Stewart will be performing with Roger Odell & The Jazz-nights trio and the resident songbird Larraine Odell this week. Sitters-in welcome. Music 8-10.30pm. £7/£4 students. If required, food can be ordered at the bar and served at your table.
"Stewart Curtis graduated in jazz from City of Leeds College of music in 1982 and spent the early 80s touring and recording with Mari Wilson & the Wilsations. His many performing and recording credits through the 1980s to the noughties also include Percy Sledge, Nik Kershaw, Tracey Ullman, Selina Jones, Germaine Stewart, Glen Matlock (ex-Sex Pistols), Matt Bianco, Gregory Schechter’s Festival Klezmer Band, and Orchestra Folia.
The 90s saw Curtis performing in several West End shows, on numerous TV themes and in the house bands of Channel 4’s Viva Cabaret and BBC1’s Ben Elton Show. In 1992, following a spell with Gregory Schechter’s Festival Klezmer Band, Curtis formed Stewart Curtis’ Klezmer Groove, later known as Stewart Curtis’ K-Groove, initially influenced by New York’s Klezmatics, and combining his jazz background with his Jewish heritage. His numerous credits with K-Groove include an appearance in 1998 on Channel 4’s arts programme The Warehouse, and supporting Nina Simone at the Royal Albert Hall the same year, as well as two CD albums, Too Loud For Dinner and Smoked Salmon Salsa. Stewart Curtis’ other major recording credit is Saracubana – The Stewart Curtis Trio Plays B.B. Cooper.
Stewart Curtis’ Klezmer Groove, or Stewart Curtis’ K-Groove, was an outstanding band that essentially firmly fused klezmer with jazz and featured an extraordinary frontline line-up in Stewart Curtis on saxes, clarinet and flutes, and Paul Jayasinha on trumpet and flugelhorn. The chemistry between the two players was volcanic, and it is a partnership that one would hope to see revived. K-Groove also revealed Curtis as a highly original, witty and spirited composer and arranger. More recently, K-Groove has performed as Stewart Curtis’ K-Groove Quartet, drawing much acclaim from public and peers alike, including from fellow saxophonist Courteney Pine: "Great original modern day jazz big band music – makes me want to listen to it more than twice." Praise worth having, indeed!
Stewart Curtis is indisputably the finest multi-woodwind player of his generation, playing alto and tenor sax, clarinet, flute, piccolo, and recorder. Curtis’ voice particularly on saxes is sometimes reminiscent of that cool smoothness of "LTD" Dexter Gordon and "The G-Man" Grover Washington Jr., both of whom he acknowledges as influences, but still remains distinctly his own. It is one of the two most distinctive and attractive in Britain today. Despite the differences in the instruments, this voice also carries across to his clarinet, flute, piccolo, and even recorder. On flutes in particular, I have yet to hear his equal in this country today. His piccolo – not one of my favourite instruments normally, admittedly – is positively sexy, almost outrageously so, and what Stewart Curtis draws out of the humble recorder absolutely beggars belief."
Combine Curtis’ remarkable instrumental prowess with his prodigious jazz chops and you have the makings of a veritable multi-woodwind phenomenon. And Stewart Curtis hasn’t even begun to stretch himself to the limit.
Unfortunately we will be away in warmer climes so will miss this great performance. If anyone who does go to the gig can email firstname.lastname@example.org with a review or details – it would be appreciated.
Further details at www.jazz-nights.com