Dave’s seasonal touch heralds We Free Kings
Christmas will be celebrated at the HX7 Jazz Cub on Thursday, December 23, with an appearance by the appropriately-named We Free Kings.
However, all similarities with the noble Bethlehem trio start and finish with the name!
We Free Kings (the name actually comes from the title track of a classic Roland Kirk album) is a six-piece powerhouse of a band led by Leeds-based saxophonist Toby Greenwood which features some of the best jazz musicians in the north of England.
With all material written and arranged by Greenwood, their concert will feature pieces from the debut album ‘a dove in every pocket’ (recorded at Leeds Media Centre in Chapeltown), and also material earmarked for their eagerly anticipated follow up, ‘Nunca’.
We Free Kings features a vibrant and formidable front line consisting of Kevin Holborough on trombone, Mark Chandler on flugelhorn and of course Greenwood himself on tenor and soprano sax.
They are expertly propelled forward by the energetic rhythm section of drummer Dave Walsh and bass player Richard Hammond.
The pair are also the driving force behind Rod Mason’s Elements which performed at the opening night of the HX7 club last January.
The band is completed by pianist Paul Kilvington who has also appeared with Elements, as well as with Milan Lad and his own ensemble Amazonia.
Much of Toby Greenwood’s professional life as a saxophonist has been spent playing in (and arranging for) brass sections, and a core aim in arranging the music for ‘a dove in every pocket’ was to extract as much tone and richness as possible from a relatively small section.
The compositions are packed with personality and soul giving them a melodic immediacy that keeps the music accessible but avoids diluting any of its core jazz element.
Stylistically influenced by American jazz composers such as Wayne Shorter, Charlie Mingus, Thelonius Monk, Carla Bley etc, his music displays tangible influences from Latin American and particularly South African jazz, both of which featured heavily in his youth.
“The link between We Free Kings and Christmas may perhaps seem a little bit weak,” commented organiser Dave Nelson, “so I’ll be doing some seasonally-inspired jazz at the piano to kick things off.
“In any case I think that both band and audience will be in good festive mood, so we should all have great fun that night!”
HX7 Jazz takes place monthly on a Thursday at the Trades Club in Holme Street, Hebden Bridge.
Future events include some Sunday lunchtime jazz on December 19 with bassist Bruce Reid’s lively Trashcan Collective.
Then in the New Year HX7 Jazz celebrates its first birthday with a great double bill.
Coming over from Dublin especially for the show is Zrazy - a quartet featuring the amazing voice of Maria Walsh and the excellent piano playing of Carole Nelson.
Also headlining is the Ben Crosland Quartet which includes Dave Hassell on drums and Rod Mason on saxes.
More information is available at the website www.hx7jazz.com. Doors open at 8pm with a live music starting at 8.30pm, and the headline band starting at 9pm.
Ring 01422 845265 to book advance tickets which are £10, and £7 for concessions and members.