Wednesday 15 December 2010

Claire Martin at the Basement Brighton 9th December

The final kineojazz gig of the year was, along with the first Joe Lee gig, my favourite. A very good turn out and very relaxed atmosphere. The kineojazz team (Steve, Ela & myself) sort of know what we're doing now so fewer last minute panics. Lovely first set from Alice Hawkes and her band and it got a deservedly warm response. Claire's sets were given an additional lift by the presence of Gareth Williams on piano and expansive, swinging drumming from Ian Thomas. As ever, Laurence Cottle and Jim Mullen were on fine form. One highlight was a Claire accompanied solely by Jim Mullen with Close Enough For Love. Jim then left the proceedings and hopped onto a train back to London . . .

Nothing yet planned for 2011, but kineojazz will be taking stock over the hols and considering some surprises in the new year.

Claire Martin
Alice Hawkes, Martijn van Galen, Tim Slade

Sunday 5 December 2010

Congratulations Joe Lee Wilson!

Joe Lee performing at The Basement this year
On November 14 sometime Brighton resident and living legend Joe Lee Wilson was inducted into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame. Joe Lee hails from Bristow Oklahoma before he moved to Los Angeles to study singing with, among other, Mario Lanza. He then made his reputation touring the West Coast before becoming a leading light in the New York loft scene in the Seventies.

Organisers tracked down his whereabouts through the kineojazz website and Joe Lee was there to receive the award in person, along with legendary composer Lalo Schiffrin. Inductees included:

  • Jay McShann Lifetime Achievement Award: Lalo Schifrin
  • Living Legend Award: Sam Rivers
  • Jazz & Blues Inductee: Joe Lee Wilson
  • Jazz Inductee: Artt Frank (Bebop drummer)

It's good to see Joe Lee getting some well-deserved recognition. Congratulations Joe Lee!

Thursday 2 December 2010

kineojazz Christmas event - next Thursday, 9th December

Just a week until the next kineojazz event - a Christmas special (how appropriate in all this snow) and our last one this year. Claire went down a storm when she was with us back in June. Once again she has the fantastic guitarist Jim Mullen and virtuoso bass player Laurence Cottle. This time she is also joined by Ian Thomas on drums and Gareth WIlliams on piano. Claire's website has christened The Basement "Brighton's hippest music space".

Supporting Claire will be a set from local pianist Alice Hawkes and her quintet, including ace trumpeter Martijn van Galen.

Full details on the kineojazz website: This includes photos and videos from all the previous gigs.

Tickets online from:
Or, from theDome booking office, New Road, Brighton, 01273 709709

Wednesday 1 December 2010

Nigel Price Organ Trio, The Brunswick, Brighton

Nigel Price
Surrey-based guitarist Nigel Price was on fine form on Sunday night on this last date of his national tour. The guitarist was in classic organ trio format, ably supported by Matt Home on drums and Pete Whittaker on Hammond C3 organ (+ rotating Leslie).  With a set largely inspired by the classic bop guitar of Wes Montgomery, Nigel demonstrated fiery virtuosity, sensitivity and and strong musical intelligence.

The tone of his archtop guitar (made by Lewes luthier Charlie Crabtree) is very like Wes, though he picks rather than playing with his thumb. With thick strings and a very low action, be plays with real grace and dexterity, caressing the strings and strumming harp-like harmonics. He can also get from A to B with a speed and energy that makes you listen with wonder.

The tunes he chose included Wes' funky bossa Road Song and Four On Six, Freddie Hubbard's Up Jumped Spring, Blossom Dearie's Sweet Georgie Fame (also covered by the late Emily Remler), Ellington's Prelude to a Kiss, Stanley Turrentine's arrangement of Love for Sale and an original funky tune in the style of Dr Lonnie Smith called Wavy Gravy.

Pete Whittaker on Hammond C3
Matt Home is a no frills drummer but with a really solid sense of time and great swing. I particularly enjoyed Pete Whittaker's hammond playing - really cool, nicely place phrasing and nothing too fussy. A contrast to Nigel in the right way.

One person described it as being like Ronnie's forty years ago. Close your eyes, listen hard and you would find it difficult to spot many traces of any jazz that had emerged in the last forty years. How is it different? Like Jim Mullen, Nigel peppers his playing with the blues-rockisms of Sixties guitarists like Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton. This may be a British thing a as guitarists like Peter Bernstein, Kurt Rosenwinkel and Jesse van Ruller seem to have purged their playing of these sort of clichés. That said, that blues feel is something that hooks in the ears of the non-jazz audience and, as such, I think it serves its purpose well. The other minor niggle I had was the frequent use of diminished chords as passing chords - "cheap glue" as Geoff Simkins is always reminding his students, quoting Peter Ind.

Nigel has a nice line in patter, paying tribute to the guitarists of past and present (Wes, Kenny Burrell and the Irish guitarist Louis Stewart), explaining the derivation of tunes and how he had changed them (e.g. moving from a 4 feel to a 6 feel) and generally drawing the audience into the music. I was really to discover where the name of Wes' arrange of the chords of Summertime came from -  Four on Six is not some reference to the time of the tune but simply a reference to four finger on six strings. Of course!