Ronnie Scott’s, London dates September 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Only two months away from its historic 50th anniversary, Ronnie Scott?s Club has announced an incredibly eclectic programme for September
Now only two months away from its historic 50th anniversary, Ronnie Scott’s Club has announced an incredibly eclectic programme for September that features cutting edge new music from Mercury Music prize nominees Led Bib, a deft combination of soul, hip-hop and jazz from Jos? James and rare appearances from two legendary artists, pianist Cedar Walton and bassist Mike Henderson.
Gilles Peterson’s Impressed?at Ronnie Scott’s from the 17th ? 19th will offer a slightly different perspective as the legendary DJ and all round musical ambassador has chosen a selection of his favourite artists, each of whom has a distinct connection to the world and sounds of jazz music while nevertheless occupying their own particular niche outside it.
Performances will come from Nostalgia 77 feat. special guests Keith & Julie Tippett supported by Matt Hansall, Roots Manuva supported by Speech Debelle and Bugge Wesseltoft & Henrik Schwarz supported by Mount Kimbie.
Monday 31st August ? Wednesday 2nd September: Ronnie Scott’s 50th Presents Coltrane’s Giant Steps and Miles’ Kind of Blue performed by Denys Baptiste Quartet & Gary Crosby’s Nu Troop (double bill)
In a continuation of Ronnie Scott’s celebration of the greats in jazz to mark the 50th anniversary of the club, double bassist, bandleader, educator and recent recipient of an OBE Gary Crosby presents a retrospective of two of the most important and influential albums the genre has ever produced ? Miles Davis’ Kind Of Blue and John Coltrane’s Giant Steps, both also from 1959 (technically released in 1960, Giant Steps was recorded in ‘59, a year that also saw hugely important releases from the likes of Charles Mingus, Ornette Coleman and Dave Brubeck, as well as Miles).
Each night, Crosby’s famed Nu Troop band will perform their rendition of Davis’ seminal album, with a host of the stellar players who have emerged from the Tomorrow’s Warriors/Dune stable, with Gary joined trumpeter extraordinaire Abram Wilson, saxophonists Denys Baptiste and Jason Yarde, pianist Andrew McCormack and drummer Rod Youngs. Following them will be Denys’ recreation of Giant Steps, with the saxophonist joined by Nu-Troop’s rhythm section to conclude an evening of stunning music that delves into the very heart of jazz’s history.
3rd ? 4th: Alex Wilson Salsa Orchestra
Award winning Latin jazz pianist Alex Wilson has played with several influential groups and players in his time, including Courtney Pine, Jazz Jamaica and Gary Crosby’s Nu-Troop, and has established himself as one of the UK’s top (not to mention hardest working) salsa and Afro-Cuban music players. These two dates will feature his storming twelve piece group which comprises some of the finest Latin jazz musicians working the circuit today, including his three stunning frontline vocalists Alfonso de Jesus, Aquilla Fearon and Elpidio Caicedo.
5th: Ola Onabule
(1st house £25/30/40, 2nd house £20/26/36)
Born in the UK but raised in his parents’ home country of Nigeria, an early exposure to James Brown in concert convinced Ola Onabule that he wanted to be a singer. Pursuing this ambition has seen him onstage alongside artists such as George Michael, Joe Zawinul, Roberta Flack and Gladys Knight, and he released his sixth studio album, The Devoured Man, in 2007 on Rugged Ram Records, which he set up himself to put out his material. A passionate singer and songwriter, his strong yet sensitive vocals are bolstered by an incredible four octave range and are often influenced by hints of his African roots.
6th: Funk Affair
Regular night of deep funk grooves from some of the country’s best love funk heavyweights, including alumni from Jamiroquai and singer Louise Pollock.
7th ? 9th: Eliane Elias Quartet feat. Marc Johnson
A Brazilian pianist and singer of exceptional quality, Eliane Elias is noted for her recent tribute to the music and works of the great Bill Evans, as showcased on the album Something For You. Elias’ sweet, tender vocals and elegant phrasing are perfectly complimented by her inventive and delicately skilful abilities on the piano, covering a good deal of musical ground ? her last album Bossa Nova Stories focused more on her Latin roots. She will be performing at Ronnie Scott’s in the esteemed company of stellar bassist (and Elias’ husband) Marc Johnson, who previously played with Evans himself, and is therefore ideally suited to present his music. Johnson has also recorded his own material, recruiting heavyweights like Bill Frisell, Pat Metheney and John Scofield to play for him. Completing the group are Rubens de la Corte on guitar and Rafael Barata on drums.
