September 2014

Have just fixed the first date - December 11th - for a new series of gigs at the Vortex entitled Pigfoot Plays.... The plan is that we will play a different genre of music each time, in inimitable porcine fashion. As it is nearly Christmas, the December gig will be Pigfoot Plays Opera. I am really looking forward to hearing what the band can do with Wagner, Puccini and Mozart.


August 2014

Had a great time over the last weekend at Brecon with Loose Tubes and Township Comets. Also did a masterclass called Trumpet Heroes from Off the Beaten Track, looking at some influential trumpet players. Here is the playlist for anyone who was there and wanted to follow up, or anyone else who might be interested.

Jazz Battle                      Jabbo Smith           
Andover                          Peter Evans w MOPDTK                                               
Sweet and Lovely            Don Ellis           
Dreams                           Eddie Henderson
Tunji's Song                   Mongezi Feza w Brotherhood of Breath           
Harambee                       Harry Beckett                                               
Mevlana Duke                  Jon Hassell
Trompet Sololar              Ergün Şenlendirici (youtube)
Sanmon                          Arve Henriksen                                               
One Breath At A Time     Lesli Dalaba                                               
Icicles                              Herb Robertson w Tim Berne                                   
Ewa                                 Victor Olaiya           
Chicharronero                  Manuel Gujiro Mirabal                                               
Thankful N' Thoughtful    Cynthia Robinson w Sly & The Family Stone
                                               
 
 


March 21st 2014

Pigfoot CD launch "21st Century Acid Trad" at Vortex, Dalston

I am very happy to be launching the new Pigfoot CD at the Vortex on Friday, almost a year since we recorded it there. Fantastic playing from Liam Noble, Oren Marshall and Paul Clarvis, and equally impressive recording, mixing and mastering by Alex Bonney, Andrew Dudman and Sean Magee.

Released on March 31st but available for pre-order on Amazon and iTunes, where you can hear previews. 

There are also some bonus tracks on Soundcloud- https://soundcloud.com/chrisbatpigfoot



“…everything is not quite what it seems, sometimes deliciously so….A fine debut.”
Stephen Graham - Marlbank  http://www.marlbank.net/reviews/1313-back-to-the-future

 
 




January 2014

Pigfoot CD "21st Century Acid Trad" out on Village Life





The debut recording by Pigfoot is out now. Recorded live at the Vortex, London in early 2013, the band interpret classic New Orleans material in a unique and original way. “…everything is not quite what it seems, sometimes deliciously so….A fine debut.”
Stephen Graham - Marlbank  http://www.marlbank.net/reviews/1313-back-to-the-future

You can hear some tracks here https://soundcloud.com/chrisbatpigfoot

Order your copy here;

 
 





January 2013

Debut gig for Pigfoot at the Vortex

I am very excited at the prospect of playing at the Vortex this coming Sunday 27th January with my new AcidTrad band Pigfoot. We are playing a whole load of New Orleans hot jazz, spirituals and blues tunes that I have arranged for the group.

We had a great rehearsal last week and the combination of Oren Marshall's pokey tuba playing, Paul Clarvis' hip old school drumming and Liam Noble's manically mangled stride playing makes a fantastic rhythm section. Anything could happen.
 
 




November 2011
Hermeto at The Barbican

A response to this review of the Hermeto Pascoal gig at the Barbican;

http://www.jazzjournal.co.uk/jazz-latest-news/348/london-jazz-festival-hermeto-pascoal


Reviewers sometimes get the wrong end of the stick, or may alternatively offer an insight that you wouldn't get from the stand, but I generally don't have a strong urge to respond. Not so here, however, as this reviewer resorts to a tired cliché in the first sentence (Brazilians = football) and then proceeds to use the comparison to dismiss the British musicians out of hand throughout. Having compared the gig to an adversarial sport, Garry Booth then makes the casual assertion that the British band were ‘inevitably a little mechanical”. Why inevitably? 

He might have considered the actual material being played by each group, i.e. music scored for large ensemble as against music intended for a small group of soloists. Was it that the British players interpretation of the written music was mechanical, or that the he considered the big band material, in comparison with the small group repertoire, to be mechanical? A basic working knowledge of any renowned jazz composer’s output would confirm a significant difference between small group and big band repertoire; Sam Rivers, John Taylor and Django Bates come immediately to mind.

