28 May 2010

Sonny Rollins @ The Barbican - 20th November

A long way off still, but believe me, this is likely to sell out months in advance, so I thought I'd better give you plenty of notice. In fact, many of the best seats have already gone! Legendary post-bebop saxophonist Sonny Rollins returns to the London Jazz Festival in November to celebrate his 80th birthday. I was fortunate enough to catch him when he played at The Barbican in 2006 and can highly recommend seeing him live.

Sonny Rollins live @ The Barbican
Saturday 20th November 2010
Doors: 7.30pm
Tickets priced between £10 and £75
Info / booking: www.barbican.org.uk

If his performance in 2006 was anything to go by, Rollins is still on incredible form, with the energy of a man half his age. Playing with a new band, Rollins will be selecting material from his six decades in jazz (during which time he has recorded for labels as revered as Blue Note, Prestige, Riverside and Milestone). This will undoubtedly be another magical night and I would expect a calypso or two in his repertoire.

You can find out more about Sonny Rollins from his website: www.sonnyrollins.com

23 May 2010

The Filthy Six album launch

The Filthy Six album coverIt's not long since London's hippest Hammond organ combo, The Gene Drayton Unit, called it a day after 9 glorious years. But there is an exciting new group on the block looking set to fill the gap left by the GDU:
The Filthy Six.

Signed to Acid Jazz, The Filthy Six released their fantastic debut single two weeks ago, and I am pleased to report there is an album on the way. The release date is 7th June and to celebrate there will be a launch party on Thursday 10th June @ The Queen Of Hoxton.

Acid Jazz presents Get Filthy
@ The Queen Of Hoxton, 1 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3JX
Thursday 10th June
Doors: 8pm
Admission: £8 (£6 concessions)
DJs: Eddie Piller and Dean Rudland
Venue website: http://www.thequeenofhoxton.co.uk/

You can find out more about The Filthy Six and listen to some of their music on their MySpace page: www.myspace.com/thefilthysix

Derrick Morgan live in London

Legendary Jamaican ska/reggae singer Derrick Morgan will be performing live in concert in both North and South London over the coming few weeks.

Expect to hear all his classics from the early r&b and ska days through to the rocksteady and reggae stompers that made him so popular with the original skinhead movement.

I saw him live last year at his sell-out concert at The Hootananny Brixton and believe me he was phenomenal. If you haven't seen him before then don't miss this chance! Derrick Morgan is one of the original "Kings of Ska" along with Prince Buster, Owen Gray and Laurel Aitken (RIP).

First up is his gig in Holloway, promoted by Club Ska:

Saturday 29th May 2010

Club Ska presents DERRICK MORGAN
@ The Gaff (formerly The Old King's Head)
382 Holloway Road, N7 6PN

Info: www.clubska.com
Venue website: www.myspace.com/thegaffclub

This is followed by a return to Brixton's fabulous Hootananny in June:

Friday 25th June 2010

DERRICK MORGAN backed by the Ruff Cutt Band
The Hootananny, 95 Effra Road, Brixton, SW2 1DF
(020) 773 772 73

Tickets: £12 advance
Doors: 8pm - 3am

Info: www.hootanannybrixton.co.uk

18 May 2010

Goodbye Deep Funk... Hello The Good Foot

After 15 years, Keb Darge's legendary Deep Funk club comes to an end this month. The last ever night of this groundbreaking session takes place on Friday 28th May.

Starting in June, the night will be replaced by a new weekly session called The Good Foot featuring DJs Snowboy and Healer Selecta.

Not one to mince words, here's the lowdown from the great Keb Darge himself:

"That Keb Darge has gone all fifties, and rockabilly. So we thought it best to get two of the best sixties and seventies men on the planet to replace the senile old twat... Looks like it will be a great night."

This new night promises a music policy of "original and authentic Sixties and Seventies Deep Funk, Soul, Rare Groove, Boogaloo, Mambo and R&B"

You can be sure that the final Deep Funk will be a roadblock session, so I can only advise arriving before the doors open and joining the queue! Alternatively, you may want to get down there this Friday for the penultimate session.

Deep Funk @ Madame JoJo's
8-10 Brewer Street, W1F 0SE. (020) 7734 3040
Times: 10pm - 3am
Admission: £8 (£6 before 11pm)
Venue website: http://www.madamejojos.com/

Lee Konitz @ Pizza Express - 18th-19th May

The legendary Lee Konitz will be playing live at The Pizza Express Jazz Club on the 18th and 19th May.

Konitz is an iconic figure of modern jazz. His career has spanned six decades and he has made seminal recordings along the way with giants such as Miles Davis, Charles Mingus and Dave Brubeck. These shows see him coming to London as a leader for a rare and intimate series of concerts in a two house per night showing, which will all be recorded LIVE for release on the Whirlwind Recordings Ltd record label.

Lee Konitz with his quartet featuring:
Dan Tepfer, Piano
Jeff Williams, Drums
Michael Janisch, Acoustic Bass

@ Pizza Express Jazz Club, 10 Dean Street, Soho, W1D 3RW
Two 90 minute shows per night:
7.30pm (doors 6pm) & 10.30pm (doors 10pm)
Admission: £20 / £15 (students)
Booking: www.pizzaexpresslive.co.uk
Phone: 0845 6027 017

17 May 2010

Maria Rita live - Tue 18 May

Critically-acclaimed, Brazilian singer Maria Rita returns to London tomorrow - 18 May 2010 - for another one-off gig. Details as follows:

Venue: Koko, 1a Camden High Street, NW1 7JE
Tickets: £20 in advance from wegottickets.com
Doors: 7pm
Info: http://tensamba.com
Venue website: www.koko.co.uk

Arrivederci to Avni - Bar Italia's best barista

Although modesty prevented him acknowledging the fact himself, Avni was without a doubt the best barista at Bar Italia - and one of the very best in London. He worked the beautiful machine most evenings and nights for more years than I can remember, and was a joy to watch in action.

It was therefore with a heavy heart that I learnt some weeks ago now of the news of his departure. He has finally left the great institution and moved on to other things. Sadly I never got to say goodbye and could find out nothing from his former colleagues of his present whereabouts.

If anyone has any information, please do drop me a line to let me know. Or if anyone reading this is in touch with Avni, then please pass him my best regards from "dottore".

On behalf of myself and all the other late-night coffee lovers who have enjoyed Avni's perfect cappuccini over the years, I say GRAZIE!