Monday February 8th: Barry Green Sextet

Moving on, we’ve another very new ensemble for your enjoyment this week – a brand new, stellar sextet lead by the brilliant pianist and composer Barry Green!

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Barry Green Sextet:

Barry Green – piano

Sam Braysher – alto sax

Miguel Gorodi – trumpet

Tom Barford – tenor sax

Flo Moore – double bass

Will Glaser – drums

Barry Green has been a leading pianist on the London Jazz scene for years, recently touring his new trio recording with New Yorkers Chris Cheek and Gerald Cleaver, and playing with the likes of Babelfish, Perico Sambeat, Charles McPherson, Ben Street, Drew Gress, Martin Speake, Bobby Wellins, Tom Rainey, Christine Tobin, Ingrid Laubrock and a great many more. For this gig, however, Barry has assembled a new project featuring some of the most exciting players from the younger generation – many of them may well (and probably should!) be known to you, but if not, this is a fantastic opportunity to find out, as we get two sets of great music from this excellent line up!

As ever, doors 8:30, music from 9; entry £10 / 5.

See you there!

 

Monday February 1st: Huw V Williams’ HON + Challenger / Brice Duo

It’s February already (!) and we’re building on a wonderful start to the musical year at The Oxford with a top-notch double bill from a very exciting young band and a duo of two of London’s foremost improvisers!

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HON:

Huw V Williams – bass / compositions

Laura Jurd – trumpet

Alam Nathoo – tenor sax

Jay Davis – drums

Hon is the exciting new project by double bassist and composer Huw V Williams, on this occasion a Quartet version of the band comprising some of London’s finest young improvisers in BBC New Generation Artist Laura Jurd on Trumpet, Alam Nathoo on Tenor Saxophone and Jay Davis on Drums.

Huw explains “The word “Hon” means “This” in Welsh. I got the idea for the name from a poem by T.H. Parry Williams. The poem is about a love hate relationship with Wales, and I feel that in myself; Wales is my roots and my family, but its like you have to leave Wales to fulfill yourself.”

Winner of the 2012 Yamaha Jazz Scholars Prize from The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Huw draws on a rich combination of his Welsh roots, his training in Jazz and the contemporary creative music scenes in London, Brooklyn and Manhattan.

“I really like the idea of music coming from the mixing pot of all your history, so this is just as much about a teenage rock phase in North Wales as a mid twenties Free Jazz phase in London.”

With a fast growing CV lit up by the names of some of his heroes including Jim Black, Michael Blake, Jason Rebello, Neil Yates and long time mentor Huw Warren, Huw V Williams is building a beautiful bass filled world of free music and primal creativity.

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Tom Challenger – tenor sax

Olie Brice – double bass

Bassist Olie Brice and Saxophonist Tom Challenger – both active within various forward looking music ‘scenes’ – first improvised together in the Spring of 2014. Their first meeting saw them immediately launching into improvisations that intuitively left equal temperament and conventional small scale structures behind, and we’re delighted to have them back for another installment!

You can hear Tom and Olie’s first duo recording, Blood Moon, here.

This is shaping up to be another wonderful evening of music – do come and join us!

As ever, doors 8:30, music from 9; entry £10 / 5.

See you there!

 

Monday January 25th: Zacc Harris Quartet

This week at Jazz @ The Oxford we have something of a special event, as we get to open our doors to a special guest from across the pond, welcoming the brilliant guitarist and composer Zacc Harris!

zacc harris

Zacc Harris Quartet:

Zacc Harris – guitar / compositions

George Crowley – tenor sax

Michael Janisch – double bass

Andrew Bain – drums

It’s a privilege and a pleasure to welcome Minneapolis-based Zacc Harris to The Oxford for the first time, performing a selection of his original compositions with a stellar UK quartet.

