Steve Kettley’s Orange Claw Hammer makes a return for those crazy Captain Beefheart fans! Orange Claw Hammer is a band of fine musicians with a desire to enjoy, share and play with the music of Captain Beefheart. Deeply rhythmic and rooted in the blues before spiralling off into free association, their music is a wondrous cacophony of finely tuned chaos. Even though the vast majority of the music is instrumental, much like Beefheart’s contemporary Frank Zappa, there’s a humour at play, a desire to stimulate and titillate through complex offbeat grooves and a clatter of noise. It’s a wonderful, exhilarating recreation of Beefheart’s experimentations, improvised and reinterpreted by Kettley and his quartet.
“OCH are fabulous! Of all the things I saw in the Edinburgh Festival the stand out performance was OCH in a cellar bar, the band is tight. OCH are a brilliant set of musicians with a love of Beefheart. It is part homage, part wild eyed evening of grand riffs and virtuoso playing.” Mark Thomas, comedian/activist
Bassist, composer and band leader Calum Gourlay brings his brand new quartet and first small band album to tour the UK in 2019. Featuring music written especially for and inspired by the band members who are also founding members of his big band. Helena Kay onSaxophone, Kieran McLeod on Trombone and James Maddren on Drums. Calum has had a residency at The Vortex Jazz Club since 2017 and writes at least one new piece a month. Interviewed in londonjazznews.com Calum said: “I find it much easier to arrange something for big band if there’s already a framework for it to fit around, as starting a big band piece from scratch is tough. So, every few months I try to organise a play with a quartet or trio of some people from the band and write some music just for them. If any of that works then I can scale it up for the big band. This group had a play together in June 2018 and it felt good”. This new quartet features pieces that became big band charts and some piece that didn’t! As well as some brand new music written for the tour.
Hot on the heels of a breakthrough year, Bristol based electronic jazz outfit Ishmael Ensemble head to Aberdeen to perform as part of The Sound Festival. 2017 saw Ishmael Ensemble’s debut EP, Songs for Knotty, followed by a remix for Detroit techno demigod Carl Craig. These formative steps became a sprint in 2018, as a string of 7”s entitled Severn Songs began flowing out across the year. The Bristol-inspired records variously bridged fleet-footed jazz, lush downtempo, modulated electronica, Fourth World tones, and all manner of stirring sonic swells. It’s no surprise the records caught the attention of tastemakers’ DJs across the board, receiving regular radio play on BBC6Music, Jazz FM’s Worldwide FM plus a performance on Gilles Peterson’s U.K. Jazz Special live from the legendary Maida Vale Studios. Tiptoeing between the current British jazz boom and Bristol’s rich musical ancestry, the group have found a truly unique and refreshing voice.
“Ishmael Ensemble are sometimes few, sometimes many, but always operate with the same questing spirit for innovation. Essentially rooted in jazz, the project’s outlook blends club culture, left field electronics, and much more into an unholy blend” Clash Magazine
“These guys just get better with every release” Gilles Peterson
“Absolutely gorgeous” Tom Ravenscroft, BBC6 Music
“Unfolds like a shimmering stone skipping across a lake. Gorgeous” XLR8R
Jean-Marie Machado – piano, compositions Didier Ithursarry – accordion, compositionsJean-Marie Machado was born in Morocco, from an Italian mother and a Portuguese father. He discovered jazz in France and studied with the French classical pianist Catherine Collard. For 25 years he has been exploring different directions in jazz, classical composition and interdisciplinary projects mingling dance, theatre, storytelling. Along the way he has collaborated with Andy Sheppard, Dave Liebman, Paolo Fresu and Naná Vasconcelos and has established himself at the first rank of the European jazz sphere and is currently in residency as an ‘affiliate composer’ at the Centre des Bords de Marne of Perreux-sur-Marne/Paris. Didier Ithursarry discovered and started learning the accordion at the age of seven. Moving to Paris in 1996 he worked in collaboration with singers, on projects in theatre and in jazz, and also as a studio session musician. In 1998 he was invited by French jazz guitarist Claude Barthélémy to join his quintet Sereine. Later that year he joined the National Jazz Orchestra (ONJ) from 2002 to 2005. In 2006 he created a duo Bilika with singer and percussionist Kristof Hiriart. In 2008, following an invitation by French singer Stéphane Sanseverino to join him on tour and winning the Gus Viseur jazz award, he met pianist composer Jean-Marie Machado. This marked the beginning of a long and fruitful collaboration that has given rise to several musical projects including, most recently, this duo. In accordionist Didier Ithursarry, Machado has found a like-minded musical explorer with a knack for adventurous dialogue. The duo’s communication is telepathic and fresh, leaving plenty of room for poetry and emotion but without fearing to stretch their sonic palette towards dissonance and visionary, dream-like heights.
