Jazz IS alive

Keep in touch for jazz dates and venues in the Swindon area. Please note that the blogger (who set this site up for Dave Knight) receives information second-hand and lives on the other side of the country! More information on the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jazz-Knights/544313058974889

Sunday, 14 April 2013


Shrivenham jazz aficionados were presented with an evening of extraordinary jazz piano from the Paul Buck trio. Paul is a remarkable pianist, able to blend the many elements of pop and jazz into intelligent and accessible music. Outstanding drummer Terry Howard pushed the trio along with swinging precision. Completing the group, bassist Clive Morton played with a sensitive and delicate touch.

The evening's jazz commenced with the title tune from the 1924 Broadway musical Lady Be Good by George and Ira Gershwin. Toots Thieleman's composition Bluesette followed. Chattanooga Choo Choo, the 1942 gold disc made famous by the Glenn Miller Orchestra, preceded Jerome Kern's Pick Yourself Up. St Thomas from the repertoire of tenor sax giant Sonny Rollins changed the mood yet again. The evening's music concluded with the beautiful 1921 song Just Friends.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening of piano jazz and all for FREE.

                                                                                                   Dave Knight

Paul Buck


Andy Hague has long been a stalwart on the West Country jazz scene and beyond. His present UK tour confirms that he has lost none of his enthusiasm and love of the music, and his current quintet has matured into a fine outfit.

On the night, this impression was confirmed by the addition of the experienced guest Ed Jones on tenor sax. Taking up the challenge of arranging for this extra instrument, Andy adjusted his charts for this gig, and the three-part voicings for the front line created an exciting, fat sound on the ensemble passages. Ben Waghorn, also a wonderful tenor player in his own right, kept to alto sax for the occasion and Andy himself provided the brass element on trumpet and flugelhorn. This front line was backed by Jim Blomfield on keyboard, another musician who is gaining deserved recognition in jazz circles; also making waves are Will Harris on double bass, providing a sophisticated metronome pulse, combined with Mark Whitlam's exuberant 'Elvin  Jones' drum machine.

The musical content for the evening was diverse but tending towards a satisfying hard bop feel. We heard material by Charles Toliver, Jimmy Heath, Billy Strayhorn, Marcus Printup, Horace Silver, Wayne Shorter and Lee Morgan, with several Andy Hague originals - Tranquil Moment being a fine balladic slow samba.
Ann Ronell's Willow Weep For Me is a pretty tune. Played using the riff-motif of Miles Davis' All Blues as a rhythmic device behind the melody showed an engaging arranging touch by the sextet leader and allowed Ben, Jim and Will to blossom. For me, though, the highlight was a more traditional melody: Weaver Of Dreams by Victor Young gave full rein to Ed Jones' fertile tenor sax and Andy Hague's winsome flugelhorn.

The expanding Baker Street jazz audience warmed to this Bristol-based band, an easy to listen to, friendly combo - not a primal donnal amongst them! All this for FREE.

                                                                                                Keith Brain
Andy Hague quintet plus Ed Jones - photo by Keith Brain

Tuesday, 2 April 2013


The Portwell Angel presented a fascinating evening of jazz featuring highly acclaimed violinist John Pearce, an undisputed master of the instrument and a musician fuelled by an all encompassing creative passion. A natural swinger, John tackled with energetic enthusiasm a varied programme of well-known jazz standards. Harry Warren's There Will Never Be Another You opened the evening. A beautiful rendition of My One and Only Love followed Bronislaw Kaper's On Green Dolphin Street. Two bossa nova standards How Insensitive and Girl From Ipanema completed the evening, both written by Antonio Carlos Jobim.

A first class rhythm section of Pat Metheny inspired guitarist Matt Hopkins and double bassist Clive Morton were in able support, Clive's bass lines as strong and tasteful as ever.

The next presentation is on the 24th of April and it welcomes the UK's top jazz pianist Dave Newton and his trio. Please support this excellent new venue. Admission is FREE.

                                                                                                Dave Knight.

John Pearce
Matt Hopkins
Clive Morton

Monday, 1 April 2013


Remi Harris is a young guitarist making a reputation in the field of gypsy-jazz. With formidable technique, his musical associations (perhaps prompted by his name...'do-re-mi'...) range widely through the musical culture of the last hundred years.
In a very full programme of some twenty five numbers we were treated to a variety, not so much of style influences, rather of material which appealed to the musicians. Since this involved a request - Sweet Georgia Brown - and several spontaneous sing-along episodes, this appeal was mutual with a majority of the audience.
So a first set gamut which started with Putting On The Ritz and included Charlie Parker's Donna Lee, Lady Madonna as a homage to the Beatles, a Just Friends nod to Chet Baker, a George Benson number and even a medley of Cherokee with I'll See You In My Dreams. The second set was equally as varied, starting with a sortie from acoustic to electric guitar for Softly As In A Morning Sunrise and Road Song recalling Wes Montgomery. Then Need Your Love recalling Fleetwood Mac and BB King, before a return to the accoustic sound. We were treated, of course, to Django Reinhardt  classics (one of which included a Jimi Hendrix lick) and even to the exotic - sounds normally heard played on an oud, also the more familiar klezmer music. An original, Ninick, showed off Remi as a composer with this, a pretty, catchy tune.
This was not a one man show, however. On rhythm guitar, Ben Salmon needed no gratuitous praise. Just think Freddie Greene (the heart beat of the Basie Band) and enough said. And Tom Moore on double bass laid down a rock-solid backing with an inventive line in solos.
All in all a fine, well knitted young trio, enthusiastic, attentive and responsive to each other. They deserved their plaudits which I'm sure will become more and more far reaching.
                                                                                                       Keith Brain.
Remi Harris
Ben Salmon
Tom Moore