Originally from Long Beach, CA, and now resident of the Twin Cities, Zacc Harris is one of the leading voices on his instrument in the American Midwest. As co-leader of the group Atlantis Quartet, which won the esteemed McKnight Fellowship in 2015, he has garnered praise in Jazz Inside Magazine who say, “Harris delivers a sound that is lucid, clear…providing rich-sounding accompaniment and well-crafted solos.” While JazzTimes Magazine says, “Twin Cities jazz renegades Atlantis Quartet shift nimbly from a punk-jazz aesthetic to an ECM-ish sensitivity…startlingly orginal.”
Harris has played as sideman with a number of jazz luminaries including Eric Gravatt (Weather Report), Ben Wendel (Kneebody), Michael Lewis (Happy Apple), Babatunde Lea, Michael Janisch, and Nancy Harms, and has studied with a number of leading modern guitarists such as Adam Rogers, Jonathan Kreisberg, Miles Okazaki, Steve Cardenas, and Gilad Hekselman.
Harris released his debut as leader in 2012 on Shifting Paradigm Records, with The Garden. The album received wide praise, with the City Pages saying, “The Garden showcases Harris’ compositions, which adeptly and compellingly link the past and future of jazz, and his guitar work, which is consistently articulate with an enticing fluidity seemingly influenced by the likes of Wes Montgomery and Pat Metheny.”

For this performance, as part of his first trip to the UK as a performer, Zacc will be joined by longtime associate, Whirlwind Records label boss and go-to bassist Michael Janisch (Joe Lovano, Gary Husband), Birmingham-based drummer Andrew Bain (Dave Liebman, Jacqui Dankworth) and George Crowley on tenor.

This promises to be an amazing night of original music, do come down!

As ever, doors 8:30, music from 9; entry £10 / 5.

See you there!

Monday January 18th: Can of Worms presents The Button Band

Great to be back last week – thanks to all who came down! We continue with one of the Can of Worms residency nights, presenting the brilliant guitarist and composer Andrew Button and his Button Band!

button band

photo: Lester Barnes

The Button Band:

Andrew Button – guitar / compositions

Andrew Woolf – tenor sax

Dave Manington – double bass

Marek Dorcik – drums

The Button Band is a recent project from top London Guitarist Andrew Button and showcases Andrew’s highly personal writing style. Distinctly British lyrical jazz with folk and country influences drawing inspiration from artists and groups as diverse as Bill Frisell, Loose Tubes, Brad Shepic and PigFoot. Following a comprehensive UK tour last year and the release of their debut album to rave reviews, The Button Band is a wonderfully colourful and close-knit group, and we can’t wait to host their first appearance at The Oxford!

“Button can “scronk” like Sco’ when he wants to, or take on a wry, shy, smiling Frisell twang tone” – The Jazz Breakfast

“Reminiscent of Bill Frisell’s cross-genre explorations” London Jazz

“Upbeat township swing straight out of the Loose Tubes mould, good-humored and infectious” Geoff Winston

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Can of Worms:

George Crowley / Tom Challenger – tenor sax

Dan Nicholls – piano

Sam Lasserson – double bass

Jon Scott – drums

Filling the other half of the bill is, as ever, George Crowley’s Can of Worms, trialling some new music and getting into some exploratory improvising.

‘Seven tracks of this may be enough for most; it was for me.’   2*, John Adcock – Jazz Journal

Another tantalising double bill awaits – please do come and join us for a night of wonderful live music!

As ever, doors 8:30, music from 9; entry £10 / 5.

See you there!

Monday January 11th: Rick Simpson’s Klammer

Happy New Year everyone!

We’re delighted to be back and kicking off a rather tasty looking Winter / Spring season next week, with the magnificent pianist and composer Rick Simpson, and his exciting six-piece Klammer!

ricky

Klammer:

Rick Simpson – piano / compositions

Michael Chillingworth – alto / tenor / bass clarinet

George Crowley – tenor

Ralph Wyld – vibraphone

Tom Farmer – bass

Dave Hamblett – drums

Award-winning pianist and composer Rick Simpson has been no stranger to the heart of the London Jazz scene – on both the new music and more traditional fronts – for many years now, and with Klammer he has a group which gives full voice to his ambitious and exciting compositions.

