Brecon Jazz has been saved from extinction by Hay Festivals and they have secured some big names for this weekend’s 2010 event, including Hugh Masekela, Charlie Musselwhite and Orchesta Buena Vista Social Club, but as with all jazz festivals it’s usually to the less established names that one goes for the deeper pleasures. Brecon certainly offers its fair share of young British bands as well as some interesting international visitors. Here’s my pick:
Dave Stapleton Quintet – pianist Stapleton has not only become a vital force in British recording through his excellent Edition Records, he also leads a fine modern hard bop quintet with a new disc, Between The Lines, to promote. Christ College Stage 6pm.
Get The Blessing – a two horns, bass and drums band from Bristol which mixes tasty jazz harmonies and rocky beats (the rhythm team are Jim Barr and Clive Deamer from Portishead) and manages to be both edgy and richly textured. Roland Stage, Christ College 9.30pm.
Jason Yarde and Andrew McCormack – saxophone and piano duo, both strong composers, too. Brecon Cathedral 10.30pm.
Kairos 4Tet – Exceptionally fine, richly melodic, young quartet led by saxophonist and composer Adam Waldmann and including two thirds of Phronesis, Ivo Neame on piano and Jasper Hoiby on bass. Roland Stage Christ College 12pm.
Phronesis – among many good piano trios, this really is something. Jasper Hoiby leads from the double bass, with Ivo Neame on piano and Anton Eger on drums. Roland Stage, Christ College 3.30pm.
Orchestre National De Jazz – This French big band has been responsible for a series of fascinating and critically acclaimed projects down the years and for their latest director Daniel Yvinec has chosen to concentrate on the music of Robert Wyatt. Christ College Stage 7.30pm.
Gwilym Simcock Trio – a piano trio that has an international stature, led by the most brilliant young player to come out of these islands in a while. Amazing bass from Yuri Goloubev and the drummer of choice in James Maddren.
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – the idea of the New Orleans marching band gets a streetwise update from the sons of former Sun Ra Arkestra musician Kelan Phil Cohran. Second line meets hip-hop. Market Hall 5.30pm
Andy Sheppard – a chance to hear the saxophonist’s Movements In Colour band with John Parricelli and Eivind Aarset on guitars, Arild Andersen on bass and Kuljit Bhamra on tabla and percussion. Christ College Stage 7.30pm.
For more information and all the other bands playing over the weekend, go to www.breconjazz.org or call 01497 822 629
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