London Calling | Sunday – The final day at the London Jazz Festival.

Written by | London Calling

Sunday 19 November 2017

Today is the last day of the 2017 London Jazz Festival. The highlight of the closing day is without doubt at the Barbican with a performance of Joe Zawinul’s “Stories of the Danube” featuring Terence Blanchard Quintet with the BBC Concert Orchestra. Also not to missed is the three concerts at Cadogan Hall celebrating the legacy of Monk in his centennial year. For lovers of straight ahead jazz the place to be is Pizza Express this afternoon for the Quentin Collins Quartet.

Top Tip: Joe Zawinul: Stories of the Danube + Terence Blanchard Quintet with the BBC Concert Orchestra – 7:30pm
Venue: Barbican

A double-bill including the UK premiere of Joe Zawinul’s grand orchestral vision of one of the world’s great rivers, conducted by his friend Kristjan Järvi and featuring Django Bates as soloist.

In Stories of the Danube the rich textures of the orchestral palette meet the fire and momentum of contemporary Jazz, as the music follows the course of the river through continental Europe and into the Black Sea. Järvi was a close collaborator with Zawinul in the years before his untimely passing – months before he was due to play here for the 2007 Festival – and tonight pays tribute to this seminal figure in Jazz as composer, keyboard virtuoso and co-founder of Weather Report.

As well as the symphony the trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard and his Quintet will join the BBC CO in the UK premiere of a new extended piece, Herbie Hancock: By Himself, which was inspired by Hancock’s impressionistic piano solos. Complemented with music drawn from the composer’s score for the recent Robert de Niro film The Comedians, it’s a piece which harks back to that classic Blue Note sound of the 1960s and is a perfect accompaniment to the sweeping evocation of the Danube.

Thelonious Monk At 100 – 2:00, 4:00 & 7:30pm
Venue: Cadogan Hall

Three concerts today at Cadogan hall celebrate the legacy of Monk in his centenial year. The two afternoon concerts, each inspired by a classic Monk album, will see pianist Jonathan Gee and saxophonist Tony Kofi with an ensemble packed with British jazz talent, including Jason Yarde, Jim Rattigan and Andy Grappy re-imagining the music of Monk.

The evening concert will see a re-creation of Monk’s milestone 1959 Town Hall concert with music written for a ten-piece band, led by the charismatic trumpeter, arranger and founder of Strata East Records Charles Tolliver, who attended the original concert as a teenager, and who has re-constructed the original music from his treasured, original LP. Tolliver’s restaging responds in breath-taking form the tensions and energies that made the first performance so electric – a combination of individual and group interaction, infused with Monk’s fusion of African-American rhythms, solo virtuosity and orchestral sweep.

Quentin Collins Quartet – 1:30pm
Venue: Pizza Express Jazz Club

Ace trumpeter Quentin Collins brings his high-energy, soulful sound, packed with original tunes and compositions from the jazz masters. Quentin is backed by some of the most sought-after new generation of musicians on London jazz scene, each of whom deservedly leads their own bands: Ashley Henry (piano), Daniel Casimir (bass) and Shane Forbes (drums).

The Quentin Collins Quartet is a must-see show, for anyone who loves the real thing when it comes to straight-ahead jazz at its finest.

For the full schedule visit the EFG London Jazz Festival website.

Last modified: November 28, 2019