10th ? 12th: Cedar Walton Quartet
Pianist Cedar Walton’s professional career stretches back over fifty years, and his playing goes back further to his home in Dallas. One of the most respected players around today, he can count among his various collaborators and musical partners figures including Art Blakey (in one of the greatest line-ups of the drummer’s Jazz Messengers group, featuring Wayne Shorter, Curtis Fuller and Freddie Hubbard), Lou Donaldson, Duke Ellington, Kenny Dornham, Abbey Lincoln and John Coltrane ? Walton was the original pianist on the sax giant’s seminal album Giant Steps, playing on Naima, Like Sunny and the title track, but the takes were only released in 1976 after the jazz community had come to know Tommy Flanagan’s cuts, recorded six weeks after Walton’s. Still writing, recording and touring in his seventies, Walton’s playing may have mellowed somewhat from the driving hard-bop of days past but his technique, imaginative soloing and elegant phrasing still shine through. His quartet features John Toussaint on saxophone, Dudley Philips on bass and Alvin Queen on drums.
13th: Natalie Williams’ Soul Family
Hosted by the wonderfully charismatic and talented soul singer Natalie Williams and her band, Soul Family Sunday offers the chance to catch some of the best R&B, soul and jazz musicians in the UK up close and personal. While guests vary from month to month, there is always the opportunity to hear music of the highest quality where the stars of the British scene showcase their material in an exciting ad hoc setting.
14th ? 15th: Claire Martin ? ?A Modern Art’ album launch, plus Derek Nash Quartet ?Snapshot?)
Music was always part of Claire Martin’s life from an early age. A devotee of the great female jazz singers such as Ella Fitzgerald, Betty Carter and Shirley Horn, Martin has been dubbed ?The First Lady Of British Jazz’ for her impeccable taste and stunning vocal ability. Her albums have garnered deservedly widespread and enthusiastic praise, she is a five-time winner of the Best Vocalist category at the British Jazz Awards and she continues to perform and record the music she loves as well as putting her expertise to good use by co-presenting BBC Radio 3’s Jazz Line Up show. A true Great British treasure, Claire Martin’s Ronnie Scott’s shows will give listeners the opportunity to witness one of the finest vocal talents the country has to offer as she launches her latest album, A Modern Art, ?a personal reflection of what it takes to be a musician in the 21st Century? (Linn Records).
Derek Nash is known to audiences for his roles in both Sax Appeal and Jools Holland’s group, and has established himself as a formidable player of all saxophones (but primarily alto) with appearances alongside the likes of Branford Marsalis, David Sanborn, Eric Clapton, Alan Barnes, Mornington Lockett, Jamie Cullum and many more - here he presents his brand new solo album Snapshot.
16th: Matt Bianco
For the uninitiated, Matt Bianco is not a person but an entire band ? originally formed in the early Eighties, the group became one of the most popular jazzy acts of the decade, skillfully weaving together elements of jazz and Latin music into catchy pop hooks and melodies. Their 1985 cover of Georgie Fame’s Yeh Yeh received a European Music Award for Best Single of that year, with a subsequent European tour to sell out crowds. After a hiatus following their twenty year career of touring and recording, keyboardist Mark Fisher and original vocalist mark Reilly are bringing Matt Bianco’s sound to a new generation with their latest offering Hi-Fi Bossanova.
17th ? 19th: Gilles Peterson’s Impressed?at Ronnie Scott’s
Offering a slightly different perspective on Ronnie Scott’s for three nights is legendary DJ and all round musical ambassador Gilles Peterson. A big fan of the club and a regular during his formative years, Peterson’s 2002 Impressed compilation featured a host of rare British jazz from the ?50s and ‘60s, with many of the artists featured no strangers to the Ronnie’s stage. For this residency, he has chosen a selection of his own favourite artists, each of whom has a distinct connection to the world and sounds of jazz music while nevertheless occupying their own particular niche outside it.
