Sebastian spoke to Wayne Escoffery, who is appearing at Ronnie Scott’s on January 13th and 14th.
This is definitely a first for the Walthamstow-born, New York-based saxophonist Wayne Escoffery. He confirmed to me today that, whereas he has led bands ever since moving to New York from New Haven, Connecticut in 2000…and he has travelled as a bandleader in Europe ever since 2006…and he has been in London with the Mingus Big Band, Dynasty and Orchestra… and he has played at Ronnie Scott’s as a member of the Tom Harrell Quintet… and the Mingus Big Band….
“I have never been in London with my own group before.”
Wayne Escoffery’s Quintet will be 10-date tour starting in Vienna and finishing in Stockholm. Part of the material he will play at Ronnie Scott’s, and on other dates of a ten-date European tour, is from the album Only Son of One (Sunnyside), which has been described as “an inspired and impassioned recording that chronicles a turbulent but ultimately triumphant tale of his life” . He will also be presenting his new album which will be released in March, Live at Firehouse 12 , recorded at a club in New Haven Ct, which was the he and his mother eventually settled after they came to the US, and where he started playing the saxophone. Escoffery will have a few advance copies of the new album in London.
The other band members are Rachel Z keyboards/ synths, who has worked with Wayne Shorter and Steps Ahead. Danny Grissett, another member of Tom Harrell’s band is playing piano. American -born bassist Daryl Hall , who lives in France, and New York drummer Jason Brown, who has worked in the bands of Carmen Lundy and Pat Martino, complete the line-up. Escoffery describes the music as “a bit of a mix, of both modern and straight ahead.
Escoffery has lived in America since the age of eight and has made his home there. But this trip is special. This is where he was born, he has family back here: “In a way, it’s going back home.”