(Click on pictures for larger images)
As part of a UK tour by the Josh Kemp Quartet to launch their new album “Tone Poetry” Josh appeared with the Jazznights Trio to preview some of the numbers as well his more standard material. After winning the Daily Telegraph Young Jazz Band of the Year he played with NYJO before recording a number of CDs with the Quartet. “…a lovely round sound…a player to watch” Alan Barnes.After reading Philosophy at University College Oxford, Josh won scholarships to study jazz at London´s Guildhall and Trinity College of music. He has performed widely at jazz venues around the UK, he has worked with NYJO and was chosen for the Arts Council Developing Young Artists Programme in 2006. He is active in jazz education directing the Cambridge Youth Jazz Orchestra and coaching at workshops and courses. Josh came to jazz at the early age of nine. In his teens his quartet ‘Bop Art’ won the Daily Telegraph Young Jazz Band of the Year. After reading Philosophy at University College, Oxford, Josh won scholarships to study jazz at London’s Guildhall and Trinity College of Music.
Josh was playing with the Jazznights Trio who were
Simon Brown – Piano who is a highly respected and popular jazz pianist who is equally known for his arranging skills. He is always in demand to play many gigs throughout East Anglia when he is not playing at Jazznights or with his own trio, quartet and quintet.
Simon’s piano playing has long been the sound accompaniment of first choice for nationally and internationally known jazz stars appearing at Jazznights as well as Norfolk’s two leading jazz venues. He is also an accomplished soloist in his own right, blending vivacity and creative attack with often gentle lyricism. His influences are Oscar Peterson, Nat “King” Cole and Bill Evans.
Bernie Hodgkins – Double Bass Inspired by an uncle, who played and recorded with Django Reinhart and Stephane Grappelli in the legendary Quintet de Hot Club of France,Bernie grew up in a Jazz-oriented family.Their influence led him to become a respected bass player behind such people as Matt Munroe,Dickie Valentine and Dennis Lotus, in the early stages of his career. Bernie is particularly acknowledged as being one of the few players to bring an authentic, driving jazz feel to both the double bass and the bass-guitar, and for his fluent and creative soloing. Tonight Bernie was playing his 5 string double bass with the extra C string.
George Double PGCE, BA (Hons) – Drums
A national finalist in the Daily Telegraph’s Young Jazz 1989, George read Music at the University of Nottingham. West End and touring credits include Guys and Dolls, Avenue Q, Sinatra, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Anything Goes, Chicago Annie Get Your Gun, La Cage aux Folles, Chasing Fate and Godspell. Freelance credits include work for EMI, Polygram, London and Talkin’ Loud records, Kym Mazelle, Claire Sweeney, Matthew Herbert, The Memphis Belle Swing Orchestra, British Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, The Beauty Room and Herbie Flowers. He has also appeared at both Montreux and North Sea Jazz Festivals and on radio sessions for John Peel and Gilles Peterson on Radio 1, Sean Hughes, Robert Elms, Gideon Coe and the Drivetime Show on BBC London, XFM and local stations. George has contributed articles to the New Grove Dictionary of Music, including the entry of drummer Billy Cobham and four of his compositions are in the lists of the current Trinity Guildhall drum kit syllabus. He is on the Instrumental staff at the Colchester Institute.
Josh Kemp opened his first set with:
1. Herbie Hancock’s 1995 Drifting played at a medium tempo which was a fine lyrical opening to the evening.All the band were introduced via solos including 4 bar trades with George Double.
2. The ballad My One and Only Love was beautiful melodic version showing off Josh’s flexible range 0f interpretations.
3. Moving on to a Bossa Nova, Josh then played Antonio Carlos Jobim’s 1967 Triste at a medium tempo very ably supported by George Double on the drums providing that Brazilian rhythm.
4. Mercer Ellington’s 1942 Things Ain’t What They Used to Be (Although Mercer Ellington is credited as composer of this 12-bar blues, it is thought that Johnny Hodges came up with the melody and Duke arranged it for the big band). The title was relevant as Josh was playing his newly acquired 78 year old tenor saxophone which provided a great rounded sound.
5. Cole Porter’s 1954 All Of You from Porter’s last original Broadway production, Silk Stockings which of course now has become a popular jazz standard. This was a preview of one of the numbers on Josh’s forthcoming album “Tone Poetry” with Tim Lapthorn and Mick Hutton. This rich toned medium fast version was full of swing and a superb ending to the first set.
Following the interval and the Jazznights raffle of 3 jazz cd’s and a bottle of wine we had the traditional Jazznights sitting in spot which is open to all musicians who have an opportunity to play with the band.
Tonight we had a version of My Blue Heaven with Terry Reed on piano and Colin Whyles on drums with Bernie returning on bass.
This was followed by Geoff Harriman with his harmonica playing Autumn Leaves.
Josh Kemp the returned to play John Klenner’s 1931 Just Friends (We owe Charlie Parker a great debt for bringing this tune into the jazz Repertoire after years of being treated as a sentimental ballad. Although in this instance Josh treated us to a medium tempo samba.
Solipcism was a new composition by Josh which will also be featured on his forthcoming album. Wikipedia states that Solipcism is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist. As an epistemological position, solipsism holds that knowledge of anything outside one’s own mind is unsure. The external world and other minds cannot be known, and might not exist outside the mind! After listening to the playing and without knowing the definition at the time – it certainly was a very thought provoking tune which we look forward to hearing again when the album comes out.
We came next which was played with a great swinging Latin rhythm, a cross between St Thomas and I Got Rhythm and was punctuated by quotes from Simon Brown. It Very sadly brought the evening to an end. It has been said that Josh is known for his melodic inventiveness, warm sound and grooving swing – this we can only echo and we look forward to seeing him again in the future.
On Sunday 17th Mar Jazznights presents KAREN SHARP (sax). With the release of her most recent CD “Spirit” Karen is now firmly established on the UK scene with her own quartet and her performances as part of “The Tokyo Trio” with Tina May & Nikki Iles. “Her sound is warm and full, her improvised lines bold and clear” Dave Gelly – The Observer. “An extraordinary talent” Phil Collins – BBC Radio 2.
Jazznights presents the best in modern jazz at:
The Function Suite, The Cherry Tree, Knowl Green, Belchamp St Paul, Suffolk, CO10 7BY.
Tel: 01787 237263 Admission £8. Doors 7.30pm. Music 8.00-10.30pm.
Reserve your table seating on 01787 237653 or email. Pay on the night.
Food available and can be served before or during the performance.
For further information go to www.jazz-nights.com