspired to call the album A Magic Life because of two recent incidents. The loss of a friend last year, who wrote in her own epitaph about how magic her life had been; then a chance encounter with a young boy, who asked me "Is music stronger than magic?" I replied that to me, music is a merging of magic and logic. These events set me on a course of thinking about connections between memory, mortality, magic – and music.

A master-class in empathetic playing with superb solos and a rhythm section of the highest calibre; don’t miss these virtuoso musicians when they come to town. ~ Phil Webb, Restormel Arts, Cornwall

In a Jazz age with an abundance of technical excellence – and ARQ have it in great quantity – we look for something else as well. ARQ bring to the stage a musical bond that is expressed in such fun and joyful moments that it is a pleasure to be in the room with them; Jazz of the highest quality. ~ Phil Rose, Birmingham Jazz

In ARQ, Alison Rayner has gathered a group of fine musicians who sympathetically support her music: The group’s imaginative and assured playing are superbly suited to Rayner’s compositions and reflect a confidence inspired by working intensively together, touring her first more

Blow the Fuse presents ARQ - A Magic Life, the production of which has been supported by the Arts Council’s Grants for the Arts scheme.

Jimbo & Griff meet John Parricelli

Thu 13 Oct 7:30 for 8:15 (£12/10)Hen & Chicken Book

Jimbo & Griff John Parricelli

In June John Parricelli played here in Bristol with our own Andy Sheppard in a duo Jazz gig that was pure musicality. The sounds they produced that night were described by one audience member as sublime, and she was not wrong.

John is classed as a jazz musician but has transcended that tag with work encompassing TV (Nature, the Natural World, Luther, Indian Summers and even ‘Strictly’) and live theatre, to composing everything from jingles to full film scores (Skyfall, Lord of the Rings, Hunger Games, Legend, The Hobbit, Gosford Park etc; equalling 80+ credits) and then there’s massive ‘session work’ and live stage performances in all genres from rock, blues, pop, world, classical and jazz, from venues like restaurants, cruise ships and clubs to most major concert rooms around the world inc; The Royal Albert Hall and Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

So what is one the world's best guitarists doing in Bristol again with a pair of gnarly old Folkie’s? Doing what he does so much better than most, playing music professionally. Because John is a true professional musician in the best sense of the word.....and he has previous with Jim Reynolds!

Roll back the years to circa 1976 and a mutual friend (Mark) brought John, to meet Jim at his flat in Long Ashton. John was about 17 and came to learn some chords from Shirehampton born Jim. Jim maintains, tongue in cheek, he “taught him all he knows!” However as Jim points out, John was keen and extremely dedicated to learning his instrument, getting up at 6am everyday to practice for two hours before his day job (pre-music). Jim heard him a few years later and was blown away with the ability and feel John had achieved on the guitar....musicianship.

The same friend was also to suggest adding John to one of Jim’s album’s There I Am in 2006. He didn’t think John would be interested but John loved the songs Jim had written and when the studio mix was sent to him in London, John made suggestions he could add, and over dubbed his parts. Jim was delighted with the outcome. Last autumn the pair met while on a mutual friends walk, near Cheltenham one Sunday morning. Jim asked if John was playing in Bristol anytime soon and at that time had nothing in his diary. After twenty minutes of Jim’s brain wheels turning, he suggested they do something at the Hen & Chicken where Jim and Griff had recently launched their latest album....and that was that.

Tonight will feature mostly Jim’s music, especially those from the 2006 recording, plus some newer penned Reynolds songs and a couple the pair have worked on together. Add in the masterful Mandolin and Bass of Dave Griffiths and we have the recipe for a slap up supper! Come and join us for some music more