Peter Bacon previews a tempting threefer:
Three fine bands on one bill – that’s what’s on offer at London Rich Mix on Friday, the opening night of the 2017 EFG London Jazz Festival. The bands are the Michael Janisch Band, Henry Spencer’s Juncture and Zhenya Strigalev’s Never Group, all united by their record label: Whirlwind Recordings.
Juncture has a familiar line-up from the band’s debut album, The Reasons Don’t Change, but there are new personnel for the other two groups.
Michael Janisch premieres a new Stateside band on its first date of a European. With the MOBO-nominated bass player and Whirlwind boss will be guitarist Rez Abbasi, quickly emerging as one of today’s major new voices on his instrument, alongside alto saxophonist John O’Gallagher (Joe Henderson), trumpeter Jason Palmer (Herbie Hancock, Kurt Rosenwinkel) and the much-sought-after drummer Clarence Penn (Maria Schneider). The band will be recording Janisch’s next solo album during this tour.
Alto saxophonist Strigalev leads a trio of drummer Marc Ayza with Janisch on electric bass. The Never Group is aptly named – no performance is ever like the one you heard last time. The Guardian mentioned “hip jazz virtuosity and surrealism”.
Trumpeter Spencer possesses a rich tone and an exciting band that is thoroughly bedded in from extensive touring. Juncture has Nick Costley-White on guitar, Matt Robinson on piano, Fender Rhodes and Wurlitzer, Andrew Robb on double bass and David Ingamells on drums.
Michael Janisch commented: “I’ve got a dream band assembled for this tour and I’m very excited about the prospect of touring as well as recording a new album in the coming weeks. Our Rich Mix triple bill for the EFG London Jazz Festival is the premier of an entire pad of new music I’ve been working on for a few months (and still finalising!).
“I also can’t wait to get back with Zhenya’s Never Group and hear what trumpeter and composer Henry Spencer is up to – he’s one of the great young solo artists from the UK currently.”
The Whirlwind Triple Bill, London Rich Mix, 8pm on Friday 10 November.