The Colchester Arts Centre Jazz Club goes from strength to strength. Early next month the highly-rated pianist, singer and composer Joy Ellis brings her take on the genre to town. Joy’s acclaimed debut album, Life On Land, reflects her passion for jazz, a love of groove and dance music, her classical roots as a pianist and the mournful, soulful aspects of being a singer-songwriter, developed over many years, singing the poetry of artists such as Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen. London-based Joy has drawn inspiration from the metropolis for the CD featuring highly original vocal and instrumental music that takes the listener on a journey through the excitement, vibrancy and also loneliness of life in the capital. Fascinated by jazz harmony, Joy has been hugely influenced by the music of composers such as Billy Strayhorn and the harmonic explorations of singer/bassist Esperanza Spalding. With a voice that has been compared to singers such as Carol Kenyon, Jill Saward (of Shakatak), Annie Ross, Shirley Horn and Dame Cleo Laine, Joy nevertheless has a distinctive voice of her own, allied to impressive piano skills, with shades of Zoe Rahman, Keith Jarrett and McCoy Tyner in her playing. Backed by a rock-solid rhythm section comprising Rob Luft (guitar), Henrik Jensen (double bass) and Adam Osmianski (drums), this is an extremely talented young woman who knows her own mind and exactly how she needs to express herself. A class act who you can see in Colchester on Sunday, June 3.
Meanwhile, the man who curates the music for the CACJC, Steve Wright, has created the Eastern Jazz Live Facebook page. He initially set it up as Essex Jazz Live but was getting enquiries from people outside of Essex so he’s re-named it Eastern Jazz Live. He also realised that musicians do travel around the region to play so thought he’s widen the brief. Basically, it’s a platform for musicians, promoters and venues to publicise any jazz events in the Eastern Region and to cross-promote as well as re-post. Jazz fans are welcome to join and follow too. It’s also on Twitter – tap in @EasternJazzLive
There’ll be stars aplenty at the Ipswich Jazz Club gig for June. On Sunday, June 17 Alan Barnes and guitarist Pat McCarthy present their jazz suite Fish Tales. Their look at the history of Grimsby’s fishing industry includes poetry penned and performed by Josie Moon. Joining Alan, Pat and Josie on the Claifornia Club bandstand will be saxophonists Gilad Atzmon and Dean Masser along with trumpet player Neil Yates and trombonist Mark Nightingale. Completing this superb Octet will be drummer Sebastiaan de Krom and bassist Dave Green. This promises to be a fantastic evening, all for a very reasonable £18. Good to see the Ipswich Jazz Club scaling the heights of the UK jazz scene to net such a wonderful project.