Brad Mehldau Trio, Georgie Fame and Camilla Beeput shine at Bath Festival

Brad-FESTIVAL-SATURDAY-12

Brad Mehldau, Georgie Fame with Guy Barker's Big Band and a one-women evocation of Lena Horne's life were among jazz gems in a refreshed Bath Festival programme. In a bold move for 2017, Bath's Literature and International Music Festivals combined to create a new, multi-arts festival in the second half of May.

After a launch night, with the city pulsing to the sound of dozens of free events, Mehldau was a big draw with a capacity audience packing the Assembly rooms to hear his trio weave their spell. There was quintessential Mehldau thematic invention and in-the-moment storytelling, as melodies evolved in fluid counterpoint and two-handed torrents of notes intertwined on the Beatle's 'And I Love Her', Sidney Bechet's ballad 'Si tu vois ma mère' and Mehldau's own softly grooving 'Gentle John' and lilting 'Wolfgang's Waltz'. Other material explored different territory as looping rhythmic phrases from Ballard and hypnotic vamps evolved into ecstatic collective work-outs. Encores produce a sideways take on the blues, on 'West Coast Blues', and a scintillating, melodic solo from Jeff Ballard on drums.

Georgie-Fame-FESTIVAL-TUESDAY-76

Later in the week, Guy Barker's Big Band was not daunted by the height of the roof at the cavernous Forum and had a good go at blowing it off. They were fronted by Georgie Fame in loquacious and anecdotal form, colouring-in episodes from his 50-year career between delivering flawless vocalese over Basie classics and a second set of treats: Steve Gray arrangements of Fame originals that had a unique and exhilarating punch.

The combined literature and music festival created the opportunity for events to span both art forms. Camilla Beeput's 'Stormy: The life of Lena Horne', is an extraordinary one-women show at the Komedia that does just that. It narrates Horne's journey from a child in Harlem, through the Cotton Club in the in the 1930s, Hollywood of the 1940s and on, with Beeput's script and music by Alex Webb, who was also on-stage with a five-piece band. There were electrifying moments as she evoked all of Horne's loves, ghosts and demons and a rousing finale as the band grooved-out on a gospel-fuelled anthem to pride and identity.

With enthusiastic reports of intriguing collaborations and encounters threaded through the programme and Madeleine Peyroux bringing down the jazz-folk-world music strand's curtain on Saturday, Bath's new flagship festival has got off to a great start.

– Mike Collins
– Photos by James Cheadle

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website

If you do not change browser settings, you consent to continue. Learn more

I understand

Breaking News

Gary Bartz with We Out Here, Rob Luft, E…

The latest names announced for this year’s EFG London Jazz...

Read More.....

Ronnie Scott’s Piano Trio Fest returns w…

This year’s edition of the Ronnie Scott’s International Piano Trio...

Read More.....

Mark Lockheart busts out new jazz-rock Q…

We were getting in at the beginning: the first public...

Read More.....

João Gilberto 10/6/1931 – 6/7/2019

João Gilberto was born in Juazeiro, Bahia, in Brazil in...

Read More.....

Chick Corea, Snarky Puppy, SEED Ensemble…

Love Supreme’s seventh year continues its unique strengths, as an...

Read More.....

Countdown to Love Supreme Jazz Festival …

The Love Supreme Jazz Festival is set to open its...

Read More.....

Braxton Sets New Standards At OTO

Following his glorious residency at London’s Cafe OTO in May...

Read More.....

Shai Maestro, Electric Lady Big Band and…

After its successful inaugural year in 2017, the Jazz Leeds...

Read More.....

Chrissie Hynde goes jazz, Blue Note trib…

Some sizable additions have been added to the EFG London...

Read More.....

Zorn blasts through 50 Bagatelles and Sn…

1959 was a good year for fans of Miles, Trane...

Read More.....

Tony Hall: producer, manager and Jazzwis…

It is with huge sadness that we report the death...

Read More.....

Manhattan Comes To Rottingdean

Unexpected pleasures are the best, even for jazz fans, and...

