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ONE of the most successful of the new wave of European bands is the piano trio Phronesis – Danish bass player Jaspar Hoiby, Swedish drummer Anton Eger and British pianist Ivo Neame. The group has been chosen for the International Jazz Festival Organisation (IJFO) new talent support program.
The organisation wants to develop a new generation of iconic musicians for younger fans to relate to, taking as examples previous young lions such as Branford Marsalis and Brad Mehldau.
Phronesis will perform at IJFO festivals in Spain, Germany, Ireland, Turkey and Romania, as well as in Britain. Those canny folk at Wakefield Jazz have bagged the group for tonight (01977 680542).
Gospel was one of the key ingredients in the jazz melting pot and the music is enthusiastically revived by the Zamar Gospel Choir, which appear tonight at the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, the University of York at 7.30pm (01904 322439).
A high point of the year at Jazz in the Spa is the visit from American pianist Jeff Barnhart and he returns tomorrow night with John Hallam (reeds), Keith Stephen (guitar) and Bruce Rollo (bass). This will be a full house, so an early arrival is recommended (01937 842544).
Sunday is packed with jazz, beginning with the Zezo Olimpio Trio at Kennedy’s Café Bar, Little Stonegate, at 1pm (01904 620222). The big name event will be on Sunday afternoon at the National Centre for Early Music (NCEM).
Jazz pianist/composer Kate Williams, daughter of guitarist John Williams, has released four albums to critical acclaim. Her trio CD Scenes And Dreams was rated in the top ten jazz albums by Mojo magazine. Scottish saxophonist Bobby Wellins is recognised as an exceptional talent ever since his early collaboration with Stan Tracey on the classic Under Milk Wood suite. The NCEM presents something of a coup on Sunday with a concert by Kate and Bobby at 4.00pm (01904 658338).
Sunday ends in satisfying style with the Ian Chalk Quartet at the Phoenix Inn, George Street, York. Rivalling the success of Chalkie’s group is the Kate Peters Band, which appears on the first and third Monday of the month. Hurrah! This will be third Monday. More great jazz at the Phoenix is on Wednesday night, when the region’s friendliest jam session welcomes all-comers. Details on all Phoenix jazz on 01904 656401).
The fabulous Blueflies will be buzzing into Scarborough on Sunday teatime to play at the Tap & Spile, Falsgrave Road. Scarborough Jazz convenes on Wednesday night at the Cask, Cambridge Terrace (01723 500570), when the guest will be Thom Whitworth, a great favourite at Scarborough and wonderfully accomplished on trumpet and guitar.
The Old White Swan must be one of the oldest jazz joints in York, with Bejazzled and the Mardi Grad Band alternating. Next Thursday will be Mardi Gras night (01904 540911).
In a tenuous link, actor Charles Laughton came from a prominent Scarborough family, not one associated with jazz, except for a story recalled by Miles Kington.
Oscar Peterson chanced on Laughton while waiting for a train together in Edinburgh. Oscar mustered the courage to approach the actor to offer his admiration for Laughton’s film’s “Are you an actor?” enquired Laughton. When Oscar said he was a musician, he was asked “classical or jazz?” When he replied jazz, Laughton asked “Have you got any pot?” “No, I haven’t,” said Oscar, at which Laughton walked away without a word.
This goes to show jazz musicians do not always conform to a popular stereotype. Neither do actors. Boom, boom!