Jazz Corner Bath Calling!

A moment of magic from the first night of the Bath Jazz Weekend that seems to have popped up at a moment’s notice.  A two piano set from Jason Rebello and Dave Newton and after kicking out the jams on Alone Together, a single wave of rippled arpeggio’s, and speculative melodic lines wound its way into the room. Rebello and Newton finishing and extending each other’s phrases, adding moving inner voices to the other’s suspended chords. They seemed to be thinking as one and gradually Darn that Dream appeared through the shimmer of sound. A moment to savour, and there’s more to come!

The weekend’s built around a programme of locally based bands who’ve all pitched in on the basis of a co-op like arrangement, everyone gets the same fee (including crew).   That two of the country’s finest pianists popped down the road to do this duo set in an evening book-ended by Newton with violinist John Pearce to start, and hot club style duo The Gaulois Brothers to finish, is a indication of the fun to come!

As if that wasn’t enough, 100m along Widcombe Parade on Sunday evening , after all the fun is over,  Dave Newton is playing at the regular Sunday evening gig in the Ring-O- Bells.   This corner of Widcombe, Bath seems to pitching to be a south west Jazz Hub.  Bring it on.  Now, back to that jazz weekend….

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5 comments

  1. Bath would seem to be the natural choice for a bureaucratic focus for old school jazz in the SW leaving Bristol free to host the really lively, adventurous, left field exciting future sound of jazz in the south west and beyond. Keep sending the forms and i’ll keep filling them in whilst listening to the good stuff in Bristol at non-hub venues such as the Fringe, the Canteen, the Future Inn, the Be Bop Club, The Gallimaufry, The Cube Microplex and others.

    • Not sure I understand this comment Chris – I’ve just come across it. You sound a bit cross or sneering about something. I don’t know if you checked the line-up of this weekend, but most of the people performing appear regularly at the clubs you mention – including Andy Hague who runs the BeBop, Iain Ballamy with a band who are more or less the house band at the Fringe and Get The Blessing who are all regularly at all of the above in different combinations. Generally, I take the view good music is good music, wherever its played and rarely improved by competition or one-up-man ship.

      • I think I misunderstood. I thought that the Bath organisers were lining themselves up as a “jazz hub” for that rarest of funding sources the Arts Council Grant. If anywhere should become a jazz hub in the Southwest it should be Bristol where a number of outlets could do with an injection of funds to pass on to some excitingly different, usually young and cash strapped, musicians. So that was the reason for my somewhat liverish comment. If it is just another venue in prospect in Bath then great.

    • Ah, yes a crossed wire or two I think. ‘Jazz Corner’ was my bit of whimsy – this was a weekend of gigs at Widcombe Social Club, which is on a corner, a couple of hundred metres from another great (regular) gig at the Ring 0 Bells along the road. I certainly agree with your view of the Bristol scene – am in awe of how much happens without any of the boost – and where in a queue for grants it deserves to be.

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