Read More.....

Saxophonist Alexander Bone wins Kenny Wh…

Twenty-two-year old saxophonist Alexander Bone (above) has been announced as...

Read More.....

LA Fusion stars Spirit Fingers fire-up f…

Virtuosic LA jazz-fusion band Spirit Fingers are set for a...

Read More.....

Call The Cops: Jazzers Run Riot At Bruss…

The annual Brussels Jazz Weekend operates on a gargantuan scale...

Read More.....

Hundred Years Gallery Holds Speaker-Thon

The Hundred Years Gallery, a not-for-profit space showcasing free improvisation...

Read More.....

Babelfish swim to Kings Place for Once U…

Acclaimed jazz-folk group Babelfish are set to launch their new...

Read More.....

Michael Janisch kicks out the jams for n…

Whirlwind Recordings label boss Michael Janisch (above centre) steps back...

Read More.....

Lost Miles Davis Rubberband album snaps …

Rubberband, a previously unissued 1985 album by Miles Davis, is...

Read More.....

Grégoire Tirtiaux and Gratitude Trio lea…

This is a festival where it’s possible to completely miss Kamasi...

Read More.....

Final Bow For The Night Tripper – A Trib…

Refuting the title of his biggest hit, ‘Right Place, Wrong...

Read More.....

Rossano Sportiello rounds out Harriet Co…

For 40 amazing years, the singer Harriet Coleman has presented...

Read More.....

Ronnie Scott’s rolls up to Royal Albert …

Ronnie Scott’s, the iconic London jazz club, will mark its...

Read More.....

Wollny Steals The Night As Moran Breaks …

The first thing to notice were the queues, over 200...

Read More.....

Steam Down, Emma-Jean Thackray and Leafc…

Stroud’s reputation as the alternative hippy hub of the Cotswolds...

Read More.....

Andrew McCormack returns with Graviton: …

Award-winning pianist Andrew McCormack storms back with the second volume...

Read More.....

Jazz Cafe sax summit kicks off second Lo…

Following its successful inaugural run last year, the London Saxophone...

Read More.....

McFerrin Moves Estonian Voices To Jubila…

The second half of Tallinn’s 10-day Jazzkaar festival was particularly...

Read More.....

Herbie Hancock, Terri Lyne Carrington an…

The line-up for this year’s EFG London Jazz Festival is...

Read More.....

Williams And Mancio Find Home With Subli…

  Kate Williams and her distinctive Four Plus Three, that’s her...

Read More.....

McBride, Porter, Reeves and Jazz At Linc…

Although it is a respected cultural event throughout the Caribbean...

Read More.....

Major unreleased Tubby Hayes Fontana alb…

Christmas comes early for fans of the late, great Brit-jazz...

Read More.....

Ripsaw Get Rolling

Baritone saxophonist Cath Roberts and guitarist Anton Hunter take their...

Read More.....

Cello Fellows Honsinger, Dixon & Lon…

The fifth annual Chicago Jazz String Summit took place at...

Read More.....

Bristol Jazz Fest launches Crowdfunder l…

The Bristol International Jazz & Blues Festival has launched a...

Read More.....

Marcus Miller, Tim Garland and Leïla Mar…

The full line-up for this year’s Manchester Jazz Festival has...

Read More.....

Making The Cut Mpu 300x500px

Subcribe To Jazzwise

Advertisement

Call 0800 137201 to subscribe or click here to email the subscriptions team

Get in touch

Jazzwise Magazine,
St. Judes Church,
Dulwich Road, 
Herne Hill,
London, SE24 0PD.

0208 677 0012

Latest Tweets

@WesTirey especially when it is in your house
Follow Us - @Jazzwise
@AbstractTruth I can see that, too
Follow Us - @Jazzwise

Newsletter

© 2016 MA Business & Leisure Ltd registered in England and Wales number 02923699 Registered office: Jesses Farm, Snow Hill, Dinton, Salisbury, SP3 5HN . Designed By SE24 MEDIA