Jazz Raconteurs

Jazz is soldiering on through the bleaker months of the year with a reasonable crop of dates, given the temperature. And no more so than a duo, with house trio, promising to bring the humour of legendary raconteurs Humph and Ronnie to the Norwich Jazz Club stage at the Maddermarket Theatre. Not Jazz Warriors – that acclaimed 80s ensemble – but two Jazz Worriers, by the name of Neil Yates (on trumpet) and Dan Masser (tenor sax). Along with some bonhomie they will also bring to Norwich the product of some serious woodshedding and a sabbatical to NYC. Having imbibed, says their website, the current sounds of the city and working with Hal Galper and a US trumpeter of quite some note, Mike (once Michael – check his ‘Reverence’ LP) Rodriguez, these seasoned jazzers have raised their game even higher.

Another trumpet player in town is Dan Friend, appearing with the John Whitehead Trio at the Courthouse jazz session in Blofield, on the way to Great Yarmouth. This venue has been clocking up some interesting acts about every third month, and serving a side of Norfolk that otherwise seems a dim flicker on the jazz scene (unless is being hidden under a bushel). Norfolk-based Friend is a tutor in classical brass and piano and has performed at the Royal Albert Hall and the Barbican, but has eclectic musical tastes that reach into ska, funk, and techno-swing (a curious genre). Dan Friend is also to be seen this month bringing his Miles-inspired Soma project to the nearby Milestones Jazz Club.

A final mention is due to the Dutch violinist Tim Kliphuis, who appears at both Stoke-by-Nayland’s Fleece Jazz and Dereham Jazz Club towards the end of the month. These dates slot between impressive stints in London, South Africa and, err, the East Midlands. Kliphuis unsurprisingly has classical-trained origins but his Gypsy Jazz playing has earned him the respect of ‘fiery European gypsy guitarists’ (his website’s words not mine) in more than adequately filling the shoes of the late Stéphane Grappelli.