Preview: Ronnie Scott's April deluge

In the month of showers, Ronnie Scott's enjoys a deluge of top-drawer attractions, including Al Jarreau, The Cookers, NY guitarists Oz Noy and Mike Stern and Dave Weckl’s Acoustic Band

Al Jarreau (1-2 April) is sold out but entry to the late show of hot bop and blues guitarist Nigel Price (pictured right by Brian O'Connor) may be possible. New Orleans-born trumpeter Christian Scott (b. 1983), nephew of former Messengers alto-man Donald Harrison, brings in his quintet with Earl Travis (b), Logan Richardson (s), Rick Simpson (p) and drums tba for two nights, 3 & 4 April. Early on steeped in standards (his 2004 Nagel Heyer album showed such), since moving to Concord in 2006 Scott has increasingly attempted to integrate contemporary pop sounds into his music.

On Sunday 5th April the club presents the Humphrey Lyttelton Septet, since 2008 with Tony Fisher (60 years as a pro musician with such as Ted Heath, John Dankworth and Clarke/Boland) in the trumpet role. The band is completed by Robert Fowler (ts, bar, cl – profiled in JJ January 2014), Jimmy Hastings (ss, as, cl, f, and with Humph since the mid-90s), Rotherham-born Ray Wordsworth (tb, and sometime principal trombone in the BBC Radio Orchestra), Ted Beament (p with Humph since 1995), John Rees-Jones (b, formerly with Keith Tippett’s Centipede and others) and Adrian Macintosh (d, with Humph since 1982). The show will be compèred by comedian and scriptwriter Andy Hamilton.

Georgie Fame, sold out for four nights, fills the stage 6-9 April. Tickets are still available for Jason Rebello on 10 & 11 and the late show those days features the much-lauded young swing band Kansas Smitty’s House Band. Next night the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble from Chicago plays one evening at the club, 12 April, reappearing in the late show, 15th. The band features eight brothers or half-brothers, all children of Kelan Phil Cohran, founder of the city’s famed AACM, and uses brass to play jazz, funk and soul styled music.

On Monday 13th, The Cookers - George Cables (p), Billy Harper (ts), Billy Hart (d), Eddie Henderson (t), Cecil McBee (b), Jaleel Shaw (as) and David Weiss (t) - bring classic, well-seasoned hard bop to the club, taking inspiration from the 1965 Blue Note album Night Of The Cookers with Freddie Hubbard and Lee Morgan.

April 14 sees Stan Tracey’s Under Milk Wood suite revisited by his son Clark, leading a band featuring Stan’s grandson Ben as narrator. The band is completed by Bobby Wellins (ts), Steve Melling (p) and Andrew Cleyndert (b). Wellins’s own quartet plays a set before Milk Wood.

On 15th April, Israel-born, NY-resident guitarist Oz Noy (pictured left by John Abbott) makes a rare UK appearance. His incendiary jazz-rock style mixes a hard-hitting blues sound with a complex harmonic sense: followers of Wayne Krantz should like this one. Noy’s trio is completed by Etienne Mbappé (b) and Gary Novak (d). Noy’s latest Abstract Logix release Twisted Blues Vol.2 was reviewed in JJ October 2014.

Fusion guitar, albeit of a stylistically slightly earlier vintage, remains the order of the day for the rest of the week, with the Mike Stern band in residence 16-18 April. Stern brings with him Randy Brecker (t), London-born, US-based Janek Gwizdala (elb) and Steve Smith (d).

Dinah Washington-inspired singer Diane Schuur plays two nights at the club, 20 & 21 April, with Ben Wolfe (b), Adam Pache (d), and local guest saxophonist Julian Siegel before US saxophonist James Carter arrives for two nights (22 & 23) with his trio completed by Gerard Gibbs (org) and Elmar Frey (d).

In an interesting departure, the voguish, self-consciously contemporary “post-jazz” pianist Neil Cowley brings a show titled “The Other Side of Dudley Moore” to the club 24 & 25 April, accompanied not by his usual trio but dues-paid mainstreamers Geoff Gascoyne (b) and Sebastiaan De Krom (d). It’s nevertheless a somewhat fitting idea as Cowley’s father was a comedian and Cowley himself has long played on his zaniness. He cites Moore as his idol. Another pianist and son of an entertainer, Joe Stilgoe (profiled in JJ March), may have competition.

Serious music-making ensues on the 27th and 28th with a return to the club for drummer Dave Weckl. Best known for his jazz-rock work, Weckl this time brings his all-star Acoustic Band - Gary Meek (s), infrequent UK visitor Makoto Ozone (p, org) and Tom Kennedy (b) – in what promises to be a feast of tough hard bop.

A bumper month concludes with singer Cyrille Aimée (29th) and saxophonist Joe Lovano’s Village Rhythms Band (30 April - 1 May) with Liberty Ellman (g), Abdou Mboup (hp, pc), Otis Brown III (d), Matthew Garrison (b) Tim Hagans (t) and Judi Silvano (v).

More at the club's website or call 020 7439 0747.

Homepage pic: Cyrille Aimée at the 2013 Vail Jazz Party, by Gordon Sapsed

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