March Sunday lunchtimes at Merlin’s Cave Jazz Club, Chalfont St Giles, Bucks
(Preview by Andy Boeckstaens)
The long-running Sunday lunchtime jazz sessions at Merlin’s Cave continue into March, which promises to be one of the best months in recent times at the club. Top-drawer soloists travel from far and wide to play in the Barn, and this month’s headliners have appeared there many times before. As always, the music is organised by Peter Hughes, the boss of Buckinghamshire bass.
2nd March: Roy Williams (trombone), Jack Emblow (piano accordion), Peter Hughes (bass), Stan Bourke (drums)
A highly respected trombonist, Williams spent 13 years with Alex Welsh’s band, worked with Humphrey Lyttelton and toured with international jazz stars including Ruby Braff and Bud Freeman. The line-up is completed by local man, international accordion legend Emblow, and veteran drummer Bourke.
9th March: Benn Clatworthy (tenor saxophone), John Donaldson (electric piano), Peter Hughes (bass), Matt Fishwick (drums)
The ever-popular Clatworthy is back. The propulsive style of this great California-based saxist – who worked with pianists Cedar Walton and Horace Silver – will be complemented by Donaldson’s thoughtful creativity. They are joined here by one of the best drummers around. Hang on to your hats!
16th March: Martin Williams (tenor saxophone), John Horler (electric piano), Peter Hughes (bass), Trevor Tomkins (drums)
Williams is a stalwart of the BBC Big Band and has performed extensively on high-profile television shows and theatrical productions. Horler and Tomkins are a great team and have worked together for many years; they will provide strong and interesting support.
23rd March: Henry Lowther (trumpet), Peter Hughes (bass), Stu Butterfield (drums), another musician to be confirmed
Few British players have endured like Lowther, who is still at the top of the trumpet tree after five decades. His career has included work with Gil Evans, Charlie Watts, George Russell and Elton John. Butterfield is a fine, subtle drummer who also runs and organises gigs all over London, for which he is an under-sung hero.
30th March: Christian Brewer (alto saxophone), Peter Hughes (bass), others to be confirmed
Brewer is one of the most exciting alto sax players to emerge on the UK scene for a long time. His beautifully-crafted albums are well worth hearing and his live performances brim with fluency, intelligence and brio.
Admission is £5. Doors open at 12 noon
The Merlin’s Cave, The Village Green, High Street, Chalfont St Giles, Bucks HP8 4QF