17th: Nostalgia 77 feat. special guests Keith & Julie Tippett supported by Matt Hansall
Blending together a mixture of deep funk, hip-hop style breaks and soulful horns into their jazz-heavy sound, Nostalgia 77 hail from Brighton’s Tru Thoughts label, home to some of the most intelligent and accomplished instrumental grooves in the UK. Guitarist and founder Ben Lamdin has several incarnations of the group, but for this exclusive Ronnie’s performance will introduce free jazz legends Keith and Julie Tippett into the proceedings ? the pianist and singer have stamped their mark on the UK scene through a string of noted recordings from the late ?60s onwards, with their 1971 album Septober Energy initially catching Lamdin’s ear and sparking this collaboration. The pair join Nostalgia 77 to inject an extra jazz-inflected edge to the original band’s sound in a project that has already collected rave reviews across board, and this is a rare chance to catch them in a contemporary setting.
Support comes from the highly talented and innovative young trumpeter Matt Halsall, whose combination of modern musical ideas with jazz’s traditions caught Peterson’s ear in 2008, with Halsall’s Sending My Love making it into the DJ’s personal top forty albums of the year.
18th: Roots Manuva supported by Speech Debelle
Roots Manuva is undoubtedly one of UK hip-hop’s biggest stars, bringing a distinctly homegrown flavor to his music, with dub, grime and bashment all playing a big part in the overall sound. Winning the MOBO award for Best Hip-Hop Act in 1999 for his debut album Brand New Second Hand, Manuva (aka Rodney Smith) made a huge impact with the hit single Witness (1 Hope) from his second album Run Come Save Me. A renowned and innovative collaborator whose distinctive Stockwell growl can be heard alongside artists like Cinematic Orchestra, DJ Shadow, Gorillaz, Leftfield and Mr Scruff amongst many others, Roots Manuva casts his net much wider than you might expect ? for this appearance he is joined by legendary drummer Tony Allen, one of the most important figures in Afrobeat music and a former sideman with the great Fela Kuti.
Supporting Roots Manvua tonight is another innovator on the UK hip-hop scene, the 2009 Mercury Prize nominated Speech Debelle. Having released her debut album Speech Therapy through Big Dada (also home to Roots Manuva’s recent releases), she is making a real impact with musical, melodically inclined raps backed by a live band that retain an distinct element of song while never losing their rhythmic lyrical edge.
19th: Bugge Wesseltoft / Henrik Schwarz supported by Mount Kimbie
Norwegian sonic experimentalist Bugge Wesseltoft began his vast and varied career with roots in the Nordic jazz scene, releasing through the esteemed European ACT label and playing with the likes of Jan Garbarek. As a pianist and composer, his tastes quickly broadened and he became associated with the emerging ?nu-jazz’ scene, mixing his skills as a musician with electronic sounds and beats to take jazz into the mainstream. He’s joined by producer and DJ Henrik Schwarz, whose open-minded approach to composition and live sounds mixed with programmed and recorded music perfectly suits Wesseltoft’s own.
With support from Mount Kimbie, the highly renowned London-based electronica crew whose whirlpool of influences sucks in anything from glitchy hip-hop beats to dubstep before spewing out a gorgeously crafted soundscape of melodies and beats that is entirely their own.
20th: The Ronnie Scott’s Blues Experience
The club’s monthly blues night, hosted by guitarist Tony Remy and keyboardist Sam Grimley, sees a host of special guests turning up to perform at what is quickly becoming the most talked about blues night in town.
21st ? 23rd: Mike Henderson’s Electric Miles Band ? From ?On The Corner’ to ?Agharta’
Michael Henderson’s electric bass was a staple sound of the early days of jazz fusion as well as one of the most respected soul and Motown players of his era ? stints with Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder proved his ability to groove with the best of them. It was while playing with Stevie Wonder in the early ?70s that he came to the attention of Miles Davis, who immediately hired Henderson for his own group. Henderson subsequently went on to play on all of Davis’ electric albums from 1970 through to 1975, including Live-Evil, On The Corner, Agharta and Pangaea. He is visiting Ronnie’s with his Electric Miles Band, playing music from the span of his tenure with Davis ? a showcase of stunningly solid bass playing, as well as an authentic look at a defining period of the great trumpeter’s history.
