Bath Festival – my preview

Late May Bank Holiday anyone? It must be the Bath Festival, with a launch party on Friday (28th) at various venues throughout the city,  and then a concentration of jazz gigs over the long weekend. Good luck trying to find anything resembling a straight forward programme on the website that easily yields information like what’s on when and where… unless you already happen to know! It is quite a varied programme ranging from the thrash/ anarchic metal like jazz of Led Belly and Acoustic Ladyland on Saturday via Booker T on saturday night (yes… as in Green Onions) to the sublime pairing of french saxophonist Julian Loreau with a new quartet playing his brand of acoustic European Jazz and a duo of Kenny Wheeler and John Taylor (this definitely counts as Hem of the Robe these days, Kenny having cleared 80… although maybe a special hem of the waistcoat category is needed for him). More European adventures with another octogenarian Martial Solal, helpfully interviewed by John Fordham for us in anticipation. He’s supported by for me an unknown – dutchman Eric Vloeimans. A gig I’m really looking forward to is Django Bates with his trio  doing his Charlie Parker thing after a showing of a film. The Monday night fiesta is the now not at all young firebrand, David Murray – looks not to be selling well as the festival have just written to us faithful, offering hefty discounts on tickets. There’s saturday night fun with a recording for Radio 3’s Jazz Parade. I’m taking in most of this lot except Saturday’s fare… I’ll be making teas then for the workshop weekend taking place over in Bradford upon Avon.

There’s enough here I think for real excitement, sure to be some surprises… what betting Eric steals the weekend?! …. hopefully no disappointments in what looks like a great programme.

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