Nigel Price is currently on an extended organ trio/quartet tour, with over forty dates. But for just over a week in mid-October, Canadian guitarist Lorne Lofsky – renowned for his years with Oscar Peterson – joins the tour.”The Hammond organ takes a break for these gigs; a wise choice, with the two guitarists providing more than enough harmony!” . Feature by (guitarist) Denny Ilett.
The ‘force of nature’ that is Nigel Price will, by the time this is published, be several dates into another of his mammoth annual UK tours. This time, no fewer than forty-three dates make up the itinerary which started on Sept 9th and winds up on Dec 8th. Along the way, the touring outfit will visit every nook and cranny of the British Isles from Brighton to Glasgow, from St Ives to Edinburgh
His regular group of Ross Stanley (organ) and Joel Barford (drums) make up the bulk of the dates with others finding the likes of Winston Clifford (drums), Libor Smoldas (guitar), Laura Klain (drums), Liam Dunachie (piano), Jim Watson (organ), Darren Beckett (drums), Vasilis Xenopoulos (saxophone), Ashley John Long (bass) and the Tom Ball Trio filling in along the way.
Nine dates between Oct 13th and 21st offer an intriguing prospect, however, when Nigel will be joined by Canadian guitarist Lorne Lofsky.
Lofsky is part of a line of incredible jazz guitarists from Canada; a line that includes Ed Bickert and Lenny Breau. He was a member of Oscar Peterson’s group in the 1990’s recording three albums with Peterson during his tenure. He has toured and recorded with the likes of Clark Terry, Rosemary Clooney, Johnny Hartman, Dizzy Gillespie and Ruby Braff. Lorne has also taught jazz at York University and Humber College in Toronto since the late 1970’s as well as a busy private teaching practice and several years educating the next generation at the University of Toronto.
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With a teaching and performing schedule such as his, visits to our shores are rare and highly anticipated.
As for Nigel Price, surely little introduction is needed. A tireless performer and staunch advocate for the preservation and development of the UK jazz scene Price may well soon inherit James Brown’s title as the ‘hardest working man in show business’.
It would be hard to think of two jazz guitarists with more contrasting approaches to their instruments than Nigel Price and Lorne Lofsky. Price revels in a bebop driven world laced with blues that has its roots in Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass and Kenny Burrell. Lofsky, on the other hand, plays fingerstyle which gives his playing a more pianistic quality. If one imagines what Bill Evans would sound like on guitar, he would probably sound something like Lorne Lofsky.
For these dates, Price and Lofsky will be supported by Ashley John Long and Winston Clifford, the Hammond organ takes a break for these gigs; a wise choice with the two guitarists providing more than enough harmony.
Ashley John Long truly has to be heard to be believed. A bona fide virtuoso bassist and a stunning improvisor with a dexterity to rival any frontline instrumentalist.
As for Winston Clifford, a quick glance at his CV is enough to remind us that he remains at the very top of his game.
What a fantastic quartet this promises to be but, this is not a series of dates designed merely to attract a slew of drooling guitar players – although there will surely be plenty of those in attendance. High quality jazz will always elevate itself beyond any instrument-specific boundaries.
There is always a danger that a frontline consisting of the same instrument, such as this one, can result in one cancelling the other out. Often the two soloists will have graduated from the same school of thought. Not so in this case. Price’s choice to duet with Lorne Lofsky is a brilliant and tantalising one. Each has their own sound, style and concept that, whilst seemingly polar opposite, promises to be highly complimentary. The result is that gig-goers will have the rare opportunity to hear their choice of tune explored via divergent paths. Educational as well as entertaining!
PP features are part of marketing packages
The Lorne Lofsky leg of the tour takes in The Crypt, Camberwell (13th) Ashburton Arts Centre (14th) CICC Taunton (15th) North Devon Jazz Club, Appledore (16th) St Ives Jazz Club (17th) Bristol Music Club (18th) Cubanos, Barry (19th) 1000 Trades, Birmingham (20th) and The Hive, Shrewsbury (21st)
For full details of Nigel Price’s 2023 Tour schedule visit www.nigethejazzer.com
The Nigel Price Organ Trio’s new album That’s It. Right There is due for release on 20 October.
LINK: Lorne Lofsky and Nigel Price in Conversation / YouTube
LJN Podcast interview with Lorne Lofsky (about Oscar Peterson/ Norman Granz)
Review and photos of the first night of the 2023 Tour by John McGloin