Liane Carroll and Ian Shaw
From Paul Thomas, Sheffield Jazz:
January sees the season begin at the Crucible on Friday 18th, with an unmissable opportunity to see two of the UK's most treasured jazz vocalists, when Liane Carroll and Ian Shaw play in a duo. Both are magnificent singer-pianists, each with musical class and incorrigible wit and personality. A week later John Law's Re-Creations kicks off the season at Crookes, with his latest project featuring well-known tunes from the worlds of classic jazz and pop.
February begins with the visit of Byron Wallen's Four Corners quartet. Having played alongside such legendary musicians as Andrew Hill, George Benson and Jack de Johnette he brings to Sheffield his dazzling band featuring guitarist Rob Luft, who made such a great impression here last winter. Hard on his heels is the Duncan Eagles quartet, building on a string of highly praised releases with top band Partikel by touring the UK to promote his new album "Citizen". On the 15th February we have the visit of the brilliant quartet Two of a Mind, where Chris Biscoe and Alison Neale explore the wonderfully melodic music of Gerry Mulligan and Paul Desmond, as well as their own material. The month ends when we host one of the most gifted and imaginative composers in Europe: Gwilym Simcock plays solo piano at The University of Sheffield on the 28th.
The first gig in March sees the Sheffield University Jazz Orchestra play an evening of varied big band jazz at Crookes, They're followed by John Turville, who brings his all-star quintet featuring Julian Arguelles and Robbie Robson playing a wide-ranging set of new music including arrangements from the jazz, tango and Latin worlds. Next band up is the Adam Glasser quintet, where the South African harmonica player / pianist brings a great band of leading young British musicians to play his trademark township standards. Another fine band follows, with the visit of Henry Lowther's Still Waters quintet. One of the most accomplished, tight and creative bands around, they play radical and original music, and include pianist Barry Green, whose own trio played such a great set at the Crucible in 2017. Finally, the month ends when Tony Kofi brings his sextet to play A Portrait of Cannonball, which traces the explosinve music of jazz giant Cannonball Adderley.
April's first gig in the last round of the season returns to the Crucible, when the internationally-acclaimed Tommy Smith and his outstanding quartet pays tribute to his greatest inspiration, John Coltrane. Back at Crookes the following week, the Harry Allen quartet appears. One of the key American mainstream voices on tenor sax, we've nabbed him on a rare visit to the UK and with the bonus of the fine Italian pianist Andrea Pozza. The whole Sheffield Jazz programme ends with a rousing gig on May 10th; Tony Kofi returns with the Mingus Profiles Sextet who were so good at the Crucible in Autumn 2015. Uplifting, exuberant, rousing music.