Manchester Jazz Festival

Had a great week at the festival, though I didn’t get to as much as I would have liked due to teaching commitments.  A massive highlight for me was playing before Sons Of Kemet at the Band On The Wall.  Lead by Shabaka Hutchings, the sax/tuba/drums/drums quartet played a blinder, incredible energy.  I spoke to tuba player Oren Marshall afterwards for a while and he seems a very inspiring guy, and particularly excited about the music he finds himself playing at the moment, mostly acoustic but powerful “earthy” music.  It was also great to hear him talk about developing his own voice through years playing on the free-improv scene.  Certainly worked out for him anyway!

Have a listen to one of their tracks here, I’ve been humming ever since.  And thanks to Andrew Newcombe for posting photos of the night on his blog.


My set with my new trio went really well as far as I could tell.  Some really nice moments including James’ bowed double bass and some glitchy “electronic” sounds from Johnny. Some really nice comments from friends, including a comparison to Tortoise which is fine by me, I used to listen to TNT a lot on tape in my teens, and Jeff Parker’s a fantastic guitarist if you didn’t already know that.

We’re recording the set at the moment, and I’ll stick some of it online as and when it’s polished.  I’m going to keep one track back for those lovely people who sign up to the mailing list though, so if you want to grab that, you’ve got till mid-August-ish to sign up, over on the right there ——————>

Here’s some photos taken by the talented Mark Whitaker (he’ll do your weddings/christenings/jazz gigs for you):

Other notable highlights included Jamie Safiruddin’s trio set, which was full of great interaction and some beautiful tunes.  Keep an eye on this one, he’s a fantastic player and is getting into some really cool stuff from the sounds of it.  And on the closing day, Neil Yates was in fine form with his Five Countries Trio, and we all had a good knees up to Hackney Colliery Band (eventually anyway, my Britishness kept me seated until a brave couple got the ball rolling…).  Here’s to the next one!

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