Steve Williamson and Courtney Pine tuck into Pizza Express Jazz Club

Soho’s Pizza Express Jazz Club has a packed programme of gigs between September and October kicking off tonight with something of a return for revered yet reclusive saxophonist Steve Williamson who debuts his new band featuring singer Filomena Campus, bassist Mike Mondesir, pianist Benet McLean and drummer Seb Rochford. Williamson will be playing new versions of music from his three albums Waltz for Grace, Rhyme Time and Journey to Truth as well as saying about the new material and band:

“The music for the forthcoming Pizza Express date will be mostly material from previous albums going back to the 1980s but with new arrangements – with well thought out and very special new line up of musicians. I also plan to introduce to the people, some pieces from the new batch of compositions reflecting where I am right now, in terms of harmonic approach, expression and of course compositionally. I am really very excited to do this! It will be the first time that I will be able to really explore the subtleties embedded within these new offerings.

“The reason for this proposed format is to familiarise the band with the development (work them in gently if you will) and also provide the audience with some pieces that they may be familiar with – but it really is all about the new compositions and approach. Hence the earlier pieces getting somewhat of a re-working. An approach that I humbly refer to as Organic Metric (O.M), a very intricate but joyous and melodic approach and contribution to the rich tradition of 'metric' musics from around the globe. I aim to record this material before the year's end.”

The programme continues with UK guitar great John Etheridge follows with a five-night residency (2-6 Sept); then it’s two roof-raising nights from saxophonist supreme Courtney Pine (12-13 Sept), and Gary Crosby’s Nu Troop’s Mingus Moves project (15 Sept). The venue also hosts more of its hugely successful themed festivals including London Latin Jazz Fest 2014 (23-27 Sept); Georgia Mancio’s fifth ReVoice! festival (10-18 Oct); and Filomena Campus’ Jazz Islands Festival (10-12 Nov). International names appearing include Spanish 19-year old vocal/trumpet sensation Andrea Motis (30 Sept-1 Oct), US trumpeter Jeremy Pelt (19 Oct), Israeli clarinetist Anat Cohen (21 Oct) and Japanese pianist Makoto Kuriya who hosts a week of gigs (27-31 Oct).

– Mike Flynn

For more info go to www.pizzaexpresslive.co.uk

 

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