After the summer hiatus it looks like things are kicking off again for the jazz scene in Bristol, with regular venues like the Bebop Club and Hen & Chicken restarting their programme and a flurry of big names coming to town.
And – at last – the refurbished St George’s is opening its doors to jazz once again, with UK trad legend Chris Barber bringing his big band to the hall on Sunday 9.
Trombonist Chris Barber’s original New Orleans style band was probably the biggest name in the trad jazz revival that swept the UK during the 50s and 60s.
He also used his fame to promote the music’s roots in blues, bringing over legendary US players like Muddy Waters and Big Bill Broonzy which, in turn, sparked the 60s ‘blues boom’.
Over time his band has grown in size and range of styles but always has a core Dixieland six-piece at its heart.
You could probably characterise the Youngblood Brass Band (Thekla, Saturday 9) as initiators of the re-emergence of the New Orleans ‘second line’ brass style in a fusion with hip-hop that has inspired numerous similar outfits.
It’s been 20 years since the Youngbloods first blasted into prominence and their sound has lost nothing of its power even if the blood may not be quite so young these days.
Another veteran undimmed by the years is master drummer Tony Allen (Fiddlers, Friday 7). As the legendary polyrhythmic powerhouse of Fela Kuti’s band Tony defined Afrobeat at its inception in the 70s and it is said that when he eventually left the band Fela needed two drummers to replace him.
Exploring the worlds of funk and jazz over the years he was part of Damon Albarn’s The Good, The Bad and the Queen and also made an Afrobeat tribute to the great Art Blakey.
His Colston Hall promoted gig at Fiddlers also features the eternally cool and engaging Detroit funkster Amp Fiddler.
For more big groovy world-jazz action you could check the increasingly impressive Snazzback(Gallimaufry, Thursday 6) in full band mode, or Havana trumpeter Michel Padron’s Latin-driven Saoco Collective (Canteen, Friday 7).