Jazz at the Blue Lamp is delighted to introduce our audience to a quartet of gifted young players who we are sure will be stars of the Scottish jazz scene in the future. Matt Carmichael is a 20 year old tenor Scottish saxophonist marked as One to Watch in 2019 by Jazzwise magazine . Matt is currently studying at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland performs with bands including JM World Jazz Orchestra, The Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra, NYJO, The Mark Hendry Octet/Orchestra, Fat Suit, Axis, Paul Harrison Quartet, Fergus McCreadie, Jonny Mansfield and many more. Performing highlights to date include Newport Jazz Festival USA, Love Supreme, BBC Proms, Edinburgh Jazz Festival, Dundee Jazz Festival, Celtic Connections, Pizza Express Soho and Aberdeen Jazz Festival. Matt composes for his own quartet featuring award wining pianist Fergus McCreadie, UK young drummer of the year Tom Potter and London bassist Ali Watson. They have had radio play on BBC Radio 3, Jazz FM, BBC Scotland and gig regularly at festivals and venues throughout the UK.
Matt Carmichael – Saxophone/Compositions Fergus McCreadie – Piano Ali Watson – Bass Tom Potter -Drums
Jacqui Dankworth and Charlie Wood present an intimate evening of the songs of Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and other classic songs. Two sublime voices in harmony singing the songs of great composers. Jacqui (recently awarded an MBE) needs no introduction, as she is a vocalist of huge talent and one of the UK’s leading jazz performers and daughter of Cleo Lane and John Dankworth. Charlie recently wowed the Blue Lamp with his interpretations of Ray Charles with the Aberdeen Jazz Orchestra and also played with his own trio so is no stranger to us. Charlie originally hails from Memphis, Tennessee and that bluesy feeling is in his soul and in his voice. Get your tickets early for this one as it is going to be a hell out night for sure.
“One of our finest singers, regardless of category” – The Sunday Times
“Probably the most flexible and expressive voice of her generation” – The Observer
Chosen in the ‘Shape of Jazz to Come in 2018’ in Jazzwise, Bonsai (formerly known as Jam Experiment) are an award winning band that are based in London, UK. Formed in 2014, they have appeared on BBC Radio 3 and Jazz FM numerous times, and played at leading jazz festivals and venues across the UK including London Jazz Festival, Love Supreme Festival, Cheltenham Jazz Festival, and Ronnie Scott’s. They released their “irresistible” debut album ‘Jam Experiment’ in 2017 followed by a 40 date UK Tour! In the Summer of 2018 they embarked upon a European tour, including appearances in Rome, Berlin, Prague, Kraków and Budapest. The lineup includes the winner of Rising Star in the 2017 British Jazz Awards, trombonist Rory Ingham, his brother Dominic Ingham on violin and voice, Toby Comeau on piano/keyboard, Joe Lee on bass, and Jonny Mansfield (Kenny Wheeler Jazz Prize winner) on drums. Bonsai’s sound is dynamic jazz fusion balanced with intricate compositions and adventurous improvisations negotiated through mutual admiration for each other. The band has no leader or rather, each member is the leader. Through this process they have challenged their own musical boundaries. Given that the Ingham brothers have been playing together for nearly 20 years, when the unusual frontline of trombone/violin/vocals is met with the ferociously “high octane” rhythm section, the ensemble has an electric synergy that results in “pure musical gold”.“One of the most talked-about and critically acclaimed young bands on the UK scene” London Jazz News“Their ability to connect with the audience was exceptional…This band are bound for great things. A joy!” Claire Martin OBE, presenter of Jazz Line-Up on BBC Radio 3
Colin Steele was one of the first performers at the Blue Lamp and certainly the first to sell out a jazz performance here. Colin has given us such a variety of shows, including his dynamic Miles Davis gigs, his fascinating Celtic compositions and his soulful ballads but this is another twist giving us a glimpse of his past. When Colin moved to Lille at the age of 19 to develop his music, little did he imagine that 30 years later the musical friendships that he formed then would continue to bear fruit today, a true “Auld Alliance”.
He will be joined by Stewart Forbes (sax), Steve Hamilton (piano) and his old French pals Sebastien Dochy (bass) and Patrick Mullier (drums) playing the music they played back then and still love to play, classic blue note and impulse records, grooving soul jazz packed with passion and fire.
Internationally acclaimed saxophonist Tommy Smith pays homage to his greatest inspiration, jazz icon John Coltrane with his latest band, the Tommy Smith Quartet: Embodying the Light. A presence on the global jazz scene since his teenage years with Gary Burton’s Whiz Kids quintet, Tommy Smith has recorded for the legendary Blue Note Records and ECM Records and currently tours the world with Norwegian bass master Arild Andersen’s trio, widely regarded as one of the premier groups working in jazz today. He also established and leads the jazz course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and is the founder and director of the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra. Formed in February 2017, the Tommy Smith Quartet: Embodying the Light released its eponymous first album to glowing reviews. The Herald described it as “Absolutely top drawer: fluid, articulate, commanding and constantly surprising.” And The Scotsman recognised it as an “outstanding achievement.” In concerts, including sold-out appearances at the world famous Ronnie Scott’s jazz club in London and at Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, audience response has been similarly enthusiastic. Reaction on the group’s UK tour in November 2018 was ecstatic, with seasoned promoters describing the quartet as “absolutely stunning” and “the best treatment of Coltrane’s repertoire I’ve heard in fifty years of listening.” Smith’s rhythm section features two of the UK’s leading young musicians, pianist Peter Johnstone and London-based bassist Calum Gourlay alongside the hugely experienced drummer Sebastiaan de Krom. Peter Johnstone, a product of Smith’s Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra and an RCS jazz course alumnus, won the Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year title in 2012 and was chosen as a Yamaha Scholar the following year. He has gone on to win the 2015 Peter Whittingham Jazz Prize with the group Square One and has toured with the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra and its guests Joe Locke, Kenny Washington and Mike Mainieri. Calum Gourlay, like Peter Johnstone, came through the Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra, and is now an in-demand player on the London jazz scene. He leads his own Thelonious Monk project and big band, has worked with Sheila Jordan and Scott Hamilton, and as the established regular bassist with The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra he has accompanied an array of international guests including Kurt Elling, John Scofield and Mike Stern. Dutch-born de Krom is a graduate of Berklee College of Music and holds a Masters degree from New England Conservatory. In 1995 he won the prestigious Buddy Rich Award and from 1997 to 1999 he was the drummer for the renowned Thelonious Monk Institute Jazz Performance programme. He has performed with Herbie Hancock and John Scofield and played regular sessions for Jamie Cullum from 2001 to 2008.
The quartet will perform favourite Coltrane compositions including Resolution, Naima and Dear Lord, alongside Smith’s own homages to his hero. Tommy Smith Quartet: Embodying the Light promises exciting music full of spirit, passion, devotion, and emotion.
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