The Jazz Mann | Dave O’ Higgins and Rob Luft Quartet, new album and UK and European tour, Sept / Oct / Nov 2019. | News | The Jazz Mann

Accessibility Menu


Dave O’ Higgins and Rob Luft Quartet, new album and UK and European tour, Sept / Oct / Nov 2019.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

We have received the following press release from Ubuntu Music;


O’Higgins & Luft Play Monk & Trane
Ubuntu Music – UBU0029
Album release: Friday 4 October 2019

Album launch: 7 October 2019
Pizza Express Jazz Club, Soho, London
& on tour (see below for details)

Saxophonist, composer, arranger and producer Dave O’Higgins and award-winning guitarist Rob Luft have joined forces to celebrate the music performed by Monk and Coltrane.  “Rob called me for some ‘blowing’ gigs last year.  It wasn’t difficult to find a common repertoire, and a predilection for Monk and Trane tunes was apparent,” explains O’Higgins.  “The music we’ve chosen to play focuses on lesser known Monk compositions and some of the songs Coltrane chose to record in the late 50s, more than the usual few Monk tunes and modal Coltrane so often heard.”

The choice of Scott Flanigan on organ changed their course from the obvious sonority associated with either musician.  O’Higgins and Luft have reinterpreted the material in a way that is both contemporary and in the tradition, drawing from a wide range of influences with deep respect for the authors.  American drummer Rod Youngs completes the quartet.

Three tunes will be released ahead of the album – ‘Naima’, ‘Minor Mishap’, and ‘Spring is Here’.  “‘Naima’ is one of Coltrane’s most beautiful melodies,” says O’Higgins.  “Rob had the idea to create this contemporary multi-tracked “guitarscape” and I wanted to create a texture reminiscent of Claus Ogerman & Michael Breckers 80’s masterpiece, “Cityscape”.  ‘Minor Mishap’ is a Blue Note style swinger from a Tommy Flanigan record featuring Coltrane with the guitar and organ replacing the trumpet and piano of the original.  ‘Spring Is Here’ was recorded by Coltrane on his Prestige album Standard Coltrane.  “I created a new arrangement in the style I imagine Coltrane would have played it later on in his career - perhaps around Coltrane’s Sound era.  Rob’s Bill Frisell inspired guitar textures, with Rod’s most Elvin-esque drum contribution of the recording, and Scott’s gutsy organ are a good example of our re-interpretation of standard material.”

The interaction, shared sensibilities and deeply held mutual respect between two of the UK’s leading musicians made this collaboration an instant success.  The result is an album of pure, unadulterated swing.



6 Chichester Jazz Club

7 Bull’s Head, London

8 Bristol Old Vic

9 North Devon Jazz Club, Appledore

10 Flute & Tankard, Cardiff, Wales

11 Stratford Jazz, Stratford-Upon-Avon

12 Calstock Arts Centre, Cornwall

13 Creative Innovation Centre, Taunton

15 The Oval Tavern, Croydon (lunch)

15 The Royal Albert, Deptford (evening)

16 Ronnie Scott’s (late show)

17 Southampton Modern Jazz Club

21 Birdland, Hamburg, Germany


6 Boaters, Kingston

7 Pizza Express Jazz Club, Soho, London (album launch)

9 Guildford Pavilion

10 Cambridge Modern Jazz

14 Bexley Jazz Club

15 Jazz In Sevenoaks

17 All Saints Church, Hove (lunch)

17 Albany Social Club, Coventry (eve)

18 Great Broughton Village Hall


2 Peggy’s Skylight, Nottingham

5 The Spotted Dog, Birmingham

6 Swansea Jazzland, Wales

8 Crookes Social Club, Sheffield Jazz

9 The Blue Room, Lincoln

10 Herts Jazz

Dave O’Higgins:
Dave O’Higgins has been a popular figure on the UK and international jazz scene for 30 years.  He has toured and recorded with some of the most renowned musicians all over the world including Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, John Dankworth & Cleo Laine, Jim Mullen and Martin Taylor. He is a highly regarded educator at the London College of Contemporary Media where he is the Jazz Pathway leader.

Rob Luft:
Rob Luft is one of the UK’s most prominent and talented young contemporary jazz guitarists. Following the success of his first album Riser, Luft was nominated for a string of awards – ‘Breakthrough Act’ in the 2018 Jazz FM Awards, ‘Instrumentalist of the Year’ in the 2018 Parliamentary Jazz Awards and ‘Instrumentalist of the Year’ in the 2019 Jazz FM Awards and most recently been chosen for the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists Scheme.

Ubuntu Music:
Ubuntu Music, a division of Ubuntu Management Group, is a progressive recorded music label that is committed to bringing quality, accessible jazz and related music genres to increasingly wider audiences. Our approach includes collaborative efforts with an array of performing artists who have a passion for jazz and who possess unique and diversified talents. 

Distribution through The Orchard:

blog comments powered by Disqus


Sunday at Wall2Wall Jazz Festival, Abergavenny, September 1st 2019.

Sunday at Wall2Wall Jazz Festival, Abergavenny, September 1st 2019.

The final day of the Festival and performances from Tango Jazz Quartet, Renewal Choir and Claire Victoria Duo.

Saturday at  Wall2Wall Jazz Festival 2019, Melville Centre, Abergavenny, 31/08/2019.

Saturday at Wall2Wall Jazz Festival 2019, Melville Centre, Abergavenny, 31/08/2019.

Ian Mann on live performances by the Alex Goodyear Bop Septet, Chube with Dennis Rollins, and the Sarah Gillespie Sextet, plus a screening of the Chet Baker biopic "Born To Be Blue".