Live Jazz and Acoustic Music in Bristol

The year has kicked off with some fantastic jazz and now we start to get into acoustic music with a really interesting Album Launch by Jim Reynolds & Dave Griffiths; sure to be entertaining and fun from two well known local favourites. That's followed by some mainstream jazz listening with A-Listers Barnes & Newton in April followed by American songstress Melissa Greener.

Also looking further forward to May we are playing away at a different venue to be able to host International class saxophonist Perico Sambeat from Spain. Hope to see you soon for some LIVE music.

Cheers, Ian

Jimbo & Griff

Fri 27 Mar 8:15 (£10/8)Hen & Chicken Book

"Reclaimed"    - the Album Launch

Reynolds and Griffiths

After 40 years of making music together Jim and Dave have recorded many times, with the two SMILE albums (with Stuart Gordon) and with Dave contributing to many of Jim's solo albums but this is the first time Jim and Dave have recorded an album of just the two of them with some of their favourite songs and tunes that capture the magic of their stage performances as a duo. The album entitled Reclaimed is to be launched on this gig and should make a valued addition to anyone’s collection.

Jim Reynolds has been on the local folk and acoustic scene for over thirty years and is renowned for his laid back laconic style with beautifully light, breathy voice. He is master of the claw hammer style of guitar picking, there isn’t anyone playing guitar like him around. It involves all fingers of his left-picking-hand to have ‘picks’ strapped to each finger and all are used to full effect, on blues and ragtime tunes especially. His finely crafted songs and guitar are a pleasure to listen to and live performances are always memorable, much of his music revolves around extremely sensitive songs about life, people and relationships, while others are tongue in cheek, and a few with a lot of humour!

Dave Griffiths was originally known in Bristol for his double bass playing with many of the best local jazz outfits, he also leads the seven piece Mingus Fingers band a tribute to the great Charles Mingus. Dave also passed on his knowledge as an educator through the Bristol Jazz Workshops. As far back as the 60’s Dave took up playing Mandolin but didn’t perform much with it after moving to Bristol and playing mostly jazz. In the 90’s his Mandolin got dusted off and he rekindled his passion for the instrument, by creating the very expressive Mandolin Express to feature the many different styles of mandolin music including Classical, Gypsy, Ragtime and Italian. He now has two other groups; a quartet called Brejeiro playing the jazz based Samba music of Brazil called Choro, and he recently formed Duo Recado a mandolin and guitar team with guitarist Helen James allowing him to explore the full repertoire of the mandolin especially romantic Italian and more ethnic sources.

Local radio celebrity Keith Warmington often sits in with the guys on Harmonica and wrote the sleeve notes for the Reclaimed album (full version on gig page):
The last time I saw Jim and Dave was in a packed bar in Bristol and although pints were consumed, it was clear that everyone was there for the music; and what a feast of music there was too. It was the sort of gig that you'd liked to have taken home with you, and now, with this new album you can! [at a special price of £8 at the gig] ......read more

Alan Barnes and David Newton

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

Alan Barnes David Newton

When two consummate jazz performers come together there is nothing more expected than a night of great music! However this pairing always elevate a performance to something more than that, adding humour and amazing telepathy in the duo format, that only comes with years of association and top level musicianship. Alan and David have been playing duets for over 35 years, since their days together at the Leeds College of Music (late 70’s). David has a unique piano style, very much influenced by the playing of Dave McKenna, with total independence between the hands and a real sense of swing. Their repertoire ranges from Sidney Bechet to Chic Corea and is performed with an empathy that only comes with long experience.

Over the years, Alan Barnes has won many British Jazz Awards in the alto, baritone, clarinet and arranging categories. In 2001 and 2006 he received the prestigious BBC Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year award and in 2003 was made a fellow of the Leeds College of Music. Alan also recently featured on the Bryan Ferry Jazz Age recording and the Great Gatsby film soundtrack. He has recently been touring with Paloma Faith and the Guy Barker Orchestra, as well as fulfilling his own busy freelance schedule.......read more

Barnes plays music that was radical 50 years ago - hard, urban post-bop - but he infuses it with so much passion and energy you could believe it was minted on the spot, which is always, part of the story with jazz. ~ John L. Walters: The Guardian

There is a sophistication about Dave's playing that runs deep, whether ballads, swingers or flag wavers, it's all there. This was great jazz and the audience let him know it. ~ Bernard McAlinden, Crescendo Magazine

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