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Clark Tracey Quintet

Thursday 26 Oct.2006 on stage 8pm.
Bonington Theatre
Tickets £10 concs.£8 students/children £5

Clark Tracey quintet

featuring: Clark Tracey (drms) Steve Melling (piano)Mark Armstrong (tp) Simon Allen (saxes) Peter Billington (bass)

Please note that Steve Melling now replaces Zoe Rahman on Piano for this gig

Tracey's current quintet issued their second release in April 2006.He says its members feel"relaxed with each other's playing to know we can rely on each other"That sense of mutual agreement and ease is evident on their live gigs.They play with undisguised zest think hard about their compositions that balances conviction with genuine creativity.

"If Blakey has a UK equivalent it is fellow drummer Clark Tracey" (The Independent )-Chris Parker

Visit Clark Tracey's Web Site (opens in new window)

Real Audio Files

PREVIEW - by Trudie Squires

DRUMMER Clark Tracey returns with his award winning quintet to the Bonington Theatre, High Street, Arnold, on Thursday, October 26. It is almost six years since Tracey formed his latest and most successful group and in that time it has won three BBC Jazz Award nominations for Best Small Group.

Son of the great British jazz pianist, Stan Tracey, Clark Tracey has developed into one of Britain’s top jazz drummers and a leading band leader and composer as well. Twice voted best drummer in the British Jazz Awards (1993 and 1997), Clark Tracey’s drumming has been heard powering numerous British bands including those of trumpeter Guy Barker, saxist Mornington Lockett, trombonist Mark Nightingale and pianist Steve Melling. He has also backed many top name Americans including saxists Johnny Griffin and Pharoah Sanders, trumpeters Randy Brecker and Art Farmer, guitarists Tal Farlow and Barney Kessell and the legendary organist Jimmy Smith. A hard driving drummer, Tracey has been influenced by the likes of Philly Joe Jones, Art Blakey, Roy Haynes and Elvin Jones.

Tracey has had 25 years’ experience playing alongside some of the most important artists in jazz at home and abroad, appearing on over 80 albums and touring in around 50 countries. He has been awarded “Best Drums” title three times in the British jazz awards. Clark also teaches privately and at school and has given master classes at Leeds College of Music, Royal Academy of Music, Musicians’ Institute, Bracknell jazz weekends and festivals as well as overseas workshops.

The Quintet features highly talented members of the new generation with Simon Allen (saxes), Mark Armstrong (trumpet), Zoe Rahman (piano) and Peter Billington (bass). The Blue Note influence is prevalent in the quintet’s output with nods in the direction of such jazz legends as Art Blakey, Horace Silver and the Adderley brothers.

Since studying at Berklee College and winning the Perrier Young Jazz Musician of the Year Award, Zoe Rahman has been tipped as one of the UK’s most dynamic new jazz talents. Accessible melodies and unusual forms create music that appeals on many different levels. She shows the maturity of a seasoned jazz pianist, with bold inventive keyboard work, a unique touch and attention to detail.

Trumpeter Mark Armstrong, originally from Tyneside, studied at Oxford University and the Guildhall School of Music. He has played in numerous top outfits including the big bands of Winston Rollins, Ian Pierce and Mike Garrick. He is capable of playing in many styles from 1920s jazz to Latin and classical. He is a winner of the BBC Big Band Competition for arranging and is Assistant Musical Director of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra.

Simon Allen studied saxophone at the Royal Academy, after beginning his career with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra and the Pendulum Jazz Orchestra, performing alongside the likes of Jazz Stars Art Themen, Gerard Presencer and Peter King. He has worked with Colin Towns’ Mask Orchestra, for the Birmingham Royal Ballet, the Matthew Herbert Big Band and the BBC Big Band, touring around Germany, China, Belgium and Poland. He has appeared at major UK venues and festivals and worked with an astonishing array of top musicians including Kenny Wheeler, Iain Ballamy, Django Bates, John Paracelli, Steve Waterman, Alan Barnes, Don Weller, Ben Castle and Tina May.

Peter Billington is another Royal Academy graduate and has an active presence on the London jazz scene both as a pianist and double bassist, leading his own trio and octet in addition to backing the likes of Peter King, Don Weller, Henry Lowther and Ben Castle. He has played at Ronnie Scott’s, Dean Street Pizza Express and the 606 Club and at many other venues. Peter is an accomplished composer and his work can be heard on Clark Tracey’s album The Calling. Peter was musician in residence at Ardingly College (2002-2003) and now teaches jazz piano at Eton. He regularly gigs as a trio with Clark Tracey and Andy Crowdy. He worked alongside Clark in the Pendulum Jazz Orchestra and is a multi-talented and classy musician and strong, versatile bassist.

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