Chris Ingham previews the best jazz gigs around the eastern region this week (November 27 - December 4).
Simon Spillett Quartet (Stoke By Nayland Hotel, 8pm, £18. Details: www.dovbear.co.uk/fleece) For sheer excitement, passion and swagger, Spillett’s hard-bop tenor saxophone playing takes some beating, with ex Ronnie Scott pianist John Critchinson, bassist Dave Green and former Tubby Hayes drummer Spike Wells.
sunday, november 29 – andy bowie quartet (Tram Shed, Cambridge, 8pm, free) Tenor saxophone-playing philosophy professor leads a quartet presenting a connoisseur’s choice from the modern jazz repertoire.
monday, november 30 – roy ayers (The Apex, 7.30pm, £25. Details: www.theapex.co.uk) Legendary funk vibraphonist who blazed an influential fusion trail through the 1970s and 1980s comes to Bury with his American band.
jazz jam (The Fat Cat Brewery Tap, Norwich, 8.30pm, free. Details: jazzjam.org.uk) Established and friendly jam session led by bassist Brendan Youngs and guitarist Lee Vasey. All instrumentalists and singers welcome for sitting in.
Thursday, December 3 – IMU Big Band (Lakeside Country Club, Lyng, 8pm, £12. Details: www.lakeside-jazz.com) The Ipswich Musicians Union Big Band has been going for 30 years and has become a favourite at Dereham Jazz Society. Led by trumpeter David Bolton, IMU Big Band specialise in swing and contemporary charts by the likes of Sammy Nestico and Maynard Ferguson.
Sole Bay Jazz Band (Maltings Pavilion, Ditchingham, 8pm, free. Info: 01986 896143) Residency for reputable and popular Dixieland band, featuring Ray Simmons (trumpet), Tim Densham (clarinet/sax), Ron Hockett (clarinet/saxophone), Alan Cugnoni (banjo/guitar), Tony Jullings (bass) and Craig Hipperson (drums).
Friday, December 4 – Mondiale feat. Harry Greene (Hunter Club, Bury, doors 7.30pm, £12/£6 U25. Details: www.headhunterslive.org) An excellent young jazz and soul sextet comprising former Aldeburgh Young Musicians and featuring saxophonist/guitarist Harry Greene, a Young Jazz Musician semi-finalist in 2015. Also featuring Alex Wilson (keyboard), Sarah Gure (vocal), Lewis Evans (flute), Sam Jones (drums) and Tom Hiom (bass).
Ian Shaw & sarah Jane Morris (Stoke By Nayland Hotel, 8pm, £20. Details: www.dovbear.co.uk/fleece) Intriguing pairing of extravert and soulful singers. Expect virtuoso vocals, entertaining irreverence and festive repertoire.
FOR THE DIARY
Wednesday, December 16 – jazz at the Movies - S Swinging Christmas (Hunter Club, Bury, 8pm, £14. Details: www.theapex.co.uk) Ronnie Scott’s favourites present their festive special featuring honey-voiced chanteuse Joanna Eden (vocal) and John Wilson Orchestra star Mark Crooks (clarinet/sax) with Chris Ingham (piano), Dave Green (bass) and George Double (drums).
Friday, December 18 – alan barnes octet - A Christmas Carol Suite (Hunter Club, Bury, doors 7.30pm, £15. Details: www.headhunterslive.org) Master jazzman and raconteur Barnes narrates the Dickens classic, with musical scenes and characters played by an all-star band.