24th ? 26th: JTQ
Famed for their upbeat, energetic live shows, British jazz-funk stalwarts the James Taylor Quartet return to Ronnie Scott’s for a three-night run. Taylor’s driving Hammond organ has been leading the group for nearly twenty years, and with albums and live shows constantly in the offing, the ?JTQ’ show no signs of slowing down. Their relentlessly entertaining tunes take their inspiration from the rare-groove style funk and boogie-woogie of the sixties and seventies, and they are without a doubt one of the most important jazz-pop crossover bands in British musical history.
27th: The Worshipful Company of Musicians Competition for Young Jazz Musician of the Year 2009 - Guest Appearances by Tina May and Jim Watson
The Worshipful Company Of Musicians has its roots in the City of London’s Livery Companies and the Fellowship of Minstrels, dating back to at least 1500AD. A fantastic British institution, its modern incarnation has for many years supported and sponsored musicians of all kinds through graduate and post-graduate schemes and funds, promoting both new and established talent with various events and award schemes. Previous winners of its Young jazz Musician Of The Year scheme include the illustrious likes of saxophonist Tim Garland, pianist Tom Cawley and bassist Mike Janisch, and the six nominees, chosen by a panel of top jazz luminaries, will play together as a group before the audience chooses the overall winner.
28th: Jos? James - Facing East: The Music of John Coltrane
One of the artists credited with bringing jazz sensibilities to a wider audience without running the risk of ?dumbing down’, Jos? James has managed to combine element of the music with soul, hip-hop and R&B to sensuous and sophisticated effect. His 2008 debut album The Dreamer, released through Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood label, revealed an innate musical sensitivity and showcased his effortlessly cool vocals, backed by a simple but highly effective piano trio. His new project looks to the work of the great John Coltrane, interpreting the saxophonist’s work in his own personal style. Far from being a gimmick or novelty, James’ take on Trane’s music is likely to be one of the most genuinely original and earnest heard in recent years, and this date is one of only five exclusive European performances - a unique opportunity.
29th: Led Bib
Recently nominated for the prestigious Mercury Prize for their recent album Sensible Shoes, the North London based five-piece Led Bib have made a name for themselves by ripping up the jazz rule book and playing music entirely on their own terms. With a raw and raucous sound akin to other young upstarts like Acoustic Ladyland and Fraud, Led Bib owe as much the music of John Zorn and Frank Zappa as they do to any of their jazz heroes, with searing improvisation sitting on top of frantic and frenetic riffs and rhythms. Not for the faint hearted, the jazz police are advised to steer clear of this performance and let those with open minds and open ears take their place…
30th: Mingus Ah Um by Mingus Moves
In another celebration of jazz’s annus mirabilis, Ronnie’s offers a retrospective look back at legendary bassist and bandleader Charles Mingus’ 1959 album Mingus Ah Um from the Mingus Moves group. Featuring a host of stellar players including a frontline of saxophonists Chris Biscoe and Pete Hurt, Henry Lowther on trumpet and trombonist Malcolm Earle-Smith among others, the band is well versed in interpreting Mingus’ fiercely individual and demanding style of playing and writing ? Mingus Ah Um is regarded as one of his most influential recordings and this evening will see it faithfully and exuberantly brought to life once more.
For more information, please contact AirMTM, 020 7386 1600
Doors open 6pm (open until 3am most nights)
Monday to Thursday
7-7.50 Support Act
8.30-10.30 Main Act (with an interval)
11.10-12.30 Late Night Jazz Set with the Ronnie Scott’s All Stars
Friday and Saturday
7-7.45 Support Act
8.15-9.45 Main Act
Turn house around 10.30
11.00-11.45 Support Act
12.00-1.30 Main Act
8.00 to 9.00 Main Act
9.30 to 10.30 Main Act
(Set times subject to change, please check website on the day of performance)
Prices differ according to ticket type ? Standing/Restricted View, Standard and Priority Seating
Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, 47 Frith Street,
London W1D 4HT
Box Office: 020 7439 0747