One of the great appeals of the York jazz music scene is that there are always familiar and friendly faces among the musicians and audiences. There are two good examples of these musicians playing this evening. Starting at The Pavilion Hotel on Fulford Road, the mainstream jazz duo Bejazzled will be playing classic standards from 7pm.

Pianist Karl Mullen will be performing with his trio at the Red Lion Hotel in Poppleton at 8.30pm where guest musicians are invited to play with the band.

Frank Brooker is another jazz stalwart and he brings his Happy Chappies to Boston Spa Jazz Club at 8pm on Saturday. Making a rare Saturday night appearance in the city, vocalist Kate Peters brings a quartet to the Volunteer Arms on Watson street at 8.30pm. The band, featuring Sam Dunn on guitar, will play a mix of upbeat jazz, funk and soul.

One of Kate’s students is the guest at Kennedy’s Bar, Little Stonegate this Sunday at 1pm. Georgina Barr is developing into a versatile and well-rounded vocalist. On Sunday evening, the Central Scrutinizers will play post bop classics at The Phoenix Inn at 8pm.

Rounding off the week is the popular Phoenix Inn jam session on Wednesday at 8.30pm. Players of all abilities are welcome to play tunes of their choice and soak up the great atmosphere.


Album Review - The Wildflower Sextet, Wildflower

Leeds College of Music has built a reputation for developing talented and respected jazz musicians. Wildflower will only help to reinforce this assertion.

Five members of the sextet are LCM graduates including leader and saxophonist Matt Anderson. Matt’s strong sense of melody comes through in his compositions and improvisations which are firmly rooted in the jazz tradition but utilise contemporary harmony and rhythmic ideas to great effect.

Through several years of playing together, drummer Sam Gardner and bassist Sam Vicary are a formidable unit. They provide a solid and inspirational foundation for some outstanding solos.

Bands featuring guitar and piano can feel cluttered. However, Alex Munk and Jamil Sheriff’s sense of musicality comes through as they allow each other space to create different textures. Munk uses the sounds available on the electric guitar to create atmosphere, as well adding energy with over-driven improvisations and rhythmic stabs.

Trumpeter Laura Jurd is mentioned as a bright hope for British Jazz and it’s easy to see why. Tracks such as the swinging opener Blues For Wayne and Masqualero sound like a fresh take on the second great Miles Davis Quintet while the album closer, Lester Left Town, features impressive metric modulations a la Wynton Marsalis’s version of Autumn Leaves. An excellent album.