On The Edge of Europe is the new project from award winning bassist Andrew Robb. Since winning the 2009 BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year, Andrew established himself as an exceptionally versatile bassist within the UK and went on to win 2nd Prize at the European Society of Bassists Jazz Competition 2016. Teaming up with the virtuosic pianist Pete Johnstone and the rhythmically charged drummer Doug Hough they are joined by one of Norway’s most foremost jazz guitarists for the last 15 years, Bjørn Solli. On his two most recent recordings Solli recorded and toured with Seamus Blake, Aaron Parks, Ingrid Jensen, Matt Clohesy, Bill Stewart, Tim Collins, Phil Donkin, Adam Pache and Jon Wikan. Having recently played two nights at legendary jazz club Ronnie Scott’s as well as closing out the Glasgow Jazz Festival, they will play original compositions inspired from Andrew’s time spent living and travelling in the UK and Norway.
Described by Rolling Stone magazine as “one of the best, robust listening experiences you’re likely to have all year” and by the Independent as “the best in jazz coming out of Ireland today”, MOBO Award nominated David Lyttle shifts seamlessly between the personas of jazz drummer, recording artist, composer/songwriter, producer and record label owner. Starting out as a child performer at the age of four with his family band, he first reached a national audience as a jazz performer in the band of legendary guitarist Louis Stewart, before going on to perform around the world and develop associations with jazz icons Joe Lovano, Jason Rebello and Jean Toussaint, and hip hop visionaries Talib Kweli and Soweto Kinch.The release of his third album,Faces, led to nominations in the MOBO Awards and Urban Music Awards, and major radio play on specialist radio and mainstream radio. On Jazz FM ‘Lullaby For The Lost’ and ‘The Second Line’ each topped the playlist for over a month, making David one of their most played artists across 2015 and 2016. In 2017 David carried out artist residencies in China and the U.S, and now he embarks on one of his busiest touring years, with live dates in the UK, China, the U.S., Canada and Europe. David is joined at the Blue Lamp by Blue Lamp favourites Steve Hamilton on piano and Michael Janisch on bass.
A collaboration between two of the UK’s finest jazz artists Barry Green and Brigitte Beraha, the band also features legends Chris Laurence and Paul Clarvis. Between them they have played and recorded with Kenny Wheeler, John Surman, Sarah Vaughan, Norma Winstone, Peter Gabriel, Stevie Wonder, Lee Konitz and many more. Their debut album Babelfish was released to critical acclaim and picked by Sebastian Scotney, founder of London Jazz, as his top album of 2012. Their latest album “ Chasing Rainbows”, which received rave reviews, is a new collection of music they love, regardless of where it comes from – Songs in English, French, Portuguese and Italian, from original songs about love to fast paced compositions about sushi; from free Jazz to their take on Contemporary Classical songs, each Babelfish performance is fearless, fresh and mesmerising.
“This remarkable quartet has evolved its own musical language. Unfamiliar at first, but gently seductive, it keeps you listening through the sheer power of invention.” Dave Gelly, The Observer
“It’s a pleasure to enter the original music language of this band: a world of playfulness and beauty, where anything could happen- you’re caught up in their sense of mystery and imagination.” Alison Bentley, London Jazz
“Babelfish are a definition of a contemporary jazz class” John Fordham, The Guardian
It’s been some time since Paul led his own quartet to the Blue Lamp so we are delighted that we have managed to get one of Scotland’s best sax players back to entertain and excite us. Paul Towndrow is best known as a bandleader of ensembles ranging from duo to sextet and as a long-time member of Scotland’s flagship jazz orchestra, The SNJO. Performing professionally since the age of 15, and having spent his formative musical years studying on both sides of the Atlantic, Towndrow has become one the UK’s busiest musicians. Paul has released five solo albums and has appeared as a sideman on many others. Much of his output is released on his own label, Keywork Records, which was founded in 2005. His live credentials include appearances with a diverse range of artists from jazz greats Branford Marsalis, Randy Brecker, and John Scofield, to Motown stars Martha Reeves’ The Vandellas, and soul legend Ben E King. Once described in The Guardian as “A turbo-charged amalgam of all your saxophone heroes”, Towndrow has toured and recorded extensively in the UK and abroad, both under his own-name projects and others, such as with sensational US group The Bad Plus, New York based pianist David Berkman, Venezualan piano virtuoso Leo Blanco, jazz vocalist Kurt Elling and jazz legend Benny Golson.
