Jazz Musings: July

Let’s start this month with a look at a couple of cracking gigs at one of the region’s award winning jazz clubs – Fleece Jazz at the Stoke-by-Nayland Hotel near Sudbury. On Friday, July 21 Sue Richardson presents The Music Of Clifford Brown. Sue was touring with big bands by the age of 16 and has played in over 50 countries. She has worked in Paris with French singer Mina Agossi and Archie Shepp on a blues project and has also performed with Ian Shaw and The Humphrey Lyttelton Band. With Andy Panayi playing all the flutes and all the saxophones, Neal Richardson firmly rooted in the acoustic piano jazz and blues, Andy Cleyndert a top bassist and mix/master genius and Rod Youngs, one of the most expressive and adept of musicians, this will be a superb night. Sue’s gigs are a great combination of her original songs and imaginatively reworked standards. Her tightly-knit band has taken their special brand of modern jazz with a mainstream twist to many venues on the national and international circuits. The following Friday, July 28, Tony Kofi and the Organization are back at Fleece Jazz. Tony’s full bodied sound, clear articulation and committed attack carry immediate impact, with Hammond, guitar and drums this is unmissable. Tony is joined by organist Pete WhittakerPeter Cater on drums, Simon Fensbey on guitar.

The Cambridge Modern Jazz Club are playing host to Alex Hitchcocks, a London-born saxophonist and composer. As well as leading his own projects at venues such as Ronnie Scott’s, The Vortex, and Cambridge Modern Jazz, he also plays as a sideman in various other bands including Resolution 88 and the award-winning Patchwork Jazz Orchestra. He has also performed with, among others, Soweto Kinch, Laurence Cottle, John Hollenbeck, Stan Sulzmann, Dennis Rollins, and the Franco-Belgian duo André Charlier/Benoit Sourisse. He programmes the regular Sunday night jazz series at the Green Note in Camden which enjoyed three sold-out gigs as part of the 2016 London Jazz Festival. The Alex Hitchcock – Tom Barford Quartet are back in Cambridge on Thursday, July 13. Joining the two saxophonists will be Ferg Ireland on bass and James Maddren on drums.

The Chelmsford Jazz Club presents ten or eleven performances a year at the Cramphorn Theatre (next to the Civic) in Fairfield Road. It has professional sound and lighting and a friendly atmosphere with tables close to the stage and its own piano. Most concerts are on Sundays at lunchtime, although in the summer some may be in the evening. Most members like mainstream and traditional jazz and the club is proud of the quality of the British, American, and European musicians it has brought to Chelmsford. For a subscription of £10 (£15 joint) a year, members get a £4 reduction on tickets and early notice of concerts. At the time of writing the club’s on a summer break but sessions resume on Sunday, September 3 when singer Sara Dowling is guesting backed by the Great British Rhythm Section.