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Ronnie Scotts’ Brit Jazz Festival Preview

British jazz has just gone through its most interesting ten years since the sixties. Nobody disputes that. The initiative of Ronnie Scotts’ Brit Jazz Fest, now in its second year, will prove that.

A perfect example is the 2009 Mercury Prize nominated Led Bib, who hit new eardrums with their album Sensible Shoes. They perform in a double bill with Phronesis, one of Dave Stapletons’ gig highlights at Brecon Jazz Festival this year. Phronesis are currently drawing favourable comparison with E.S.T, from many jazz critics. Their new album Alive is exactly that. Jasper Høiby’s compositions captured me in the first few seconds and Brit, Ivo Neame’s piano playing has a beautiful lyricism to it. See them both on Tuesday 3rd August.

Nearly 14 years and four albums on, Partisans are still experimenting and thrilling. Their last album, By Proxy, took electronica, heavy rock riffs, be-bop, hard-bop and more and tied it together with coherent melodic solos and tight heads that come from great jazz musicianship and creativity. The original experimenters, Partisans, are intelligently programmed in a double bill with Trio VD, whose energy in performance is infectious. Imagine a jazz heavy metal ornette coleman part-rap part-beatbox stadium gig performed by musicians dressed as hip-hop front men and you’re half way there. Go to this gig and you’ll see what I mean.

Preview by Fran Hardcastle

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