Tom Millar writes about the Sunday gig and jam session at the Green Note. The next one is on Feb 3rd:
The Green Note is a wonderful intimate space on Parkway, near Camden Town tube and Camden Road overground stations, which creates the perfect atmosphere for the creative, inclusive monthly gig and jam session that I have been running since May last year. I took over the curating from Alexa von Hirschberg, who started the night in 2006, and did an incredible job at developing an audience and reputation before her work commitments became too great.
There have already been some real highlights in the first few months since I took over: Nick Smart’s Cuban crossover band Jazz Matanzas, Mark Perry and Duncan Eagles‘s quintet in December, and playing to a packed house during the London Jazz Festival with my quartet. I also really enjoyed January’s gig with London-raised but New Orleans-based tenor player James Partridge, with Karl Rasheed-Abel on bass and Jon Scott on drums.
So what’s coming up? I’m looking forward to hosting drummer Simon Roth’s group Stories on Sunday 3rd February. As a new band, I have not yet had a chance to check them out, but Simon has assembled a heavyweight group of young musicians that I have heard in different contexts, so I’m sure it will be an exceptional gig. Laura Jurd on trumpet has been making waves with multiple accolades, including being the second brass player to win the Worshipful Company of Musicians’ award, and a recently-released debut album Landing Ground which has been very well received.
Tenorist Joe Wright graduated from the RAM a year and a half ago, and has developed a unique sound. I have heard him playing with diverse ensembles including Simon’s brother Alex’s group Otriad (in which Simon and their other brother Nick also play), as well as with pianist John Cervantes’s trio and Dave Hamblett’s band (alongside Josh Arcoleo, debut album coming out soon on Whirlwind Records.
He has also become a go-to guy for live electronics, which will feature in this gig, as it does in trumpeter Jack Davies’ big band and Otriad, as well as his own band Nightjar.
James Opstad is a fantastic bassist who performs in my band, as well as Jack Davies’s big band and Flea Circus, and a couple of successful Balkan and Tango bands, Fugata and Paprika. I love his writing for his own medium ensemble, and it deserves to be more widely heard. I have played with Simon himself a few times and he is an imaginative and powerful drummer, involved in several bands on the London scene.
The band is completed by Joe Murgatroyd on clarinet and bass clarinet, whom I look forward to hearing for the first time.
Looking further ahead, I can’t wait for gigs from leading musicians Phil Robson and Liam Noble in September and October respectively, as well as gigs from young bandleaders Tommy Andrews, Dave Smyth, Tom Green and Pete Ibbetson confirmed from March to June.
Programming has been a pleasure, since I book groups that I’d like to hear live and will sound right for the venue, and there is no shortage of talented musicians in London.
The night takes place on the first Sunday of every month, starting at 8.30pm, £8 entry (£5 musicians or students). From February, the Green Note will be serving a simple tapas/snack menu from the bar on Sundays.