Simon Purcell comes around

Simon Purcell, for many years Head of Jazz at Trinity, plays music from his début album as part of Jez Nelson's Jazz In The Round series at London's Cockpit Theatre

Head of Jazz at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and multi-instrumentalist Simon Purcell will appear at the Cockpit Theatre, London on Monday 26 January for a one-off gig to promote his début album, Red Circle. He'll be joined by his quintet featuring Julian Siegel, Chris Batchelor, Steve Watts and Gene Calderazzo.

The concert is part of a series called "Jazz In The Round" taking place every last Monday of the month from BBC Jazz On 3 host Jez Nelson, with other acts over the coming months including Iain Bellamy and Steve Williamson.

Reviewing Purcell's debut album Red Circle (on the Whirlwind label) in January's Jazz Journal, Mark Gilbert wrote:

"The press release’s 'highly anticipated debut album' might strike at first as the usual hyperbole, most people probably having assumed that Simon’s performing ambitions were long ago submerged by the burden of his day job as Head of Jazz at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire in Greenwich, but when you hear the terrific music contained here you may well wonder why he hasn’t led a date before.

"It’s a set of thoroughly convincing post-bop originals, seemingly grounded in the principles set out by the late 1960s Miles Davis quintet. 'Anticipate' might also imply novelty. There isn’t much of that here, but there doesn’t need to be when music in this beautiful, evergreen style is so attractively executed. That’s the bigger picture and not to say there aren’t many enjoyable moments of personal revelation here for the soloists, leader included.

"Simon was fortunate to get in on the ground floor of jazz ed in the UK, which has since become an overcrowded field. Hearing this, you must think what a fine model he is for his students – there’s nothing synthetically modish or post-jazz about this – unlike the issue of some courses trading under the name of jazz today."

Gigs start at 8pm preceded by a DJ set from 6pm in the bar. Tickets are £12 and can be booked online at or by calling the box office on 020 7258 2925.

Sally Evans-Darby

Photo by Dan Redding

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