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Programme notes by Simon Spillett

Friday

The Stan Tracey Octet


Celebrating his seventieth year as a professional musician, Stan Tracey is surely the ultimate British jazz veteran. Appropriately dubbed “The Godfather of British Jazz”, his gift for composition and arrangement resulted in the mid-Sixties masterpieces Under Milk Wood and Alice in Jazzland, but it can be argued that he really came into its own in the 1970’s with the formation of his octet, a line-up flexible enough to accommodate some of the best improvisers of the era and yet capable of packing the orchestrated punch of a mini-big band. The front line of this latest edition is no less starry, featuring regular Tracey confreres Simon Allen, Sam Mayne, Mark Nightingale and Mark Armstrong together with a new saxophone star, Nadim Teimoori.

In a fitting acknowledgement of the great man’s milestone anniversary, the band will reprise material from several of Stan’s various commissions and suites. Click here for YouTube clip.


The Arnie Somogyi Trio


Bassist Somogyi is a ubiquitous figure on the UK jazz circuit, having been a member of the bands of Peter King, Alan Skidmore and Claire Martin, among others. However, he’s probably best known for leading his own groups, the adventurous Ambulance, which toured and recorded with US trumpet legend Eddie Henderson and Scenes in the City, a celebration of the music of Charles Mingus, which proved to be among the highlights of 2011 Herts Jazz Festival. Tonight he unites with pianist Tim Lapthorn – described by the late Humphrey Lyttelton as simply “brilliant” - and drum star Stephen Keogh to give his own after-hours twist on the jazz piano trio tradition.