Leo Richardson Scores Big with The Arts Desk

Sebastian Scotney applauds the tenor sax man’s music in London Jazz Festival.

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Another young-ish tenor saxophonist left a very strong impression with his gig on Wednesday at the Spice of Life club in Soho. Leo Richardson’s 2017 album The Chase, with a guest appearance from that daredevil of a previous generation Alan Skidmore, made it into several 2017 best-of lists. Richardson has just recorded another album, which includes another two-tenor roast, this time with Alex Garnett. Richardson’s quartet is also interesting for the sheer range of appealing characters and personalities in it, from the quirkily humorous Rick Simpson to the virtuosically insouciant Tim Thornton to the constantly provoking Chris Draper.

Around the LJF World in +10 Days —Gonzo Journalism from a Diehard Jazz Fan

Preface: This pastiche is decidedly biased, as it is written by someone in the business—as a manager, record label owner, agent and talent spotter—whose love for jazz exceeds all in his life, other than his love for his family. I’ve chosen to highlight my relationships with each artist/band, along with a sound bite performance rating, to protect the innocent. Otherwise, I’ll simply take the 5th Amendment.

Bassist Daniel Casimir, Drummer Jake Long

Bassist Daniel Casimir, Drummer Jake Long

jake Long, Daniel Casimir, Camilla George, Cameron Daniel

jake Long, Daniel Casimir, Camilla George, Cameron Daniel

Camilla George

Camilla George

Camilla George, Daniel Casimir, Cameron Daniel

Camilla George, Daniel Casimir, Cameron Daniel

Camilla George

Camilla George

Camilla George, Cameron Daniel

Camilla George, Cameron Daniel

Gary Crosby, Steve Williamson

Gary Crosby, Steve Williamson

Jake long, Daniel Casimir, Camilla George, Cameron Daniel

Jake long, Daniel Casimir, Camilla George, Cameron Daniel

Jake Long, Camilla George, Cameron Daniel

Jake Long, Camilla George, Cameron Daniel

Friday, 17th November

Camilla George Quartet

Spice of Life (Sold Out)

Given the amount of time I spent here this week, I think I deserve a few shares in the place. Camilla and her reconfigured quartet (Cameron Daniel/guitar, Daniel Casimir/bass, Jake Long/drums) gave the absolutely packed crowd everything they wanted, and more. Delivering a mixed repertoire of new material and songs from her latest album, the Afro-Caribbean beats and vibes put the audience in a writhing trance.

Relationship: Yes

Performance: Tantalizing

Around the LJF World in +10 Days —Gonzo Journalism from a Diehard Jazz Fan

Preface: This pastiche is decidedly biased, as it is written by someone in the business—as a manager, record label owner, agent and talent spotter—whose love for jazz exceeds all in his life, other than his love for his family. I’ve chosen to highlight my relationships with each artist/band, along with a sound bite performance rating, to protect the innocent. Otherwise, I’ll simply take the 5th Amendment.

Matt Roberts conducts his BigISH Band

Matt Roberts conducts his BigISH Band

Martin Hummel, George Millard

Martin Hummel, George Millard

James Copus, Martin Hummel

James Copus, Martin Hummel

Matt Roberts, Martin Hummel

Matt Roberts, Martin Hummel

James Copus lets it rip

James Copus lets it rip

Martin Hummel with the legendary Alex Garnett

Martin Hummel with the legendary Alex Garnett

Martin Hummel, Josh Arcoleo

Martin Hummel, Josh Arcoleo

Leo Richardson roars on bari

Leo Richardson roars on bari

Monday, 13th November

Matt Roberts BigISH Band (Sold Out)

Spice of Life

Taking in Matt’s monologue alone is worth more than the price of admission. As a tribute to Wayne Shorter, this group consisted of some of the best musicians on the scene, with the likes of Leo Richardson/Bari, Josh Arcoleo/tenor, Alex Garnett/alto, George Millard/saxes, Conor Chaplin/bass, Dave Hamblett/drums and, the man who stole the show, James Copus/trumpet. Thoroughly entertaining. Why don’t these guys play live more often?!?

Relationship: Yes

Performance: Muscular