Laura Jurd – trumpet Ruth Goller – electric bass Corrie Dick – drumsLaura loves playing at the Lamp and begged to be included in her latest UK tour so how could we refuse! Laura has carved a reputation as one of the most characterful voices in European jazz today. Her distinctive approach to improvisation is often simple yet always colourful, resulting in a sound that is instantly inviting and recognisable. Her band Dinosaur has won numerous awards for it’s high energy but distinctively lyrical sound and compositions. Here she is joined by kindred spirits Ruth Goller on electric bass and longtime collaborator and Dinosaur bandmate Corrie Dick on drums as they present selected songs from across the centuries. From John Dowland to Bill Withers, the trio breathes new life into some of Laura’s favourite melodies.“… beautifully played and effortlessly confident collage of contemporary styles.” – The Guardian“Let’s just call it social music” – BBC 6 Music“At the vanguard of this new generation … a musician who has been composing since she could walk” -Evening Standard
The hottest ticket in Scotland right now! Classy vintage swing and gypsy jazz played by a band that combines brilliant musicianship and warm personality. Fronted by fiddle player and sophisticated songstress, Seonaid Aitken, Rose Room recreate the excitement of Rive Gauche Paris of the 30’s and 40’s with Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt; and Seonaid pulls the heartstrings with a host of swinging songs and ballads from the Great American Songbook. Rose Room are on a wave right now with a new CD issued, Seonid winning Best Vocalist in the Scottish Jazz Awards plus a recent appearance on BBC Jazz Line-up so get your tickets now to avoid disappointment.
“Stupendous gypsy jazz, and a superb singer” – The Scotsman
Fraser & Fraser are a new band comprised of four hard swinging musicians from both North and South of the border. Scottish pianist Fraser Urquart joins up with London based Saxophonist Fraser Smith who has dedicated years to the study of Jazz legend Dexter Gordon. In this show the iconic originals and standards from albums such as GO!, Our Man In Paris and earlier works are presented true to the originals with all the intensity, coolness and character of Dexter. Gordon rode the jazz wave from the swing-to-bop era, taking on from where Lester left off, jamming with seminal artists such as Charlie Parker and later inspiring legends such as Coltrane. London bassist Simon Read and drummer Steve Brown complete the quartet.
Leading guitarist Kevin returns to the Blue Lamp with a new trio featuring Pete Johnstone on organ and Doug Hough, drums. This is the classic Hammond Organ trio setup but with these guys you know it’s going to be something special. A collaborative trio embracing the. organ trio sound. The trio’s music features new original compositions by the members plus classic standards and contemporary jazz repertoire.
“…an international-class jazz player” – The Herald
“…a perfect contribution that completes an urbane study in measured jazz improv” – BBC Music magazine
The North East of Scotland's own big band plays tribute to the great sound of the bands of the 40s 50s and 60s such as Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Stan Kenton. AJO is an amalgamation of the cream of jazz musicians in the Aberdeen area and are renowned for their big sound and great arrangements. Come along and get back to the big band era with a festive twist.