Bristol/ Bath – Phronesis and Tetra, a weekend of treats

There was probably no collusion, but on the weekend of 10th to 12th June,  Wiltshire Music Centre and Colston Hall have between them managed to arrange  gigs by some the best, most exciting jazz musicians on the current scene (that’ll be UK, Europe or anywhere according to some).

Was Jazzwise magazine  being a bit lurid when they described Phronesis as one of the most exciting bands on the planet?  Their gig at Wiltshire Music Centre, Friday 10 June is one of only three opportunities in UK to find out on their current tour.  They are promoting their release of a new album on Edition Records (their  UK launch gig is at London’s Cadogan Hall on the Sunday). There’s no doubting the energy and exhilaration this trio generate when they play.  Much of their music is built around Jaspar Hoiby‘s catchy bass riffs, frenetic rhythms from Anton Eger on drums and fragments of melody that bounce around the band, often as not, traced out by pianist Ivo Neame, but they move as an improvising unit and there is no telling where they’ll end up. Hailing from Denmark, Norway/Sweden and UK respectively they have an international reputation.  What a way to start the weekend.  Book here.

Having taken Saturday to recover, The Lantern, Colston Hall is the only place to be on Sunday 12th June. Saxophonist  Julian Arguelles has been a singular and creative presence on the British Jazz Scene since playing with Loose Tubes in the 1980s.  Last month he received a Parliamentary Jazz Award for his recording Let it Be with the Frankfurt Radio Big Band and now he’s on tour with his quartet Tetra and what a band this is. Playing Arguelles’ compositions that are always deeply rooted in jazz, but constantly delight and surprise with flights of lyricism and echoes of music from all over the world, the band are all sublime musicians. Kit Downes on piano and James Maddren on drums are some of the most in demand payers around, Downes leading plenty of award winning projects of his own. Sam Lasserson  is amongst the most exciting of the formdiable current crop of bass players.   They too are touring on the back of an album, this one on Whirlwind and much praised by John Fordham in the Guardian. Book those tickets here

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