Hermeto’s big band music is highly organized, (even the sections for squeaky toys and coconuts were written out) and generally scored for choirs of brass and reeds in the conventional way of block voicing, although with very unconventional harmonic language. This organization of the instruments is conveyed to the band through the printed parts.

Mr Booth reports that the British band were “glued to the charts”; this is known in music as “reading” – is he suggesting that the band should abandon the parts in order to take part in a less mechanical, presumably more authentic fashion?

It is possible that the 19 British musicians might have been used differently, and that is a matter for the promoter, composer and arranger – however Mr Booth chooses to belittle the “doughty” musicians themselves, who did the difficult but rewarding job asked of them to a very high standard. Hermeto and his fantastic band were extremely warm and complimentary about the British band, both in private and on stage throughout the entire gig.

One can only conclude that the referee has had a shocker – 2000 people could see what happened and he seems to have totally missed it. Clearly there is a need for better understanding and higher professional standards or the game will be ruined in this country.





 

 



May 2011

Review

Great reviews of the recent Big Air gigs;

http://www.thejazzmann.com/features/article/sunday-at-cheltenham-jazz-festival-2011.-01-05-2011/

http://www.londonjazz.blogspot.com/2011/05/review-big-air.html


 

Big Air at Cheltenham and Vortex

I am really looking forward to the upcoming Big Air gigs, with the original line up of Steve Buckley, Oren Marshall, Myra Melford and Jim Black. We have some great new material and it is always a pleasure to play with such great musicians and old friends.



February 2011

Reviews

Some great reviews for recent gigs ; 5 stars in the Telegraph for Uri Caine in Birmingham here-
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/worldfolkandjazz/8309485/Uri-Caine-meets-Mahler-Birmingham-Town-Hall-review.html
and 4 stars in the Guardian for Mike Gibbs at the Pizza Express-
http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2011/feb/17/mike-gibbs-review

 

Uri Caine Mahler Project

I am very excited to be playing with Uri Caine this week - it's a great band with Jim Black, Chris Speed, Josefina Vergera, Steve Watts and DJ Olive. The gigs are at Manchester RNCM on Thursday 3rd and Birmingham Town Hall on Saturday 5th.

November 2010

Township Comets in 5* Guardian review


The Vortex was packed and roaring last Sunday for the monthly Township Comets gig, which John Fordham covered in his 5* Guardian review of the London Jazz Festival - he also mentioned the band in his survey of the festival on Jazz On 3. Next Township Comets gig at the Vortex is December 12th.
Review is here; www.guardian.co.uk/music/2010/nov/16/glasper-mikkelborg-township-comets-ljf-review 


October 2010

New Oren Marshall CD

Old friend and fabulous tuba player from Big Air launches his new CD "Family Connections" on October 28th at Charlie Wright's, London. I played on a couple of the tracks, and the band features another old friend, Julian Siegel, on tenor.
www.orenmarshall.com

Simon Purcell Quintet Review

Enjoyed three great gigs with Simon last week, review is here;
www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/Gig-Review-Simon-Purcell-Quintet.6592770.jp


Harry Beckett Jazz Library Radio3 Saturday October 16th at 4pm

I recently recorded a Jazz Library programme with Alyn Shipton for BBC Radio 3 talking about the music of Harry Beckett, who passed away recently. I met Harry when I was a teenager, and he gave me some of my first paid gigs, even putting me in as a dep for Dudu Pukwana's Zila, a baptism of fire if ever there was one. It is a great honour to have the opportunity to pay tribute to Harry in this way.
www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00v7s7l

August 2010

Jazz On 3 session

I have just recorded a session for BBC Jazz On 3 for Liam Noble, with Okkyung Lee and Dave Wickens. We recorded a couple of quartet pieces and also three improvised duos with Liam featured in all pieces. To be broadcast on October 4th. www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006tt0y
 

September 2010

Vortex residency

I am really looking forward to a new once monthly Sunday afternoon residency at the Vortex with the Township Comets. Some of my earliest playing experiences were at Dudu Pukwana's various South London Sunday gigs in the late 70's, and Pinise Saul and Adam Glasser will be playing Dudu's music at the Vortex, just as they were then. Starts September 12th.
 

Loose Tubes Release

Dancing on Frith Street is released on September 27th, almost exactly 20 years since it was recorded at Ronnie Scott's just before Loose tubes split up. Have just received an advance copy, and the band sounds very fresh and exciting, and reminded me of just how vibey that band was. Available from www.loosetubes.com