His music for Klammer focuses on through-composition, complex ensemble playing and modern textures/rhythms, though with enough space for soloists to shine and plenty of wit and levity to boot.

The band is completed by some of the young London Jazz scene’s most sought-after rising stars; catch them before they head into the studio this Spring to record their first record – Simpson’s second as a leader – for Two Rivers Records!

‘There is a lot going on in this music: frequent shifts in time signature, tempo and feel, tricky rhythmic figures, highly textured percussive punctuation, unnerving close, Monkish harmonies, as well as beautiful lyrical elements, sometimes laid down as a vamped backdrop, sometimes draped over the top while the horns intone an insistent bell-like line. On several occasions, we were all lulled at times into a false sense of security (in a good way) before someone fired a salvo and the whole thing headed off in a different and unexpected direction.’  – LondonJazz live review

This promises to be a great evening of music, and a cracking start to our season – check the listings page to see what else we have in store, and see you on Monday!

As ever, doors 8:30, entry £10 / 5.

See you there!

Monday December 7th: Thelonious (live recording)

Well, we’ve come to our last gig of 2015 here at The Oxford; it’s been a brilliant run, with some truly great gigs, but we’re not done yet as we depart with a bang, welcoming fantastic Monk-dedicated London quartet Thelonious to see us out in style!

Thelonious (1)

Thelonious:

Martin Speake – alto sax

Hans Koller – euphonium

Calum Gourlay – bass

David Dyson – drums

Over the past year this stellar quartet have dedicated themselves to the past of learning, and playing, every single Thelonious Monk composition in his vast and varied repertoire. Taking inspiration from the Steve Lacy / Roswell Rudd School Days band from the early 1960s, Thelonious explore the entire Monk repertoire with both childlike curiosity as well as forensic attention to detail. Through collective learning of Monk’s unique catalogue of 70 tunes from the complete original recordings – a slow process lasting several months of regular playing, probing, rehearsing, reflecting, memorising, meditating, internalising and improvising –  Thelonious arrive at flexible interpretations of the material that are as dangerous as anything in contemporary music, as well as comforting, groovy and dreamy.

Martin Speake has worked extensively with Monk alumnus Paul Motian (Check out Martin’s ECM recording with him, Change of Heart), and Hans has played and recorded with the original Monk repertoire guru Steve Lacy (London Ear). Calum and David are two of the most melodic and cutting-edge rhythm players active on the London jazz scene today, perfects partners in the exploration of Monk’s music.

This gig sees the culmination of a year of studying and playing this music, and will also be a live album recording – do come and be part of it!

We do hope you can come and join us for this last gig of the year – an event to be remembered, and a night of music that will delight and inspire – come on down!

As ever, doors 8:30, music from 9; entry £10 / 5.

See you there!

 

Monday November 30th: Alex Merritt Quartet

Back after our ‘London Jazz Festival recovery hiatus’, we move penultimate gig of the year, and as ever, we’ve a real treat in store for you as we welcome the wonderful saxophonist and composer Alex Merritt and his brilliant Quartet!

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Alex Merritt Quartet:

Alex Merritt – saxophone / compositions

John Turville – piano

Sam Lasserson – bass

James Maddren – drums

Alex Merritt has been a mainstay on the thriving London scene for some years now, impressing audiences and musicians alike with his original linear approach to improvising, telling patient and fascinating stories and referencing a huge range of influences, from Tristano-school lines to colourful contemporary classical music and much in between.

This gig is a pre-release concert of sorts, as the band is set to launch Alex’s long-awaited debut album ‘Anatta’ on the F-IRE label in December, but you can catch them here on Monday for two sets of beautiful music. The Quartet is completed by incredible Parliamentary Award-winning pianist John Turville, the dynamic go-to bassist Sam Lasserson and the incredible James Maddren, who is standing in as Jeff Williams is currently out of action injured (get well soon Jeff!) – not a band or a gig to miss!

This promises to be an incredible night of music – we hope you can come and join us!

As ever, doors 8:30, music from 9; entry £10 / 5.

See you there!

 

 

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