Paul Towndrow (alto saxophone), Steve Hamilton (piano), Euan Burton (double bass), Alyn Cosker (drums)
“This band confirms the contemporary Scottish scene’s membership of the world league.” John Fordham, The Guardian
“It’s musicians like this that make one so optimistic for the future of jazz” Jazzwise
”Full of excitement, full of edge and playing with all of the heart that the music needs.” Julian Joseph, BBC Radio 3
Nick is fast becoming one of the most in demand guitarists on the UK jazz scene and has performed with some of the countries most renowned jazz musicians such as Martin Speake, Stan Sulzmann, Steve Fishwick, Jeff Williams and composer John Warren (ECM), touring in the UK Europe, Australia and South America. The Nick Costley-White Quartet combine their love and deep understanding for the jazz tradition with a fresh and modern aesthetic. Their repertoire draws on unique interpretations of songs from the jazz cannon as well as their own exciting and harmonically rich compositions. The band is made up of some of the countries finest improvising musicians: Matt Robinson on piano, Conor Chaplin on double bass and Dave Hamblett on drums. The quartet’s debut album Detour Ahead, recorded in April 2017, portrays a narrative exploring the group’s musical journey. It begins with performances which draw from the American Songbook tradition and travels through to a more modern aesthetic inspired by the surroundings of London’s jazz scene. This compelling journey explores sounds from many perspectives simultaneously. Forms, harmonies and rhythms are superimposed and abstracted but still retain their essential function, whilst the improvisations express the excitement and beauty of these frameworks.
“Boppishly fluent and sensitive” …John Fordham (Guardian)
“A classy player with an elegant and subtle way with a good tune” …London Jazz News
Letters For Peace is a new work composed by Graeme Stephen and is performed by Graeme Stephen and the Chamber String Trio as part of the SOUND FESTIVAL in collaboration with Jazz at The Blue Lamp.
“The conscientious objector does not believe that violence can cure violence, or that militarism can exorcise the spirit of militarism. He persists in feeling solidarity with those who are called “Enemies” and he believes that if this feeling were more widespread among us it would do more than armies and navies can ever do to prevent the growth of aggressive imperialism, not only among ourselves but also among potential enemies.” – Letter from Bertrand Russell to the editor of the Manchester Guardian
Letters for Peace is Graeme Stephen’s new work composed for string trio and guitar. Letters written by conscientious objectors who refused conscription to fight during the First World War inspires the music. The work is intended to show the futility of war through the words of objectors who refused to fight and kill for a cause they did not agree with. Their grounds were personal, philosophical or religious. These performances will engage with the public perception of war and highlight the sacrifices made by objectors in the name of peace. The piece use’s text from letters from conscientious objectors as well as anti-war poetry and images to create a multi-media work which celebrates peace and displays the futility of conflict. Conscientious objectors made a huge sacrifice for their beliefs. They refused to kill their fellow man and, as a consequence were taken from their families and imprisoned in the harshest of conditions. Their stance highlighted the very futility and madness of war: through this new work we celebrate these values. Today we are regularly bombarded by positive imagery of the military. It has become so normalised that it’s hard to question it. This work is intended to counter this image and challenge public perception of conflict by looking at an often-overlooked part of war’s history. The work is intended to celebrate peace and display the madness of war.
“There is no doubt many kinds of reasons which lead men to become conscientious objectors but I am convinced that the chief reason and the most valid is precisely that sense of the “the solidarity of Mankind’ of ‘Our membership one of another”. – Bertrand Russell